Mexico City -- Roman Catholic activists came out Sunday tosupport a cardinal who was deposed last week in a U.S.lawsuit accusing him of complicity in the alleged rape of achild by a Mexican priest.
"Catholic church groups believe in thecardinal's innocence," read a placard held by onesupporter at Sunday's Mass at Mexico City'sCathedral.
Cardinal Norberto Rivera thanked the supporters at the endof Mass and told worshippers: "Don't be afraid, mylittle flock," according to the Reformanewspaper's Web site.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court inSeptember, Joaquin Aguilar Mendez alleges he was raped bypriest Nicolas Aguilar in Mexico City in 1994 when he was12.
The alleged rape came after the priest already had beencharged with 19 felony counts of committing lewd acts on achild in California.
The suit alleges that Rivera conspired with Los AngelesCardinal Roger Mahony to protect Aguilar.
Rivera's lawyers have argued that the case, whichinvolves Mexican clergy and an alleged victim who isMexican, should not be handled by a U.S. court.