Pope Francis was often quiet on Argentine sex abuse cases as archbishop

HURLINGHAM, Argentina — Father Julio Cesar Grassi was a celebrity in the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires. The young, dynamic, ­media-savvy priest networked with wealthy Argentines to fund an array of schools, orphanages and job training programs for poor and abandoned youths, winning praise from Argentine politicians and is superior, Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Grassi called his foundation Felices los Niños, “Happy Children.”

Today, Grassi is a convicted sex offender who remains free on a conditional release after being sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2009 for molesting a prepubescent boy in his care.

Yet in the years after Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio — now Pope Francis — has declined to meet with the victim of the priest’s crimes or the victims of other predations by clergy under his leadership. He did not offer personal apologies or financial restitution, even in cases in which the crimes were denounced by other members of the church and the offending priests were sent to jail.

Since he was elected to the papacy Wednesday, media attention has focused primarily on Bergoglio’s actions during the “Dirty War” years of Argentina’s military dictatorship. But at a time when the Vaticanis facing a costly leg...


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Showing 3 comments

  • Tom Sadloskos
    commented 2013-03-19 17:12:08 -0500
    I can understand how you feel about these garish monuments they erect to themselves, but if they want to spend money on things like that so be it. That’s always gone on and always will, ultimately it will come crashing down on them. If people are foolish enough to continue to drop their money in the collection plates, knowing it goes to things like this, or in the pockets of lawyers defending pedophile priests, well that’s on them. I suppose they think that’s a way of buying their way into heaven. Dolan in definitely a slime ball. The deck is certainly stacked against those of us who want to see positive changes, we may never see it in our lifetime, but we will see the church’s power and influence continue to diminish. I never thought I would see the consolidation of parishes that has already occurred, and I believe that will happen again, since I don’t think their numbers are on the rise anywhere, but certainly continue to decline. More has to be done to expose these officials for what they really are, and what frustrates me is I don’t know what to do.
  • Robert Verhoff
    commented 2013-03-19 13:29:19 -0500
    Yes, after reading the same article, you take the words right out of my mouth. After new blood we all hope for a positive change. No such luck, after the deck was stacked by the past Popes. Each Pope would elect more to the College of Cardinals with his same views. How many did Pope John put in? Pope B put in another 70? Will the next put in an additional 150? And they all are very hungry. Who can afford to feed them and pay to build their mansions. And they all want a personal church built in their honor. The one in LA started by Cardinal Mahony…..has it gone past the billon dollar cost yet? And out of the other side of their mouth, “THE CHURCH IS BANKRUPT, we have no money to pay these greedy victims and their greedy lawyers.” And that sleasy Cardinal Dolan getting on TV every chance he gets for self promotion with prepared questions from friendly news networks and newscasters. Put him on BBC or PBS without the prepared baby BUSH type questions and answers, (It seems they’re all reading off que-cards). Maybe then we would have a more balanced interview.
  • Tom Sadloskos
    commented 2013-03-19 09:27:04 -0500
    The more I’m seeing and hearing about this Pope, the more I’m beginning to think he is a great BS artist. He’s spoon feeding it, and the majority of people are swallowing it. I think his strategy is, open a dialogue on other controversial issues, and take the emphasis off those that are an embarrassment, or detrimental to the Catholic Church. Smoke and mirrors is another term for what he’s trying to do. “The green Pope concerned about the environment!” He has much more important things he should be addressing, such as issues within the church, not the environment. I don’t think we’re going to see any changes we’re going to be too happy with. Especially when you consider the fact the Vatican has already had to defend his record. .

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