Pontiff devised plan to defend a convicted pedophile priest
Pope Francis commissioned a shocking four-book study in 2010 as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires attacking child abuse victims and defending a pedophile priest convicted of raping a young boy.
In 2010, Francis, who was known as Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, requested a lawyer and jurist by the name of Marcelo Sancinett to carry out a 2,600-page study consisting of four volumes for the Argentinian Episcopal Conference to ‘discredit’ child abuse victims of pedophile priest Father Julio César Grassi.
Within the study, the volumes accused child abuse victims of being “false accusers” and claimed they were only accusing pedophile priest as a way of projecting their own sexual desire to Grassi, who was convicted of raping a boy at his Happy Children Foundation (organization for rescuing homeless children).
Grassi was a much loved ‘national celebrity’ who mixed within the wealthy and powerful elite figures in Argentine society, while his victims were poor child residents of his homeless shelters under the Happy Children Foundation.
Grassi’s foundation even generated millions of dollars in donations each year.
According to Juan Pablo Gallego, who represented one of Grassi’s teen victims, told the Spanish-language media outlet Infobae that as archbishop and head of the Argentinian Episcopal Conference, Francis commissioned the series titled “Studies on the Grassi Case” – which was written to influence judges on Argentina’s Supreme Court to cover up Grassi’s child abuse.
“The books arrived to the judges of the [Supreme] Court, presumably delivered by supposed emissaries of Francis,” Gallego told Infobae.
“What is certain is that we determined that they were received by every judge that had to decide on the Grassi case. They weren’t only delivered to the Supreme Court, where they are held, for example, by Ricardo Lorenzetti; they were also delivered to the judges of the provincial appeals court.”
“I am certain that the judges of the Supreme Court have these books and that they came to them in the name of the Church,” Gallego said.
“With this [volume], these ‘Studies on the Grassi case’ are concluded, and the labor assigned by the Argentinean Episcopal Conference, in particular by Cardinal Bergoglio, then its president and today His Holiness Francis,” the text reportedly read on the first page.
People who defended the study claimed the volumes were solely intended for the bishops sitting on the Argentinean Episcopal Conference, but multiple news outlets confirmed that the volumes had been sent to the country’s Supreme Court.
Infobae confirmed in 2016 with sources in the Argentinian Supreme Court that court members had received the volumes.
Carlos Mahiques, one of the judges on the court, told the French television news program Cash Investigation in March 2017 that he personally received the four-volume study.
“You received this counter-inquiry?” the Cash Investigation reporter asked.
“Yes, I did,” responded Mahiques.
Mahiques added that the study Bergoglio commissioned was meant “to exert a subtle form of pressure on the judges” in Grassi’s favor.
“I think it’s partial in some areas, and extremely partial in others. It’s clearly in favor of Father Grassi,” Mahiques said. “They were trying to exert a subtle form of pressure on the judges.”
Even with these reports of sexual abuse in Francis’s diocese, the pope claimed in his 2010 book On Heaven and Earth that instances of sexual abuse by clergy members “never occurred in my diocese” and “in the diocese, it never happened to me.”
But despite Francis’s denial of any instances of sexual abuse taking place under his watch, many victims stepped forward and wrote letters to Francis while he was archbishop detailing the abuses they suffered.
Francis would not meet with these victims of sexual abuse within his archdiocese and did not even answer their letters.
The pope has also refused to remove Grassi from the priesthood. Grassi was still listed as a practicing priest in the Diocese of Morón — the diocese under the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires — as of August 2017.
The Diocese of Morón, however, stated that it was not their responsibility to remove Grassi and that it was up to the Vatican to remove him from the priesthood.
Although a source “close to Francis” claimed the diocese is responsible for Grassi’s case, the diocese released a statement in March 2017 revealing that the Vatican ordered the Diocese of Morón to submit a report on Grassi’s case.
The Vatican, however, had not acted on the report — leaving Grassi a priest with all his privileges despite his status as a convicted sex offender.
One witness at Grassi’s trial told Cash Investigation that the pedophile priest repeatedly said during the trial that Francis stood by him.
“I’ll never forget what Father Grassi kept repeating at his trial: “Bergoglio never let go of my hand.”
Now, Bergoglio is Pope Francis, but he has never gone against Grassi’s words. So I’m certain that he never did let go of Grassi’s hand!”
Grassi reportedly used the same language in a 2009 interview with Infobae.
“[Bergoglio] never let go of my hand. He is at my side as always,” Grassi reportedly said.
Even as the Catholic Church is reeling from the sexual abuse scandals by its clergymen, Francis doubled down against those who accuse clergymen of sexual abuse during a homily Thursday morning, saying that those who accuse bishops of sexual abuse are like Satan, “the Great Accuser.”