by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  •  August 28, 2018

Disgraced bishop administered sacraments and was honored by Bergoglio

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ( – Pope Francis, currently implicated in protecting homosexual predator and former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, reportedly was involved in a similar cover-up while archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.The case involves the late homosexual Bp. Juan Carlos Maccarone, formerly of Santiago del Estero, who resigned as bishop in 2005 after a video surfaced of his homosexual encounter with 23-year-old Alfredo Serrano. An initial PR campaign under Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio made Maccarone out to be the victim while avoiding the moral implications of Bp. Maccarone’s actions.

The scandal widened when Maccarone surfaced five years later administering the sacraments in a diocese next to Buenos Aires headed by Bergoglio. In 2010 Maccarone confirmed children at Holy Trinity parish in Rufino while residing a few hundred miles away in Claypole, a suburb of Buenos Aires, at a mission that was home to a large number of disabled children.

The immediate PR campaign begun in 2005 under Cdl. Bergoglio avoided the moral angle of homosexuality. Bishop Maccarone was made out to be the target of revenge or the victim of political enemies.

Father Guillermo Marco, spokesman for Cdl. Bergoglio, addressed the supposed motives of Maccarone’s enemies.

“Everything points to … political revenge,” Marco said. Continuing this spin, Fr. Marco told a local radio station that the release of the video “sounds like it was put together by some intelligence arm.”

Likewise, an episcopal commission chaired by Cdl. Bergoglio immediately following the incident in 2005 wrote a declaration of solidarity, sympathizing with Maccarone, which scandalized many of the faithful. The statement praises Maccarone, expressing gratitude to the former bishop for his “service of the poor and those who have threatened life and faith.”

Check out Church Militant’s #CatholicMeToo coverage.

Ultimately the church cited “health problems” that caused Maccarone to resign his episcopal office without mentioning the homosexual encounter that was caught on tape. Fortunato Mallimaci, a Buenos Aires sociologist, noted the soft-peddling of the incident by Church officials dealt a serious blow to the church’s credibility.

“This means that the idea of the Catholic Church as the moral reference of the Catholic nation is very strongly put in doubt,” Mallimaci said. “It shows that a double standard exists within the church itself.” He said the incident and how it was handled also weakened the Church’s moral authority, especially when teaching on issues of sexuality.

After Maccarone died in 2015, reports surfaced that he had also sexually abused at least one minor. While bishop of Chascomús, Maccarone was criminally implicated in the homosexual abuse of a minor but was allegedly protected by the Argentinian bishops’ conference (CEA).

In spite of the alleged abuse of at least one minor, Maccarone was put in proximity with children at least by 2010 in Buenos Aires. The same year that Maccarone was seen confirming children in Rufino, media reported the former bishop of Santiago del Estero was residing in Claypole (Buenos Aires) in Cotolengo de Don Orione, home to a large number of children with disabilities. Maccarone reportedly was offering Mass for the nuns responsible for the children’s care.

Maccarone was also in proximity of youth as dean of the faculty of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Buenos Aires, whose grand chancellor at the time was Cdl. Bergoglio.

The similarity between homosexual predators such as ex-Cdl. McCarrick and the late Bp. Maccarone was presented in an op-ed piece in The New York Times. The article noted homosexual relationships among clerics is given a pass by the hierarchy until it turns criminal and only then when it’s outed:

The other rule of the clerical closet is not violating the civil law — or at least not getting caught. Francis defended Monsignor Ricca by distinguishing between sins and crimes: “They are not crimes, right? Crimes are something different.” This distinction provides cover for sex abuse. When countless priests are allowed to live double lives, it is hard to tell who is concealing crimes. Cardinal McCarrick was widely seen as “merely” preying on adult seminarians. Now he has been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.”

Pope Francis is now being called to hold to his own zero-tolerance policy, which includes as per the #CatholicMeToo movement, not only sexual abuse of minors but also of vulnerable adults.

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  1. Cdl. Bergoglio Protected Convicted Pedophile in Argentina

    by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th. • • August 29, 2018

    Fr. Grassi boasted of the cardinal’s help

    BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ( – Pope Francis, known for his rhetoric on zero tolerance for clerical sex abuse of minors, did not exhibit zero tolerance in dealing with homosexual predator clerics as archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Pope Francis’ poor record on sex abuse goes back to his time in Argentina, as seen by the case of Fr. Julio César Grassi. Grassi was convicted in 2009 of molesting a boy in a refuge for street children founded by him. Grassi remained free for four years, owing in part to a secret study commissioned by Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio, then archbishop of Buenos Aires and president of the Argentine bishops’ conference. A provincial supreme court, however, was not persuaded by the detailed report and upheld Grassi’s conviction. Grassi started his 15-year sentence in 2013.

    In spite of a complaint filed in 2000 with the Juvenile Court of Morón accusing Grassi of abuse, nothing came of the accusation until an investigative news show, Telenoche Investiga, aired a program in October 2002 detailing Grassi’s alleged sexual abuse of boys. Within the week, Grassi was arrested.

    One month after Grassi’s arrest the Argentine bishops, headed by Cdl. Bergoglio issued a statement through an executive committee on which Bergoglio presided alleging a “campaign” to “blur the image” of the Catholic Church and “cause society to lose its trust” in the institution. While not specifically mentioning Grassi, the statement was widely understood as pertaining to his case.

    Seven years went by until Grassi was found guilty in 2009 of two acts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor but was allowed to remain free pending his appeal. A statement signed by 49 priests and 50 laypeople expressed outrage over the court’s decision that allowed Grassi to remain free. They also criticized the “silence of ecclesial leaders” on his case, noting that “other bishops’ conferences like Colombia’s have spoken up in similar cases” adding, “we do not understand your silence, that has the appearance of ‘hushing up’ and ‘tolerance.'”

    Over the next four years, Grassi remained free while the lower courts, in turn, denied his appeals. During this period, Grassi claimed the support of various bishops and especially that of Cdl. Bergoglio.

    Concerning Bergoglio, Grassi affirmed he “never let go of my hand [and] is always at my side.” Bergoglio, for his part, defended Grassi after his arrest, saying in 2006 that “justice will determine” Grassi’s innocence. Bergoglio also portrayed Grassi as the victim, alleging there was “a media campaign against him.”

    Cardinal Bergoglio, as president of the Argentine bishops’ conference, hired a leading criminal defense lawyer, Marcelo Sancinetti, to conduct a private investigation on Grassi’s behalf. The study exonerating Grassi was intended to sway the court — but to no avail.

    In 2013, a provincial supreme court rejected Grassi’s final appeal and his prison sentence commenced.

    The bishops’ study attempting to exonerate Grassi was denounced in 2011 by Juan Pablo Gallego, an attorney for the Committee for Oversight and Implementation of International Conventions for Children’s Rights. Gallego, who represented the plaintiffs during the trial, decried the study as a “scandalous instance of lobbying and exerting pressure on the Court.”

    Throughout his court trials, Grassi was allowed to present himself as a priest and is currently listed as a priest in the diocese of Morón, a suffragan diocese of the archdiocese of Buenos Aires. Although convicted of sexual abuse of minors, Grassi was never laicised, in keeping with the policy in place under Cdl. Bergoglio.

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