A Letter for Grassi
By Carlos Rodríguez
June 3, 2012
Free on conditional release, the convicted priest ought to be living in San Justo. But the bishop asked the court to allow him move into a house just in front of the Foundation.
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
For the first time since one of the most severe and widespread cases of child sexual abuse involving the Catholic Church in Argentina, a member of the Bishops’ Office has made an official request in favor of priest Julio César Grassi.
In a letter with the seal of the Diocese of Morón, addressed to the Court of Morón, and to which Página 12 was given access, permission was requested of the judges who convicted the priest and sentenced him to 15 years in prison, to transfer him to a house in Hurlingham called La Blanquita, which would allow him to remain in the ministry and give Mass, in spite of the sentence for sex abuse and corruption of minors hanging over his head.
Juan Pablo Gallego, a lawyer supporting the plaintiffs’ case, told this newspaper that the decision of the Court of Appeals of Moron to nullify the house arrest that the priest had been under in San Justo, “is the result of the pressure applied by the current Bishop of Moron, Monsignor Luis Eichhorn, who since taking office adopted a stance that was diametrically opposed to that of his predecessor, Justo Laguna.”
Gallego said that from now on, once again with ambulatory freedom, "Grassi will be installed at La Blanquita, a house located in front of the Happy Children Foundation, to give Mass and go where he pleases, which again jeopardizes other children. It's amazing that no action is taken to restrict the freedom of a man who has been convicted of pedophilia.” The letter signed by Bishop Eichhorn requested explicitly that Grassi be transferred from San Justo to Hurlingham, to return to the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Morón and recover his authority as priest.
"I am writing to ask you to consider, within the realm of possibility, the feasibility of letting the priest Julio César Grassi fulfill his house arrest elsewhere," says the letter sent March 9, 2012, the day after which the Court of Morón decided to modify the situation of the priest, who until that time had restricted freedom that prevented him, among other things, to enter the headquarters of Happy Children Foundation, have contact with children residing there, and leave the country.
Bishop Eichhorn said that because Grassi is member of the clergy of Moron, he’d “like to request, if feasible, his transfer to Gorriti 3545, which corresponds to a place of residence in the Diocese of Morón.” The main entrance to the Happy Children Foundation, the scene of the abuses for which Grassi was sentenced, and where he abused the boy known as Gabriel, is on the same street at Gorriti 3400, in front of La Blanquita, since the land occupies several blocks without cross-street divisions. La Blanquita is a comfortable place, with a swimming pool and a large park.
The letter can now be added to the report that the Episcopal Conference commissioned, years prior, to the expert in criminal law, Marcelo Sancinetti, who, in two thick volumes, ruled in favor of Father Grassi, declaring his supposed innocence. The report was commissioned during the administration of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio. One tome was called "Facts Relating to HOJ" and the other "Facts Relating to OA." The initials refer to two of the victims of the priest.