Río Negro Bishop Defended Priest; Said “He’s Completely Innocent”
Diario La Prensa
September 19, 2013
[Translated into English by BishopAccountability.org. Click below to see original article in Spanish.]
Monsignor Marcelo Cuenca Revuelta, head of the Diocese of Alto Valle de Río Negro, maintained that “Grassi is completely innocent. They have tried to hang him [out to dry] with an accusation that specifically has to do with other causes that are unrelated to this terrible situation, which, I recognize, could have been experienced by several who were abused by priests as children.”
The Bishop of Alto Valle del Río Negro, Monsignor Marcelo Cuenca Revuelta, claimed that Father Julio César Grassi, sentenced to 15 years in prison for child abuse, was “completely innocent” and attributed the accusations against him to a deliberate attack [inferred meaning of “cosa armada”].
“Grassi is completely innocent. They’ve tried to hang him [out to dry] with an accusation that specifically has to do with other causes that are unrelated to this terrible situation, which, I recognize, [could have been the experience of several who were abused by priests as children]” he said in declarations to Versión de General Roca radio.
The prelate said “it’s been a deliberate attack -- precisely because of the economic power that Grassi didn’t tolerate, they’ve tried to take revenge on him by excluding him from the services he developed.”
The prelate responded in these terms to a listener’s question, posed to him in light of yesterday’s ruling by the Supreme Court of Justice of Buenos Aires, which dismissed the extraordinary recourse filed by Grassi’s defense, and confirmed the priest’s 15-year prison sentence for crimes of aggravated sexual abuse and corruption of minors.
Cuenca Revuelta maintained that “this is a deliberate attack”by which the intent is “not only to soil Grassi, but also tarnish the innumerable ways that the Church gives assistance, aid, and means for child survival.”
Since April 2010, the Bishop of Río Negro has governed the pastoral staff of the Diocese of Alto Valle.