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Argentine Bishop Appointed By Pope Francis, Investigated for Sex Abuse

Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta, who bishop of Orán in Argentina, leaves post

 on 5th January 2019 @ 6.00pm
gustavo  scar zanchetta  who bishop of orán in argentina  leaves post © press
Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta, who bishop of Orán in Argentina, leaves post

Pope Francis's Protegé Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta suddenly left his post as bishop of Orán in Argentina in July 2017 because of “health reasons” before citing the need for “treatment, but it looks like he had an ulterior motive.

Francis, when presented with his resignation, mysteriously granted it within three days when the standard protocol is usually months.

But now Zanchetta is safely back behind the walls of the Vatican City, enjoying diplomatic immunity, and he now stands accused of harassing young seminarians in the home country he shares with Francis.

Holy See press officer, Alessandro Gisotti, said: “at the time of his resignation there had been against [Bishop Zanchetta] accusations of authoritarianism, but there had been against him no accusation of sexual abuse … the accusations of sexual abuse date to this autumn."

Zanchetta was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Quilmes in 1991 and remained until his 2013 appointment by Pope Francis as Bishop of Orán.

gustavo  scar zanchetta  suddenly left his post as bishop of orán in argentina in july 2017 © press
Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta, suddenly left his post as bishop of Orán in Argentina in July 2017

According to the catholicnewsagency: Gisotti noted that the bishop was not removed from Orán, but that he chose to resign, saying the decision was “linked to his difficulty in managing relations with the diocesan clergy and in very tense relations with the priests of the diocese,” and that he had “an incapacity to govern the clergy.”

In declaring his resignation, Bishop Zanchetta had cited “a problem of health.”

Between his resignation and his appointment to APSA almost four months later, Bishop Zanchetta spent some time in Spain, Gisotti reported.

“After the period in Spain, in consideration of his capacity for administrative management, he was nominated as assessor of APSA.”

APSA manages the Holy See's assets and real estate holdings.

Gisotti also noted that when the bishop was appointed to APSA, the accusations of sexual abuse had not yet come to light.

“By these accusations and of the news which recently emerged in the media, the Bishop of Orán has already collected some testimonies, which have yet to arrive at the Congregation for Bishops. If the elements needed to proceed are confirmed, the case will be referred to the special commission for bishops.”

francis addressed the ongoing child sex abuse saying it undermined its credibility © press
Francis addressed the ongoing child sex abuse saying it undermined its credibility.

The allegations of abuse against the bishop have been levied by priests and seminarians.

While the investigation is ongoing, Gisotti stated, Bishop Zanchetta will not be working in his position as assessor.

According to The Daily Beast: Not long after resigning, Zanchetta showed up on Pope Francis’ doorstep in Rome, supposedly miraculously cured.

Francis, who had made his fellow countryman a bishop right after becoming pope in 2013, naturally helped him out.

Francis, back when he was Cardinal Jose Bergoglio and archbishop of Argentina, apparently knew Zanchetta well.

He gave the younger man a high-ranking position in the Argentinean Bishops Conference when he was president of the organization.

It made sense that he would find a place for a fellow Argentine in the Curia in Rome.

By December, Francis had created a position for Zanchetta in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, known as APSA, according to the Vatican’s press statements from the time.

The office oversees more than 5,000 lavish homes under the Vatican’s Secretariat of the Economy, run by George Pell, now on a leave of absence to fight historical sex-abuse charges in his home country of Australia.

Yesterday, Francis addressed the ongoing child sex abuse scandal plaguing the Catholic church saying it has undermined its credibility.

The historic cover-up and protection of pedophile priests have caused a massive distrust in the church over the last ten years.

[RELATED] Pope Francis Warns Critics Must Stay Away from Church

tags: Pope | The Vatican
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