Argentine bishop accused of abuse

Argentine bishop accused of abuse

Symbolic image abuse © Harald Oppitz (KNA)

Argentine curia bishop Zanchetta faces charges in his home country. Zanchetta had resigned as bishop of Oran in 2017 and had been appointed to the Vatican. He is currently on leave of absence.

Prosecutors in Argentina have filed sexual abuse charges against former Bishop of Oran Gustavo Zanchetta, 55, after months of investigation.

As the newspaper "El Tribuno" reported on Friday (local time), the clergyman is not allowed to leave his home country until further notice. In addition, psychological evaluations had been ordered. The accused had refused to comment on the allegations at a hearing in Salta province, they said.

Zanchetta had been appointed bishop of Oran in one of Pope Francis' first personnel decisions in July 2013. After he relinquished the diocesan leadership in August 2017, the pope appointed him in December of the same year to the specially created post of assessor in the administration of goods, the treasury of the Holy See.

Zanchetta is currently on leave because of the abuse allegations.

Pope considers ecclesiastical process necessary

At the end of May, Francis said in an interview with a Mexican broadcaster Televisa that he also considered a criminal trial under canon law against the curia bishop to be warranted. Corresponding investigations have already been completed, he said. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will be responsible for the process.

The pope acknowledged in the interview that there had been complaints against Zanchetta years ago for sexual misconduct. At the time, he said, he "immediately" summoned him to the Vatican to talk about it. Zanchetta had defended himself skillfully. Therefore, he initially decided – "in dubio pro reo" (in doubt for the accused), said the head of the church.

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Christina Cherry
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