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ARGENTINA | 20-01-2019 20:21

Vatican confirms Argentine ex-Archbishop faces sexual abuse probe

Vatican confirms investigation against former Archbishop of Orán in Salta province, Gustavo Zanchetta.

The former achbishop of Orán in Argentina's northern Salta province, Gustavo Zanchetta, is being investigated for alleged sexual abuse, the Vatican confirmed Saturday.

Since 2017, Zanchetta has been an "adviser" in the Vatican's Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), which manages the Vatican's 5,000 properties.

A preliminary investigation is underway against the priest for "sexual abuse and other inappropriate behaviour", the Vatican confirmed in a statement released Saturday.

It denied knowing about Zanchetta's alleged sexual assault prior to September, 2017, despite claims made by priest Juan José Manzano to the Associated Press that the Vatican knew of the existence of "obscene" sexual photos of Zanchetta and had received complaint letters against the Archbishop for alleged inappropriate sexual conduct involving seminarians.

The alleged incidents occurred after his resignation as Archbishop, Vatican spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti said in Saturday's statement.

"The reason for his resignation [in Otán] was linked to the difficulties associated with managing the diocesan clergy and its tense relationship with priests from the Diocese," the statement read.

At the time, Zanchetta was accused of "authoritarianism" but not of any "sexual abuse," it added. Allegations of sexual abuse publicly surfaced last September. He confirmed that Zanchetta was stood down from his role at APSA while the investigation runs its course.

Then-archbishop Zanchetta resigned from his mission in Otán in 2017 and was replaced by a Franciscan Bishop, Luis Antonio Scozzina.

Zanchetta was born in Rosario, Argentina's third largest city, and  was a priest in Quilmes in Greater Buenos Aires until 2013 when he accepted his promotion to archbishop. 

- TIMES

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