An Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis is on trial at the Vatican on accusations he sexually abused seminarians.
Francis revealed the development in an interview with Mexico's Televisa on Tuesday.
He said he received the results of a preliminary investigation into Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta two weeks ago and ordered the case be handed over for trial by a Church tribunal.
Zanchetta resigned suddenly as bishop of Orán, Argentina in 2017 and within a few months was named to a senior Vatican administration position.
The Associated Press and the Tribune of Salta reported that the Vatican was aware of inappropriate sexual behaviour by Zanchetta two years before he resigned.
The Vatican insisted Zanchetta was facing governance problems at the time, and that the first accusation of abuse came in late 2018.