Sunday 15 December 2019

Bishop accused of sexual abuse 'harboured' in heart of Church


Pope Francis meets Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta
Pope Francis meets Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta

Nick Squires

The Vatican has been accused of harbouring a bishop wanted for alleged sex abuse offences, as Pope Francis railed against the evils of sexual exploitation on a visit to Thailand.

Prosecutors in Argentina have issued an international arrest warrant for Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, accused of sexually abusing young trainee priests. He denies the charges.

Bishop Zanchetta (55) who is close to the Pope, a fellow Argentine, lives in the Vatican.

Argentine prosecutors have said the bishop has failed to respond to repeated emails and phone calls about the allegations. If convicted, the bishop would face up to 10 years in jail, but there is no extradition treaty between Argentina and the Vatican.

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The arrest warrant was issued as Pope Francis spoke in Bangkok on behalf of victims of sex trafficking, prompting accusations of a double standard.

Irish Independent

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