One Rule For Them...

While George Cardinal Pell is confined to a prison cell, convicted by charges in a case against him which was not and could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt, the extraordinary case of Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta just gets more incredible.

Zanchetta was a close associate of Pope Francis before he was elected Pope in 2013: in fact he was executive undersecretary of the Argentine episcopal conference which, at the time, was headed by none other than Jorge Bergoglio (Pope Francis) himself.

Zanchetta was so close to the Pope that he was one of the very first Argentines whom Francis promoted to bishop, on his own initiative and bypassing all canonical procedure, on July 23, 2013.

Now under investigation for allegations of abuse, Zanchetta has once again been allowed by a judge to travel to Rome, Crux reports, despite the fact that the Vatican City State and Argentina have no extradition agreement. What is the justification for this? The Vatican has apparently told a little fib - writing to the court to inform the judge that Zanchetta must return to Rome “to continue with his daily work”. In fact, Zanchetta has been suspended from his position since February, when he was formally charged.

The Vatican has not replied to a request from Crux to confirm whether Zanchetta has returned to the Vatican, where he also faces a trial by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Prosecutor Maria Soledad Filtrín has asserted that Zanchetta acted “with malicious intent” to have sexual involvement with the victims, “initiating the deployment of acts and maneuvers of seduction, manipulation and preeminence.”

The fact that he was the victims’ superior, she said, inspired “reverential fear through inappropriate touching with a clear sexual significance, breaking the will of [the men] fearful of losing their status as seminarians and ending their vocation to religious service.” The charges carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Unsurprisingly, he has also been accused of mismanaging Church funds, some of which were donations from the faithful, and others came from the government.

As a former seminarian from Oran told Crux earlier this month, Zanchetta would tell seminarians that the province’s governor, Juan Manuel Urtubey, was the “father of providence.”

According to official public decrees, the state’s government gave the Diocese of Oran around $90,000 in 2015. Some of it went for building of the St. John XXIII seminary and some for the repairs of a parish house. Money was also given for lectures in the seminary, which audits discovered never happened.

I reported on the Zanchetta case in March, you can read the details of allegations here. Interestingly, Zanchetta was recently discussed in the Spectator's Religion Podcast where he was described as a potential personal time bomb for Pope Francis by Damian Thompson and Ed Condon. You can listen to the conversation for yourself here:

Intrepid reporter George Neumayr is in Argentina at present and a report in OnePeterFive that offers some really shocking background on the Pope gleaned by Neumayr.

Specifically, Neumayr set out to find our why the first pope from Latin America has not returned to his home country since his election to the papacy.

Steve Skojec writes:
"Based on the reaction of some of the people Neumayr is speaking to, it’s starting to make more sense. Neumayr paints a picture of a man willing to cover up for clerical abusers because it gives him “leverage”:
“Bergoglio would call up those investigating, say, a pederast priest and tell them to back off,” a Buenos Aires Church insider told me. “He then would inform the offending priest of his intervention and then use that to extract total obedience from him.” Many such priests were in Bergoglio’s debt.
Some have wondered why as pope Bergoglio has surrounded himself with so many crooks, creeps, and degenerates. But that is no mystery to Argentine Catholics. “He did the same as archbishop,” says one. “He uses their secrets to control them.”
He has protected too many offending clerics — whether abusers or merely known for some involvement in perversity — for this to be a mere rumor. The list is long, and I’ve written on it before, so I won’t name them all here. Some have become familiar, though: Barros; Inzoli; Danneels; Ricca; Pineda; Peña Parra; and yes, McCarrick all come to mind. This “parade of embarrassing friendships” (as Vaticanista Marco Tosatti called it) tells us a great deal about the sort of man we’re dealing with.

This is a very dark time for the Church it seems to me, and I feel sad and leaderless. We must look to Christ and plead for Him to help us.


  1. One of the saddest sentences in this article is that seminarians who were touched sexually were "fearful of losing their status as seminarians".
    What can be said about that.
    If my son was discerning a vocation (and it was possible at one time), we would have preferred he defend himself in a manly way at the very first touch that crossed the line.
    We would have preferred, on the eve of ordination, that our son remain chaste and obey God, than capitulate to the vile perversions of any man.
    Some men go on to ordination, but some men would serve God by not only refusing to be corrupted by any man in a sin particularly identified as an abomination in Scripture, but also by publicly calling attention to what had happened to him and possibly having to offer up years of sacrifice.
    That too, would serve God, and the flock.
    Allowing Father Pervert to molest you so you can advance is no way for seminarians to conduct themselves. Manly pride and righteous indignation should preclude such tolerance of disgusting behavior.
    Under no circumstances would we ever want our son to allow himself to be corrupted in such a manner. Never. Not for any reason.


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