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Pope Francis Reportedly Knew that Bishop He Promoted Had Been Accused of Harassment

  • Amanda Casanova

    Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and…

  • Updated Jan 21, 2019

Pope Francis reportedly knew that the Argentine bishop he promoted had been accused of harassment.

According to the Rev. Juan Jose Manzano, the former general vicar of the Argentine bishop, Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, the pope had been told about Zanchetta’ behavior first in 2015 and then again in 2017.

Manzano said the pope did speak twice with Zanchetta about the misconduct.

Earlier this month, the Vatican announced that it was pulling Zanchetta from his post and beginning an investigation for sexual abuse prior to 2017.

Vatican press speaker Alessandro Gissoti said the bishop had not been accused of sexual abuse since taking his post as advisor to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, which oversees the various real estate and other properties of the papacy.

In 2015, Manzano and three other diocesan officials reported that Zanchetta, then his superior, was taking nude selfies. In 2017, these officials complained to the Vatican again, accusing Zanchetta of “authoritarian rule and inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment of adult seminarians.”

Zanchetta resigned from his post as bishop in 2017, but later he was named an advisor in the Vatican.

Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Giulio Origlia/Stringer