(LifeSiteNews) — An Argentinian bishop convicted of sex offenses hopes to be spared jail.
Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, a personal friend of Pope Francis, has asked for a mitigation to the four and a half year prison sentence he was given in March for sexually abusing two seminarians in Argentina. Zanchetta requested through his lawyer that his sentence be served under house arrest in a local monastery.
The bishop cited health problems in support of his petition.
Zanchetta was bishop of the Diocese of Orán in Argentina from 2013 to 2017. He resigned in 2017 for alleged “health reasons”, only to be promoted by Pope Francis to a Vatican post as assessor at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See (APSA). The post was specially created at that time for Zanchetta.
Prior to Zanchetta’s resignation from Orán, however, allegations of sexual abuse had surfaced in 2015 from a priest who was the bishop’s secretary. The secretary reported to ecclesiastical authorities that sexually explicit images, including nude selfies, had been sent to and from Zanchetta’s cell phone. Later allegations included the sexual abuse of seminarians.
Bishop Robert McElroy (right) is to be made a cardinal in August, despite his inaction on allegations against notorious ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
We all have a responsibility to speak up when serious wrongs are being brought to our attention, but McElroy didn't.
SIGN this petition to demand Pope Francis not reward a bishop who failed to report allegations against McCarrick
The Bishop of San Diego was told about serious sexual wrongdoing by McCarrick in 2016 when psychotherapist Richard Sipe, who had interviewed numerous victims of McCarrick, sent him a detailed letter, but McElroy sat on that information and is now being made a cardinal.
Appointing him to the College of Cardinals is not only an insult to those who suffered clerical sex-abuse, but also to those who are intent on ridding the Church of such evil.
This decision to make McElroy a cardinal must be reversed, and the only way to make that happen is with pressure from the laity.
SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the appointment of Bishop McElroy to the College of Cardinals
Sipe told McElory that numerous seminarians and priests reported sexual advances and activity by McCarrick in a letter that also detailed extensive abuse by other clerics.
"I have interviewed twelve seminarians and priests who attest to propositions, harassment, or sex with McCarrick," the psychotherapist told McElroy in the 2016 letter, adding: "None so far has found the ability to speak openly at the risk of reputation and retaliation."
McElroy, who claims there was no corroborating evidence, could have brought the allegations to the pope, or even to the Papal Nuncio, but instead ended the correspondence with Sipe, himself a clerical sex-abuse victim.
It would take another year for the truth about McCarrick to slowly emerge in public.
SIGN the petition to stop Bishop McElroy being elevated to the College of Cardinals
Turning a blind eye to serious allegations of sexual wrongdoing is reprehensible in any context, but particularly when a bishop, a shepherd of souls, does so.
He also supports giving Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians, contrary to the Church's teaching, while he has concelebrated LGBT Masses as bishop and claimed Fr. James Martin's attempt to normalize the LGBT ideology is "fully consonant with Catholic teaching".
The sad truth is that McElroy is not fit to continue as a bishop, let alone become a cardinal.
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition to stop the rot that continues to tarnish Christ's Church.
We must do what we can to clean up this mess now.
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Photo: Theodore McCarrick and Bishop Robert McElroy (Lisa Bourne/LifeSiteNews & Diocese of San Diego/YouTube)
When the accusations against Zanchetta became public, the Vatican insisted that it was unaware of them prior to his appointment to APSA. The sworn testimony of several priests, however, indicates the Vatican certainly knew of the allegations, and chose to ignore or dismiss them.
Zanchetta was sentenced in March 2022 by a civil court to four and a half years in prison for the sexual abuse of two seminarians. The Vatican has conducted its own investigation but has yet to issue any judgment.