ORAN, Argentina (LifeSiteNews) — An Argentinian bishop was sentenced to four and half years in prison after having been found guilty of sexually abusing two seminarians, bringing discredit to Pope Francis who had defended the bishop over past allegations made against him.
The conviction follows a February trial during which Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, bishop emeritus of Orán, in the province of Salta, northern Argentina, pleaded not guilty to all charges of alleged sexual abuse, and claimed he was victim of revenge from priests in Orán over past differences.
Nonetheless, on February 21, the court found him guilty of “aggravated continued simple sexual abuse committed by a recognized minister of religion.”
Zanchetta was accused of abusing two seminarians, who were identified by the acronyms “G.G.F.L and C.M.”
Please read the latest from LifeSiteNews about the text of the Act of Consecration which was just released by the Vatican: 'BREAKING: Text of Pope Francis’ consecration of ‘humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine’ released'
PETITION UPDATE (3/23/22):
The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on the feast of the Annunciation, March 25.
On March 15, the Holy See Press Office wrote:
On Friday 25 March, during the Celebration of Penance at which he will preside at 17.00 in Saint Peter’s Basilica, Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The same act, on the same day, will be carried out in Fatima by His Eminence Cardinal Krajewski, Apostolic Almoner, as envoy of the Holy Father.
This unexpected and monumental announcement comes after the Catholic bishops of Ukraine issued an urgent and heartfelt plea to the Holy Father on Ash Wednesday, asking that he make the consecration as Our Lady of Fatima had requested. The bishops wrote:
Responding to this prayer, we humbly ask Your Holiness to publicly perform the act of consecration to the Sacred Immaculate Heart of Mary of Ukraine and Russia, as requested by the Blessed Virgin in Fatima.
May the Mother of God, Queen of Peace, accept our prayer: Regina pacis, ora pro nobis! In July 1917, Our Lady of Fatima gave the three visionaries this message, asking for the explicit consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart:
To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.
Our Lady of Fatima then repeated the request in 1929, when she appeared to Sr. Lucia saying:
"The moment has come in which God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of prayer and worldwide reparation."
While Pope John Paul II made an “entrustment-consecration” of the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984, he deliberately avoided making the explicit mention of Russia as Our Lady had requested.
Following the announcement that Pope Francis will consecrate Russia and Ukraine, LifeSiteNews is now asking the Pope to ensure that the consecration is performed precisely as Our Lady of Fatima requested. In order to fulfil the request Our Lady made, the Pope must "order" the "bishops of the world" to make the consecration of Russia "in union with him and at the same time."
Along with this, the day of consecration must be a "day of prayer and worldwide reparation."
The importance of the specifications made by Our Lady was noted by Sr. Lucia. Having seen a copy of Pope John Paul II’s consecration text prior to the 1984 “entrustment-consecration,” she said “That consecration cannot have a decisive character.”
Then in 1985, following Pope John Paul II’s "entrustment-consecration," Sr. Lucia observed that:
"There was no participation of all the bishops, and there was no mention of Russia." She was then asked, "So the consecration was not done as requested by Our Lady?" to which she replied: "No. Many bishops attached no importance to this act."
With Pope Francis’ proposed consecration only days away, LifeSiteNews is urging him to fulfil the request of Fatima, to "order" the bishops to join him in making the consecration and to make the day one of “prayer and worldwide reparation.”
Bishop Athanasius Schneider has also composed a prayer to be said for the consecration of Russia, in the manner Our Lady asked for:
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, you are the holy Mother of God and our tender Mother. Look upon the distress in which the Church and the whole of humanity are living because of the spread of materialism and the persecution of the Church. In Fatima, you warned against these errors, as you spoke about the errors of Russia. You are the Mediatrix of all graces. Implore your Divine Son to grant this special grace for the Pope: that he might consecrate Russia to your Immaculate Heart, so that Russia will be converted, a period of peace will be granted to the whole world, and your Immaculate Heart will triumph, through an authentic renewal of the Church in the splendor of the purity of the Catholic faith, of the sacredness of Divine worship and of the holiness of Christian life. O Queen of the Holy Rosary and our dear Mother, turn your merciful eyes to us and graciously hear this our trusting prayer.
+Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
PETITION UPDATE (3/2/22) -
The Ukrainian Catholic bishops have specifically asked Pope Francis to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, according to the request of Our Lady of Fatima.
Here is a link to their Ash Wednesday letter: http://kmc.media/2022/03/02/yepyskopy-ukrayiny-prosyat-papu-prysvyatyty-ukrayinu-ta-rosiyu-sercyu-mariyi.html
Please WATCH the new John-Henry Westen show about this momentous event: https://www.lifesitenews.com/episodes/ukraines-catholic-bishops-ask-pope-francis-to-consecrate-russia-to-the-immaculate-heart-of-mary
Then, please read LifeSiteNews latest story on this amazing development: 'Ukraine’s Catholic bishops ask Pope Francis to consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary'
The great drama now is the Russian invasion of Ukraine. How far will it go, how will the West and especially the U.S. respond, and will China now be tempted to attack Taiwan? These questions are on everyone’s mind, including fear that it might lead to a far greater war.
It is hard to know exactly what to say other than Russia’s invasion must be condemned. And, that the world must now pray for peace.
Keeping those things in mind, LifeSite now proposes to resurrect this petition - now, more urgent than before - asking Pope Francis to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
Please SIGN and SHARE this important petition to Pope Francis, imploring him to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the same way that Our Lady of Fatima asked in 1917.
We humbly ask Pope Francis to use the following wording:
“In accordance with Our Lady’s request at Fatima, I, Pope Francis, consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with all the bishops of the world.”
“I also consecrate Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, in union with all the bishops of the world.”
The bishops’ wording should be:
“In accordance with Our Lady’s request at Fatima, I, _______________, consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, at the same time as, and in union with, Pope Francis.”
Speaking in Rome only 5 years ago, Cardinal Raymond Burke called on the Catholic faithful to “work for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” in fidelity to the request by Our Lady of Fatima.
The Cardinal explained:
"Certainly, Pope Saint John Paul II consecrated the world, including Russia, to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on March 25, 1984. But, today, once again, we hear the call of Our Lady of Fatima to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart, in accord with her explicit instruction."
This call, whether in 1917, or 1984, or in 2017, is EVEN MORE relevant today!
Pope Saint John Paul II himself wanted to name Russia explicitly in his Consecration, but in the end yielded to pressure not to from advisors. Cardinal Josef Cordes, former president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, confirmed this fact on May 13, 2017, based on his own conversation with the sainted pope.
However, after several years of confusion, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published "The Message of Fatima," on June 26, 2000, in which we learn that Sr. Lucia confirmed that the Pope's consecration was, in fact, done according to Our Lady's wishes (emphasis added):
Sister Lucia personally confirmed that this solemn and universal act of consecration corresponded to what Our Lady wished ("Sim, està feita, tal como Nossa Senhora a pediu, desde o dia 25 de Março de 1984": "Yes it has been done just as Our Lady asked, on 25 March 1984": Letter of 8 November 1989). Hence any further discussion or request is without basis.
But, Cardinal Burke explained why a consecration including Russia is so important: "[It] is at once a recognition of the importance which Russia continues to have in God’s plan for peace and a sign of profound love for our brothers and sisters in Russia."
For those who may object to calling for the reconsecration of Russia, on the basis that it has already been done, Cardinal Burke recalled the words of Pope St. John Paul II who, in 1982, during his consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart noted: “Mary’s appeal is not for just once. Her appeal must be taken up by generation after generation, in accordance with the ever new ‘signs of the times’. It must be unceasingly returned to. It must ever be taken up anew.”
Burke, former prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, gave his address in the month of the centenary of Our Lady of Fatima’s first apparition to the three shepherd children.
Thank you for SIGNING and SHARING this urgent petition to Pope Francis, urging him to reconsecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and imploring God to quell the hostilities.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Russia’s invasion is an opportunity to recall the message of Our Lady of Fatima' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russias-invasion-is-an-opportunity-to-recall-the-message-of-our-lady-of-fatima
'Russia attacks Ukraine: explosions in multiple cities as troops move across borders' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/russia-launches-attack-on-ukraine-explosions-in-multiple-cities-as-troops-move-across-the-border/
According to Catholic news website CNA, the two victims said Zanchetta made “amorous proposals” to them and requested “massages” from them.
“We cannot determine the extent of the damage suffered by the victims, but we do have the obligation to give them an answer from the Justice and give an answer to society,” said prosecutor Pablo Rivero on Thursday.
On Friday morning, the court ordered Zanchetta’s immediate conviction and detention.
The first of such allegations were made in 2015, after pornographic pictures were found on Zanchetta’s cellphone.
He was immediately summoned to Rome to explain himself, but told Pope Francis that his phone had been hacked. At the time, Francis accepted his version of the events and said the bishop defended himself well.
“The defense is that he had his phone hacked, and he made a good defense,” Pope Francis said in a May 2019 interview.
After hearing the bishop’s defense, the pope sent him back to Argentina without taking further actions.
In 2017, Francis even appointed Zanchetta Assessor of the Administration of the Patrimomy of the Apostolic See (APSA), after Zanchetta resigned as bishop of Orán, citing “health reasons.”
This, in spite of the fact that in 2016, five priests – including three of Zanchetta’s vicar generals – and two monsignors formally accused the bishop of financial mismanagement, authoritarianism, and sexual misconduct.
In his May 2019 interview, Francis still defended Zanchetta and watered down the allegations.
“Evidently he had, some say, despotic treatment of others – he was bossy,” said the Pope, adding that Zanchetta had a “not completely clear dealing of finances.”
The pope said Zanchetta was “disorganized” but did not in fact “mishandled” things economically.
“There is no doubt that the clergy did not feel well treated by him,” he added.
In spite of his leniency towards Zanchetta, Pope Francis promised a canonical trial, seeing it as “necessary.”
“They will make a trial, they will issue a sentence and I will promulgate it,” the pope stated.
As of today, though, the Vatican has not yet published any information regarding the canonical process that Zanchetta is undergoing at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Moreover, the Vatican is yet to comment on the verdict and sentence from the Argentinian court.