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Vatican knew of Argentine bishop misconduct

Photo: Diego Cambiaso / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: Diego Cambiaso / CC BY-SA 2.0(KNOE)
Published: Jan. 20, 2019 at 9:38 AM EST
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ORAN, Argentina (AP) - The Vatican received information in 2015 and 2017 that an Argentine bishop close to Pope Francis had taken naked selfies, exhibited "obscene" behavior and had been accused of misconduct with seminarians, his former vicar general told The Associated Press, undermining Vatican claims that allegations of sexual abuse were only made a few months ago.

Francis accepted Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta's resignation in August 2017, after priests in the remote northern Argentine diocese of Oran complained about his authoritarian rule and a former vicar, seminary rector and another prelate provided reports to the Vatican alleging abuses of power, inappropriate behavior and sexual harassment of adult seminarians, said the former vicar, the Rev. Juan Jose Manzano.

The scandal over Zanchetta, 54, is the latest to implicate Francis.

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