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Bishop Under Investigation For Naked Selfies Goes On Spiritual Retreat With Pope Francis

Bishop Zanchetta joins the Pope and senior Vatican officials on the retreat despite being under investigation for sexual and financial wrongdoing

The Catholic Herald has learned that a bishop currently under investigation for sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement, including claims he had naked selfies and gay pornography on his phone, is on retreat with Pope Francis and other senior members of the Roman Curia.

The bishop is Gustavo Zanchetta, emeritus of Orán, Argentina, and currently Assessor to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA). The bishop confirmed by phone to the Herald that he was on retreat.

The week-long Lenten retreat at the Casa del Divin Maestro began Sunday afternoon.

A January 4 statement from the Press Office of the Holy See said that Bishop Zanchetta would “abstain himself from work” during the investigation. “If the elements to proceed are confirmed,” the January 4 statement said, “the case will be referred to the special commission for the bishops.”

The Press Office of the Holy See had not responded by press time to requests from The Catholic Herald for information regarding Bishop Zanchetta’s current status.

Pope Francis allowed Zanchetta to resign from Óran in August 2017. The Press Office of the Holy See gave no reason for Zanchetta’s resignation, but the bishop cited ill health. In December of 2017, Pope Francis appointed Zanchetta to a position in the APSA specially created for him.

Reports based on interviews and documentation show Pope Francis had seen evidence of Bishop Zanchetta’s ambiguous behaviour — including photographic evidence and complaints he sexually harassed seminarians — as early as 2015.

Read more at the Catholic Herald