Zanchetta Lawyer Turned Vatican Investigator Was Fired for Resumé Fraud

The priest who served as advocate for convicted sex offender Bishop Gustavo Oscar Zanchetta, and who is now leading a Vatican investigation into the bishop’s accusers, was sacked last year from his position at a Spanish university for reportedly falsifying his resumé.

Fr. Javier Belda Iniesta was dismissed as Dean of the Faculty of Human, Canonical and Religious Sciences at the Catholic University of Murcia, Spain, in May 2021, after he was unable to substantiate several academic qualifications listed on his resumé, raising new questions about his June appointment by Pope Francis to lead an investigation in the Argentine Diocese of Oran.

Pope Francis has faced repeated criticism from Catholics in Argentina over his handling of the situation in the Oran diocese. The pontiff appointed Zanchetta Bishop of Oran in 2013 in one of his first episcopal appointments as pope. The two men are known to be close collaborators, having previously worked together at the Argentine bishops’ conference.

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