Photo of Director ad interim of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti

Alessandro Gisotti Issues Statement Clarifying Case of Argentine Bishop

During Investigation, Bishop Zanchetta Will Abstain from Work at the Vatican

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Today, Jan. 4, 2019, Director ad interim of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, issued the following statement to journalists, in response to some press inquiries. Here is a Zenit working translation of the Italian text:
response to the questions of some journalists, the “interim” Director of the Holy See Press Office,  Alessandro Gisotti, said:
“Bishop [Gustavo Óscar]  Zanchetta was not removed from the Diocese of Oran, [Argentina]. It was he to step down.
The reason for his resignation is linked to his difficulties in managing diocesan clergy and very tense relations with the priests of the diocese. At the time of his resignation, there were accusations against him of authoritarianism, but there were no accusations of sexual abuse against him. So the problem that emerged was linked to the inability to govern the clergy.
After his resignation he spent a period of time in Spain.
After his time in Spain, in consideration of his administrative managerial capacity, he was appointed Assessor of APSA (an assignment that, in any case, does not require responsibility for the government of the Dicastery).
No accusation of sexual abuse emerged at the time of his appointment as Assessor. The accusations of sexual abuse go back, in fact, to this fall. On the basis of these accusations and of the news that has appeared recently in the media, the Bishop of Oran has already collected some testimonies, which must now go to the Congregation for Bishops.
Should the elements be confirmed to proceed, the case will be remitted to the Special Commission for Bishops.
During the preliminary investigation, Bishop Zanchetta will abstain from work.”
[Working translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': or

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