Argentinian Bishop Jailed For Abusing Seminarians
An Argentinian Bishop who has been a key ally of Pope Francis was sentenced today to 4 ½ years in prison for sexually abusing two former seminarians. We are grateful for this sentence and hope that it encourages other survivors, both in Argentina and throughout Latin America, to come forward and start their own healing journeys.
This news is a blow to Pope Francis who had steadfastly defended Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta and advocated for his innocence. The Pope even went so far as to allow Zanchetta to keep working in the Vatican despite being “suspended” from ministry. To us, this is another example of how hierarchs will choose to protect each other and their institution first and foremost and will do so at the expense of the vulnerable.
Fortunately, the secular justice system has once again repudiated the good-ole-boy system in the church and decided that the testimony of the former seminarians were more important than the flowery words of a close friend and colleague. We are grateful that justice has prevailed in this case and hope that this spurs more survivors forward and will encourage other jurisdictions around the world to look more deeply at how the Roman Catholic Church operates within their borders.
The fact is that children and the vulnerable are best protected when abusers are jailed and when enablers are held accountable. We hope that the reckoning in the Argentine church continues to root out bad actors and ensure that sexual abuse is prevented and punished.
CONTACT: Michael McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager ([email protected], 267) 261-0578 ), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.SNAPnetwork.org)