Pope Francis’ Argentinean Protegé Accused of Sex Abuse

Daily Beastly treatment of The Man from Argentina, how it’s done in cynical/realistic/in-your-face,front-page style, in which the story’s the thing. Not a or any story but the story:


Pope Francis’ Argentinean Protegé Accused of Sex Abuse

An Argentine in a suspiciously cushy job in the Vatican’s treasury is now credibly accused of abusing seminarians in Argentina—and everyone wants to know what the pope knew when.

What are the beastly to say, in face of such a story?

ROME—When 53-year-old Gustavo Óscar Zanchetta abruptly left his post as bishop of Orán in Argentina in July 2017, he cited “health reasons” and a need for “treatment.” Many were concerned that he might have a terminal disease, according to local press reports at the time. After all, the popular bishop didn’t even seem well enough to hold a farewell mass.

Zanchetta tendered his resignation to Pope Francis, who often sits on such matters for months. Instead, the pope granted it within three days, according to the Associated Press, which broke the story, and soon Zanchetta was on his way to Rome, first spending time at an undisclosed location in Spain.

Now safely in Vatican City where he enjoys diplomatic immunity, the bishop stands credibly accused of sexually harassing young seminarians in the home country he shares with Francis.

Look. How ridiculous can a pontiff get? Having done his best to be a Beastly kind of pope, he’s become a Beastly kind of butt. Moral high ground, from which he can take a lead role in making this a better world? Not quite.

Not long after resigning, Zanchetta showed up on Pope Francis’ doorstep in Rome, apparently miraculously cured. Francis, who had made his fellow countryman a bishop right after becoming pope in 2013, naturally helped him out. Francis, back when he was Cardinal Jose Bergoglio and archbishop of Argentina, apparently knew Zanchetta well. He gave the younger man a high-ranking position in the Argentinean Bishops Conference when he was president of the organization. It made sense that he would find a place for a fellow Argentine in the Curia in Rome.

You just don’t get that sort of coverage from the boldest of politesse-equipped church-oriented media, whose market would be caught dramatically unaware. Can’t be done, that is, by some with more skin in the game than pushing the story. Which story this beast seems to have discovered.

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