Calls made for arrest of bishop accused of abuse
A criminal prosecutor in Argentina has requested the arrest of Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who is accused of sexually abusing two seminarians. Bishop Zanchetta is suspended from a position at the Vatican’s central bank, where he was appointed an ‘assessor’ by Pope Francis in 2017.
He is accused of sexually abusing two seminarians, and was criminally charged in June. He could face three to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.
The bishop lives in the Vatican City State, at the Domus Santa Marta, the same hotel at which Pope Francis resides.
A prosecutor of sexual crimes in Orán, María Soledad Filtrín Cuezzo, has requested international assistance in Bishop Zanchetta’s arrest, because, according to El Tribuno newspaper, the bishop has not responded to repeated telephone calls or emails to the contact information provided by his defense counsel.
Cuezzo had opposed allowing him to leave the country, according to El Tribuno, but the bishop was permitted to leave after he presented a document showing that he is employed within Vatican City. She has also said that she had frequently found it necessary to request assistance from the apostolic nuncio in Argentina in order to ensure that he appeared in court during proceedings in his case.
Pope prays for smuggled Vietnamese victims
In a message to young Catholics in Vietnam, Pope Francis has offered prayers for a group of Vietnamese migrants who died while being smuggled into Great Britain in late October.
“Finally, together with you, I entrust to the Lord, the merciful father, the 39 Vietnamese migrants who died in England last month. It was heartbreaking; let us all pray for them,” the Pope said in a video message released by the Vatican.
The Pope’s prayer came nearly a month after 39 men and eight women – all Vietnamese nationals – were found dead on October 23 in a refrigerated freight truck container at an industrial park in Essex, England.
According to Spanish Catholic radio station COPE, the victims’ ages ranged from 15 to 44. Essex police published the names of all 39 victims on November 8, and UK and Vietnamese government authorities are working to coordinate the repatriation of their bodies.
The discovery shed a spotlight on human trafficking in Europe and the life-threatening conditions migrants often face. Many choose to take on the treacherous journey in search of better pay in Western countries to send money to their families.
Vatican voices support for two-state solution
The Holy See has reaffirmed its support of a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, after recent shifts in US policy threatened to derail hopes of an agreement.
“In the context of recent decisions that risk undermining further the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and the already fragile regional stability, the Holy See reiterates its position of a two-state solution for two peoples, as the only way to reach a complete solution to this age-old conflict,” the Vatican press office stated last week.
The Holy See’s statement was issued two days after the Trump administration announced a reversal of U. opposition to Israeli settlements in the West Bank; the administration now said they did not violate international law.
The settlements are viewed as a significant obstacle to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and to hopes for a two-state solution.