The Vatican has repeatedly denied having prior knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against Zanchetta before his December 2017 appointment to a Vatican office.
After Zanchetta was charged with assaulting two seminarians in June 2019, Orán’s Economic Crime Unit raided offices in the chancery in November 2019. The raid was carried out to investigate Zanchetta’s alleged fraud against the state, according to the newspaper El Oranense.
In addition to accusations of mismanaging Church funds donated by the faithful in the diocese, public records show that Zanchetta received more than 1 million Argentine pesos (around $10,500) from Salta Province to restore a rectory and for lectures at the seminary, which reportedly never occurred.
Spanish priest Fr. Javier Belda Iniesta, who was seen alongside Zanchetta during his trial in Argentina, confirmed in November 2019 that the bishop was still living in Casa Santa Marta, where he had resided for two years, in Vatican City.
According to the Spanish newspaper La Verdad, Belda Iniesta was dismissed from his position as dean of the faculty of humanities and religious sciences at the Catholic University of St. Anthony of Murcia (UCAM) in May after it was discovered that he was unable to provide proof of two degrees listed on his curriculum vitae.
According to media reports, Zanchetta was granted Vatican citizenship in 2018.
Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.