Canon lawyer for jailed Argentine bishop dismissed from university post
August 11, 2022
CWN Editor's Note: The canon lawyer who represented Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta—and was then commissioned by the Vatican to investigate the bishop’s accusers— was dismissed from his university post in 2021 because of falsified academic credentials.
The Universidad Católica de Murcia in Spain has removed Father Javier Belda Iniesta from his position as dean of the faculty, and removed his profile from the university’s web site. The action was apparently taken because he could not produce evidence that he had won academic degrees that were included on his resume.
Father Belda had represented Bishop Zanchetta during his canonical trial in Rome, the results of which have not been made public. Bishop Zanchetta is now serving a prison term in Argentina, having been convicted on abuse charges.
Earlier this year Belda had been in Argentina, seeking further information about the charges against Bishop Zanchetta. That investigation raised eyebrows because Pope Francis had taken a special interest in the Zanchetta case, bringing the accused bishop to Rome and creating a new position for him at the Vatican after he resigned from his diocesan post in Argentina.
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