At the second day of the abuse trial, the Argentine bishop had a porn on phone, according to the priest

At the second day of the abuse trial, the Argentine bishop had a porn on phone, according to the pri ...

BUENOS AIRES, Feb 22 - An Argentine bishop demanded massages from young people studying to be priests, stored pornographic photos on his phone, witnesses said on Tuesday the second day of the cleric's trial for sex abuse.

The judiciary in Salta issued a statement resuming the testimony on Tuesday, a portion of an unprecedented trial in Argentina, which is the latest in a series of alleged sex abuse to lug the Roman Catholic church in one of its Latin American strongholds. The trial is being held behind closed doors.

Gustavo Zanchetta, the former bishop of Oran in the northern province of Salta, has been accused of sexually abusing seminarians, as well as abusing power and financial mismanagement.

On Monday, he denied the charges, arguing that he had "a good and beneficial relationship" with all seminarians, and that his accusers seek revenge.

According to the Salta judiciary, one of the three priests who filed the first complaints against Zanchetta, Gabriel Acevedo, said on Tuesday that a local church official saw photographs on the bishop's mobile phone in 2014.

Zanchetta had given his phone to the official for church administration purposes, according to Acevedo, and the official showed the lewd photographs to Acevedo.

In Buenos Aires, the priest said he reported the discovery to the Vatican's top official, and Zanchetta was summoned to Rome.

Zanchetta's attorney did not respond to a request for comment, but in the past another lawyer who represents the bishop dismissed the photos as phony and a "crude photomontage."

A judiciary source who arrived in the courtroom on Tuesday told Reuters one of Zanchetta's accused officials that when he said the pictures were false, Zanchetta was believed to be true, and the clergy "came back to Argentina."

The Vatican has not commented on the case, and has conducted its own investigation.

Zanchetta finished his job as bishop in Oran and moved to work in the Vatican's financial and accounting offices in 2017.

Tensions from an Oran seminarian included allegations of having received massages to Zanchetta by other seminarians, adding that the bishop was worried and played the greatest players.

Several of the young seminarians were described as having excessive drinking and worry, according to other witnesses.

The trial of Zanchetta is expected to last until at least Friday.

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