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Vatican to try defrocked Archbishop for child sex abuse

15 giugno 2015 | 13.54
LETTURA: 2 minuti

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Former Archbishop and ambassador to the Dominican Republic Jozef Wesolowski will stand trial next month for the sex abuse of minors, the Vatican announced on Monday.

Vatican judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre ordered Polish-born Wesolowski to stand trial, accepting a request from Vatican prosecutors.

The first hearing of the trial is scheduled for 11 July, said a Vatican spokesman, Federico Lombardi.

Wesolowki's sex abuse concerns more than one child, according to legal documents submitted to the Vatican by Domenican Republic prosecutors, which will form the basis of his trial, Lombardi said.

Wesolowki is also accused of possessing child pornography materials during the time he spent at the Vatican City between his recall from the Dominican Republic in August 2013 and his arrest in September 2014, Lombardi stated.

Wesolowski, who was the Vatican ambassador to the Dominican Republic for nearly six years, became the highest-ranking church official to be defrocked for paedophilia following his canonical trial last year.

But the Vatican angered critics by recalling 66-year-old Wesolowski to Rome to help him avoid criminal prosecution in the Dominican Republic for the sexual abuse of young boys.

The Holy See recalled the Polish-born Wesolowski on 21 August 2013, after Francis was informed of rumours that the nuncio had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.

Following the publication of the initial accusations, a 13-year-old boy from the country said in a television interview that the Polish former archbishop had solicited him for sexual favours in exchange for money.

Francis's predecessor Benedict XVI appointed Wesolowski to the Dominican Republic. He had previously served as Vatican ambassador to Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and before that, he was in Bolivia.

Wesolowski was ordained a priest in 1972 and entered the Vatican’s diplomatic service in 1980, serving in its embassies in Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Switzerland, India and Denmark.

Francis has promised immediate action in response clerical sex abuse allegations and to show "zero tolerance" to the scourge which has sullied the Catholic Church's image.

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