“Polish archbishop appeals defrocking for sexual abuse” & related article

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themalaymailonline.com

August 26, 2014

VATICAN CITY, Aug 26 — A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal’s decision to defrock him, the Vatican said yesterday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

“Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The appeal will be judged “without delay” over the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014, Lombardi said. He said that Wesolowski, who was recalled last August to the Vatican, had lost diplomatic immunity when he stopped functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See.

Criminal proceedings by judicial authorities at the Vatican, which has been under pressure for over a decade to prevent child sex abuse by priests, would continue as soon as the canonical (Church law) sentence becomes definitive, Lombardi said.

If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

The United Nations watchdog against torture urged the Vatican in May to investigate the case and ensure he is criminally prosecuted or extradited to face charges in the Dominican Republic if warranted.

Lombardi said Pope Francis had been “duly and carefully informed” of the case and wished to address it “justly and rigorously”. — Reuters

File picture shows Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, offering mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. —Reuters picFile picture shows Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, offering mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. —Reuters picVATICAN CITY, Aug 26 — A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal’s decision to defrock him, the Vatican said yesterday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

“Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The appeal will be judged “without delay” over the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014, Lombardi said. He said that Wesolowski, who was recalled last August to the Vatican, had lost diplomatic immunity when he stopped functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See.

Criminal proceedings by judicial authorities at the Vatican, which has been under pressure for over a decade to prevent child sex abuse by priests, would continue as soon as the canonical (Church law) sentence becomes definitive, Lombardi said.

If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

The United Nations watchdog against torture urged the Vatican in May to investigate the case and ensure he is criminally prosecuted or extradited to face charges in the Dominican Republic if warranted.

Lombardi said Pope Francis had been “duly and carefully informed” of the case and wished to address it “justly and rigorously”. — Reuters

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/polish-archbishop-appeals-defrocking-for-sexual-abuse#sthash.guGQx29G.dpuf

File picture shows Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, offering mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. —Reuters picFile picture shows Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, offering mass in Santo Domingo August 3, 2009. —Reuters picVATICAN CITY, Aug 26 — A Polish archbishop accused of child sex abuse in the Dominican Republic has appealed against a Roman Catholic tribunal’s decision to defrock him, the Vatican said yesterday.

Jozef Wesolowski, who had served as a Vatican nuncio or ambassador to the Caribbean nation, was sentenced in late June to be expelled from the priesthood, an extremely rare step against such a senior church official.

“Former nuncio Josef Wesolowski has recently appealed, within the prescribed limit of two months, against the most serious canonical sentence, that of a return to the lay state, which has been imposed upon him,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement.

The appeal will be judged “without delay” over the coming weeks, most likely in October 2014, Lombardi said. He said that Wesolowski, who was recalled last August to the Vatican, had lost diplomatic immunity when he stopped functioning as a diplomat of the Holy See.

Criminal proceedings by judicial authorities at the Vatican, which has been under pressure for over a decade to prevent child sex abuse by priests, would continue as soon as the canonical (Church law) sentence becomes definitive, Lombardi said.

If found guilty in a criminal trial, Wesolowski could risk extradition to the Dominican Republic, which has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate the case.

The United Nations watchdog against torture urged the Vatican in May to investigate the case and ensure he is criminally prosecuted or extradited to face charges in the Dominican Republic if warranted.

Lombardi said Pope Francis had been “duly and carefully informed” of the case and wished to address it “justly and rigorously”. — Reuters

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/world/article/polish-archbishop-appeals-defrocking-for-sexual-abuse#sthash.guGQx29G.dpuf

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Former Vatican ambassador Jozef Wesolowski could face trial over alleged sex abuse after losing diplomatic immunity

The Independent

Tuesday 26 August 2014

The Vatican defrocked had already the former archbishop

Authorities in the Dominican Republic, where Jozef Wesolowski served as nuncio, or ambassador, said an investigation uncovered allegations that Wesolowski had paid young boys to perform sexual acts. However, prosecutors did not file charges because as nuncio, Wesolowski had diplomatic immunity.

The Vatican has previously insisted in its handling of the delicate case of Josef Wesolowski that he enjoyed diplomatic immunity and that the Holy See doesn’t extradite its own citizens.

But Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement on Monday that the 66-year-old former archbishop no longer had immunity and might “be subjected to judicial procedures from the courts that could have specific jurisdiction over him”.

Lombardi went on to deny that the Vatican had tried to cover up the case by recalling Wesolowski to Rome when he was still a diplomat in Santo Domingo, and insisted the Vatican had “moved without delay and correctly”.

Last June, a Vatican tribunal ruled to defrock the former archbishop. The sentence is the harshest under church law and meant he was reduced to the status of a layman and could no longer be a minister.

His case marked the first time such a high-ranking Vatican official had been sanctioned for alleged sex abuse.

Lombardi said Wesolowski was appealing against the defrocking, with a decision expected in October.

In addition to the possibility of facing trial in the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski is to undergo a separate, criminal trial in Vatican City. Last year, the Vatican updated its laws to specifically criminalise the sexual abuse of children, but it is not clear if the new law can be applied retroactively.

Pope Francis is said to be closely watching Wesolowski's case

Pope Francis is said to be closely watching Wesolowski’s case

In the past, Pope Francis has called the sexual abuse of children by priests an “ugly crime” and likened it to “a Satanic Mass”.

Francis, who has vowed zero tolerance against clerics who sexually abuse children, was following the Wesolowski case very carefully and wanted it to be handled “justly and rigorously”, said Lombardi.

While it is unclear if and when the Vatican informed Dominican authorities that it knew of the allegations, it has pledged cooperation in the Dominican investigation and a related one in Wesolowski’s native Poland.

However, the Vatican has refused to provide any information about Wesolwski’s whereabouts or how he has pleaded to the charges and has refused to release contact information for his lawyer.

After he was seen on the streets of Rome, the Vatican said that ”adequate measures” would be taken to prevent him from fleeing before his criminal trial gets under way.

Additional reporting by Reuters and AP

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