Vatican defrocks former Dominican Republic papal nuncio accused of child sex abuse

By Kyle Johnson,

A Vatican tribunal ordered on Friday that a former papal envoy to the Dominican Republic who is accused of sexually abusing young boys be defrocked.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith made 65-year-old Jozef Wesolowski the first papal nuncio to be stripped of his priesthood following accusations of sexual assault on children, The New York Times reports.

Wesolowski has two months to appeal the defrocking, and once a final decision is made, he will face trial in Vatican City. While Vatican officials did not say exactly why he was defrocked, accusations have been made that during his time in the Dominican Republic he paid for sex with minors.

According to the Los Angeles Times, when Wesolowski was recalled back to the Vatican last year, many believed that he was being protected from arrest.

Until now, the former papal nuncio was allowed to roam free in Rome, but now his movement will be "limited," Father Ciro Benedettini, Vatican spokesman, said.

The move comes as the pope has continued to promise more action will be taken to deal with the numerous sex abuse cases against Catholic priests.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said in a statement that though they were glad Wesolowski was disciplined, they are "troubled" that the Vatican continues to insist on handling issues themselves.

"Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski should face a criminal trial, not a church proceeding, and he should be in a secular jail."



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