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Ex-nuncio charged with sex-abuse dies

VATICAN ( Jozef Wesolowski, the former papal nuncio who was laicised after being found guilty of having sexually abused minors while serving as the papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic, died in a hospital in Rome while under house arrest at the Vatican on August 28.

Sixty-seven-year-old Wesolowski was facing a criminal trial before a Vatican tribunal on charges of the possession of child pornography and the sexual abuse of minors. His trial was scheduled to begin in July, but was delayed when he was hospitalised.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1972 and as a bishop in 1999 by Pope John Paul II. He served as apostolic nuncio to Bolivia from 1999 to 2002; Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan from 2002 to 2008; and the Dominican Republic until 2013. He was charged with molesting boys during his last diplomatic assignment and recalled to Rome.

Accused of child sexual abuse and the subject of investigations in both his native Poland and the Dominican Republic, Wesolowski resigned from his position as apostolic nuncio. In 2014, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found him guilty and laicised him.

Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic and in Poland had expressed interest in bringing criminal charges against him, but the Holy See chose to hold the criminal trial in a Vatican tribunal, because as a former nuncio, he was immediately subject to Vatican law. The Dominican Republic and Poland agreed.


The nature of his illness has not been disclosed.

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