CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 16 June 2018

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Vatican jails diplomat accused of child pornography

VATICAN (CNS): After months of investigation, Vatican police arrested Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, a former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington DC, on charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography.
 
On April 9 the Vatican said that the monsignor was taken into custody that morning by the Vatican gendarmes at the request of Vatican City State’s promoter of justice, who serves as chief prosecutor and directs criminal investigations.
 
“The accused is being detained in a cell in the barracks of the gendarmerie corps,” the Vatican said in a statement.
 
The arrest, the statement said, was made on the charges related to “Article 10, paragraphs 3 and 5, of Law VIII of 2013.”
 
Paragraph 3 deals with a criminal who “distributes, disseminates, transmits, imports, exports, offers or sells child pornography through any means, even electronically, as well as whoever posses child pornography for those purposes or otherwise distributes or disseminates knowledge of information directed at grooming or exploiting minors for sexual purposes.”
 
The violation carries a prison sentence of one to five years and a fine from €2,500 to €50,000 (about $24,142-$482852). However, the paragraph 5 referred to in the Vatican statement says “the penalty is increased if a considerable quantity of pornographic material is involved.”
 
The Italian monsignor was recalled to the Vatican after the State Department of the United States notified the Holy See on 21 August 2017 of his possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.
 
The 50-year-old Monsignor Capella was born in Carpi, Italy, and ordained to the priesthood in 1993 for the Archdiocese of Milan. After studying at the Vatican diplomatic academy in Rome, he entered the Vatican diplomatic service in 2004. He had worked since the summer of 2016 at the Vatican nunciature in Washington.

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