Monday, January 13, 2014

Vatican declines extradition for papal nuncio accused of abuse

The Vatican has refused a request from Polish prosecutors for the extradition of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, a Vatican diplomat who is under investigation for sexual abuse of children in the Dominican Republic and in his native Poland. 

“Archbishop Wesolowski is a citizen of the Vatican, and Vatican law does not allow for his extradition,” the Vatican announced. 

The archbishop had been serving as apostolic nuncio in the Dominican Republic until August 2013, when he was recalled to Rome after Cardinal Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez informed Pope Francis that he had heard reports of sexual abuse by the Vatican envoy. 

Shortly after his departure, authorities in the Dominican Republic disclosed that several families had filed complaints against him. At the time, the Vatican pledged full cooperation with Dominican prosecutors. 

Polish authorities launched their own investigation into Archbishop Wesolowski shortly after the publication of reports about his alleged misconduct in the Dominican Republic. 

The Polish archbishop is reportedly now living at the Vatican. 

The pledge of the Holy See to cooperate with prosecutors may now be limited by the absence of Vatican legislation allowing for extradition.

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