Vatican will cooperate in paedophile case against Polish archbishop
PR dla Zagranicy
The Vatican has stated that it will cooperate with authorities in the Dominican Republic over an investigation into allegations of paedophilia by a Polish archbishop.
Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who had been serving as papal nuncio in the Caribbean republic, was recalled to the Vatican on August 21, and simultaneously suspended from his post.
The recall occurred after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, informed Pope Francis about the allegations in July, and the Vatican launched an internal investigation.
With Dominican prosecutors confirming their own investigation last week, accusations snowballed that the Vatican was trying to shield the 65-year-old archbishop, prompting Thursday's Vatican statement.
“The recall of the ambassador is by no means an effort to avoid taking responsibility for what might possibly be verified,” assured Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardy.
According to Dominican prosecutor Bolivar Sanchez, seven boys between the ages of 13 and 18 have already been interviewed. Several of the boys had made a living shining shoes on the streets.
Allegations have also been made against another Polish priest and friend of Archbishop Wesolowski. Both men are no longer in the Dominican Republic.
The prospective case against Archbishop Wesolowski makes him the highest ranking Vatican official to be investigated concerning allegations of paedophilia.
Dominican authorities have confirmed that they would seek extradition of the archbishop. (nh)