First Vatican official facing sex abuse charges dies before trial

France 24

Polish former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the first high-ranking Vatican official facing trial on paedophile charges, died overnight while under house arrest, the Holy See announced on Friday.

Wesolowski, 67, had suffered from health problems that caused a postponement last month of his criminal trial, which was to be the first of its kind initiated by the Vatican against a church official.

As the Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, he had been charged by church prosecutors with sexually abusing children in the Caribbean country.

He was found dead early on Friday in the Vatican room where he was being held under house arrest, a statement from the Vatican said. He had been under house arrest since September 2014.

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