Vatican's First Ever Sex Abuse Trial

Ukraine Today
July 10, 2015

Ex-Polish archbishop charged with paying for sex with minors

Catholics here in Warsaw are awaiting the Vatican's first ever trial for sex abuse against a former archbishop from Poland. Jozef Wesolowski faces criminal charges of paying for sex with minors and possessing child pornography.

The trial begins this Saturday in the tiny-city state, the headquarters of the 1.2 billion-member Roman Catholic Church. A former long-term Vatican correspondent from Poland said the case shows the church's approach to dealing with reports of paedophilia is changing.

Agnieszka Milczarz, former Vatican correspondent: "From the Poles' point of view it is a very shocking case, because over a dozen cases of paedophilia in the Polish Church were revealed. But Poland has started to cope with it very well. Following the call, the categorical call of [Pope] Francis for: 'Zero tolerance for paedophilia', all churches over the world, including Polish ones, have implemented very rigorous rules about how to proceed with clerics who committed this evil act."

Polish archbishop Wesolowski, a Vatican ambassador in the Dominican Republic, was arrested in September last year. He faces jail if convicted, although where exactly is not known - possibility in Italy, the Caribbean Island or his native Poland.

Warsaw residents have been giving their views.

Marta, Warsaw resident: "Paedophilia as an occurrence is absolutely negative and these cases should not be swept under the carpet. I think there will be fair judgement. I am counting on it."

Przemyslaw, Warsaw resident: "If he is guilty, this trial will not hurt the Church"

Danuta, Warsaw resident: ".....if they don't do anything it will go on. So I think he [Wesolowski] should be judged and should pay for what he did."

After his recall to Rome, he was defrocked by a Vatican tribunal and lost his diplomatic immunity.








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