Vatican Official Taken Ill before Abuse Trial

Sky News
July 11, 2015

The judge is expected to adjourn the case to a later date

A former papal diplomat charged with the sexual abuse of boys has been admitted to hospital ahead of his trial at the Vatican.

Jozef Wesolowski is being treated in intensive care as his trial was set to open on Saturday.

The judge is expected to immediately adjourn the case to a later date.

The 66-year-old faces charges that he sexually abused shoeshine boys in the Dominican Republic and possessed child pornography.

The former Catholic archbishop's trial was seen as a high-profile way for Pope Francis to make good on pledges to punish high-ranking churchmen involved in sex abuse of minors, either by molesting children or by systematically covering up for priests who did.

Sky Correspondent Mark Stone says the criminal trial represents the first of its kind.

Wesolowski, from Poland, was discretely recalled to the Vatican by Pope Francis in 2013 after allegations surfaced in an investigative TV programme in the Dominican Republic.

In the programme, journalist Nuria Piera interviewed men who claimed they were abused by the archbishop.

The programme also aired secretly filmed footage allegedly showing Wesolowski walking along a beachfront known to be used by child prostitutes.

He was defrocked, or laicised, at a 'canonical' or religious trial at the Vatican in late 2013 and spent 60 days under house arrest in Vatican City but was then released, with his movement restricted to within the city state.








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