Jozef Wesolowski, Ex-Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse, Dies

By Elisabetta Povoledo
New York Times
August 28, 2015

Jozef Wesolowski in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2009. Mr. Wesolowski, the former archbishop and papal envoy to the Dominican Republic, was found dead on Friday. Credit Luis Gomez/Diario Libre, via Reuters

By ELISABETTA POVOLEDO AUG. 28, 2015ROME — Jozef Wesolowski, a Polish former archbishop who would have been the first high-level prelate to stand before a Vatican tribunal on charges of child sexual abuse, was found dead early Friday, the Vatican said in a statement.

Initial examinations carried out by Vatican officials “determined that his death occurred from natural causes,” the statement said.

Mr. Wesolowski died in his Vatican City residence, where he had lived since September, after he was placed under house arrest. He was found by one of the Franciscan friars who lived in the same house, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.

An autopsy was being conducted Friday morning, Father Benedettini said.

Vatican prosecutors had accused Mr. Wesolowski, 67, of sexually abusing children in the Dominican Republic, where he was stationed from 2008 to 2013 as the Vatican’s ambassador. Already defrocked under canon law in 2014, Mr. Wesolowski was facing a prison sentence of up to eight years if found guilty.


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