Former Archbishop Dies Ahead of Vatican Child Abuse Trial

By Liam Moloney
Wall Street Journal
August 28, 2015

VATICAN CITY—The former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who was under house arrest on charges of child abuse and possession of child pornography, died early Friday, according to the Vatican.

The Vatican said in a statement initial indications were that Jozef Wesolowski, the Polish born-priest who had been the most senior Vatican official arrested on allegations of child sex abuse so far, had died of natural causes.

He was found dead in front of the television in the early hours of Friday, said Rev. Ciro Benedettini, deputy head of the Vatican press office. The Vatican said that an autopsy has been ordered and will be carried out Friday. The results of the autopsy will be made public “as soon as possible.”

Mr. Wesolowski, 67, was recalled as ambassador to the Caribbean country in 2013, after a five-year posting, in the wake of reports of sexual misconduct.

He was defrocked as archbishop by a Vatican tribunal last year for sexual abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic. In June, after the pope gave his permission, a Vatican criminal court indicted him on charges of sexually abusing boys in the Dominican Republic and of possessing child pornography. He had been under house arrest inside the Vatican awaiting the start of his trial.


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