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Former Nuncio Wesolowski under house arrest accused of pederasty

The Pope wants this case "so serious and delicate" dealt with without delay

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Former Nuncio Wesolowski under house arrest accused of pederasty
VATICAN CITY. The former Papal Nuncio Joseph Wesolowski, accused of pederasty, has been subjected to house arrest at the order of Pope Francis, who once that this case "so serious and delicate" be taken care of without delay.

The papal spokesman, Federico Lombardi, made this announcement yesterday in a press communiqué, in which he underlined that the measure comes about after notifying the accused of the list of crimes of which he is accused and within the penal process for his allegedly "serious incidents of abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic."

Wesolowski, 66, is accused of abusing minors during his stay in the Caribbean country, where he was the Papal Nuncio between January 2008 and August 2013.

For this reason he was dismissed from his position at the end of August 2013 and last June he was expelled from the priesthood after a Canonical process instituted by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, formally the Inquisition.

This congregation is the Vatican organization that "judges crimes against the faith and the most serious crimes committed against morality or in the celebration of the sacraments, and in case of necessity, it can proceed to declare or impose canonic sanctions," according to an explanation from the Holy See itself.

Lombardi reported that this Tuesday the prosecutor of the Tribunal of First Instance of the State of Vatican City has summoned the former Polish Nuncio, against whom he had undertaken a penal investigation.

The prelate has been notified of the crimes of which is accused in the penal process for serious abuse of minors in the Dominican Republic.

The seriousness of the charges has caused said organization to decide to submit him to house arrest at a place inside the Vatican, once his medical documentation has been approved.

In the communiqué, the spokesman underlined that the initiative undertaken by the judicial Vatican agencies corresponds to the will of the Argentine Pope himself, who wants this "serious and delicate" case to be dealt with immediately, with the "fair and necessary regard" and with "complete responsibility of the institutions of the Holy See."

The scandal was uncovered after a report on the program of the investigative journalist Nuria Piera, transmitted on channels nine and 37 of the Dominican Republic in which the journalist stated that Wesolowski supposedly paid to have sexual relations with minors in the country.

After the program, Dominican Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez reported that he had communicated directly with Pope Francis regarding the reports on Wesolowski and called the affair "extremely serious."

Nonetheless, in recent times the Holy See has been the object of criticisms for the liberty which Wesolowski enjoyed, and who returned to Rome in spite of the accusations which rest upon him.

Both the Polish justice system as well as that of the Dominican Republic have presented charges against the former Nuncio for the cases of pederasty.

Last 7 July the Pope held a historic meeting with six victims of sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy and he asked for their "pardon" for these "sins of omission," which he called "serious crimes."

In addition, last 11 April, Jorge Bergoglio apologized for the scandals that have sullied the image of the Catholic Church as he addressed the International Catholic Office of Children.