Sunday, August 31, 2014
Rather than permitting former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the Vatican’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, to stand trial on the soil where he seduced young children for cash, the Vatican recalled him to Rome. While he is apparently now free to roam the streets of Rome, he left behind scores of young victims whose poverty he apparently exploited. Despite the fact that the Vatican's own guidelines state that reports of child abuse should be made in the country where the abuse occurred, the Vatican chose to recall and defrock its ambassador and failed to file a report with the local authorities.
Although, under Vatican law, sexual abuse may be punished by 12 years of imprisonment, the Vatican's decision to recall their ambassador rather than report the matter to local authorites will apparently deprive many of the Arbishop's victims their day in court. Given that child sexual abuse and human trafficking are serious problems in the Dominican Republic, by whisking away the alleged perpetrator to stand trial away from the scene of his crimes, the Vatican has deprived the citizens of the Dominican Republic the opportunity to seek justice for their own citizens.
Laurie Goodstein, "For Nuncio Accused of Abuse, Dominicans Want Justice at Home, Not Abroad," August 23, 2014. New York Times.
Laurie Goodstein, "Ex-Diplomat for the Vatican Could be Tried," August 25, 2014. New York Times.