Former nuncio’s trial suspended

A Vatican trial billed as a pivotal moment in Pope Francis’ papacy has been postponed after the defendant, the former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic, was hospitalised. 

66-year-old Jozef Wesolowski had been recalled from the Dominican Republic in 2013 against a background of rumoured abuse of teenage shoeshine boys, just weeks after Pope Francis issued an edict that the Vatican City State’s criminal laws would henceforth apply to employees elsewhere in the world.

Accused of paedophile acts and the possession of images of child sex abuse, Mr Wesolowski lost his diplomatic immunity and was laicised in 2014 following a canonical trial, with the opening hearing in criminal proceedings against him taking place that September.

The criminal trial, due to have begun on July 11, was suspended indefinitely after records showing his admittance to an intensive care unit of a Rome public hospital following the onset of a sudden illness were submitted to Judge Giuseppe Della Torre.

If convicted, he faces a sizeable fine and sentence of six or seven years in prison.