Former Catholic Archbishop Found Dead Ahead Of Child Sex Abuse Trial

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Jozef Wesołowski the former Catholic archbishop charged with child sex abuse, has died ahead of his trial.

The former papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic had been arrested and charged with paedophile offences and possession of child pornography last year.

Wesołowski, who was 67, was found dead in his room apparently from natural causes.

“Vatican authorities intervened immediately for first verifications, which indicate his death was due to natural causes”a statement on the Vatican website said

The Independent reports: The former ambassador to the Dominican Republic would have been the first church official to go on trial for child sexual abuse. His case, which had attracted a significant amount of international attention, was the first under a Vatican system reinvigorated by Pope Francis following widespread accusations of abuse within the Church.

The statement added that the Pope has been informed of Wesołowski’s death.

Wesołowski was due to stand trial on charges of paying boys to perform sexual acts, downloading and buying child abuse material and offending Christian morality.

Wesolowski’s trial had been originally scheduled on 11 July of this year, but had to be adjourned after he fell ill just hours before he was due to appear in court at the Vatican.

Niamh Harris
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