The Vatican has yanked the diplomatic immunity for an ambassador it secretly recalled from the Dominican Republic before child molestation charges could be filed.
The former ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, has already been defrocked by the Vatican, the harshest penalty under the church’s canon law short of excommunication. Beyond that, the Vatican has also said that it intends to try Mr. Wesolowski on criminal charges — the first time it will hold a criminal trial for sexual abuse. But the Vatican has also caused an uproar in the Dominican Republic because it abruptly recalled Mr. Wesolowski last year before he could face a criminal inquiry and possible prosecution there. Acting against its own guidelines for handling abuse cases, the church failed to inform the local authorities of the evidence against him, secretly recalled him to Rome, and then invoked diplomatic immunity. The Vatican has said in the past that because Mr. Wesolowski was a member of its diplomatic corps and a citizen of the Holy See, the case would be handled in Rome.
Wesolowski is a Polish citizen and authorities there are also seeking extradition.