September 5th, 2013
08:39 AM ET

Pope pulls ambassador amid abuse allegations

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (CNN) - Prosecutors began a criminal investigation Wednesday into the Vatican's former ambassador to the Dominican Republic, a day after a local church representative said the pope had recalled the envoy because of child abuse allegations.

"We have formally opened an investigation," Dominican Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito told reporters.

"Here we have to work with two legal aspects, first national laws and also international laws in his status as a diplomat, which implies other mechanisms of investigation and judgment."

The Vatican confirmed Wednesday that Jozef Wesolowski had been removed from his post and that an investigation is under way but did not say what allegations were made.

Wesolowski had been an apostolic nuncio, the Vatican's official representative in the Dominican Republic.

But the pope pulled him from the post last month after an internal church report connected him with child abuse and pedophilia, according to Monsignor Agripino Nunez Collado, the rector of a Catholic university and spokesman for the church in the country.

- CNN Religion Editor

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Francis • Sex abuse

soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Douglas

    Crimes against children are the lowest of the low.

    This priest is supposed to be celibate and yet he breaks the vow of celibacy with a child!

    He will burn eternally for this transgression.

    Jesus said, "One who harms a child should row a boat out in the middle of the lake, put a millstone around his neck and dive off the boat."

    In other words...you are going down fast.

    Jesus had no forgiveness for child abuse.

    Heed the lessen pedophiles...YOU are doomed!

    September 12, 2013 at 11:54 am |
    • Sara

      While I agree with the sentiment that these are serious crimes, we don't yet have enough information to know if this man is guilty. Each case needs to stand on its own.

      September 14, 2013 at 6:59 am |
  2. doobzz

    Ah, this is more like it.

    September 7, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
  3. guest

    Confession: I haven’t read all these comments, but has anyone noted that this accused man is not necessarily a priest? Has anyone looked at this as just a ‘smoke screen’ to make it appear that the Pope is really going to do something about the pedophile priests? The Papacy can afford to lose an ambassador; they are easily replaced, but not a priest. I trust this Pope about as much as I would trust a hungry loin.

    September 7, 2013 at 8:01 am |
    • .


      September 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm |
      • TheGrimJester

        He may have made a mistake but it is a funny one! I run from hungry loins too. Especially on priests.

        September 17, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
    • Doobs

      I tried find out if he was a priest yesterday, but nothing was readily available. I didn't have time for a more thorough search. You make a great point though. If he's not, he'll make a convenient scapegoat.

      September 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
    • Doobs

      I just saw him referred to as a monsignor, so he is a priest.

      September 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  4. Bootyfunk

    the pope called his ambassador (of touchy-feely) was called back to the vatican to get an award. if you molest 100 kids, male or female, you get a a fancy restraint kit to make future molestations easier. at 500 kids, you get a molester van, the kind with no windows in the back. at 1000 molestations, you get to spend a night in the pope's "harem" - a collection of boys from around the world - think 'it's a small world' from disneyland, but the children have no pants on.

    looks like a pants-off dance off at the vatican!

    September 7, 2013 at 7:20 am |
    • Bootyfunk

      I know because I molest more than anyone else.

      September 7, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
      • Doobs

        Stealing and bearing false witness for Jeebus again?

        September 7, 2013 at 4:02 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          nope decided to try honesty and see who would get su cked in.

          September 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          How old are you lil doobs?

          September 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
        • Doobs

          Yes, yes, I see.

          September 7, 2013 at 4:10 pm |
        • Doobs

          I can be any age I choose, just like you can be any name you choose.

          September 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          Fantastic be a child then the younger the better and get together with bad ole uncle boots

          September 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
        • doobzz


          September 7, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  5. Reality

    The horror of pedophilia committed by religious leaders has exposed the rotting underbellies of all religion. Time for everyone who still believes to chuck their beliefs in gods, heaven, hell, resurrections, saints, angels and satans.

    September 6, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
  6. Alias

    Let's not jump to conclusions. Accused is not convicted.
    After all, many times people have argued that morality comes from religious faith. Since this is clearly a holy man, he certainly has good moral character.
    It's not like the RCC has been abusing children all over the world and covering up those crimes for generations or anything.... nevermind.

    September 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
  7. Susan StoHelit

    Right now, removing him was correct, the prior administrations would have stonewalled, denied, and supported the guy, kept him in place, until there was a chance of an arrest warrent – then given him a promotion back to the Vatican.

    This pope removed the guy – not promoting him. That's different, and a start. Let's see them cooperate with the investigation, and that will show if they are serious or not. But for now, there IS a change in behavior from the Vatican.

    September 6, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Asserting diplomatic immunity to avoid is a change in tactics only.

      September 6, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.