Vatican orders archbishop laicized

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The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered the laicization of an archbishop-ambassador accused of paying for sex with minors.

Józef Wesołowski, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, will have two months to prepare an appeal to the ruling, which was announced in a brief statement from the Vatican on Friday.

The former nuncio, who the Vatican did not refer to as an archbishop in the statement, was removed from his post in August with little explanation. News accounts days afterward detailed allegations of paying for sex with minors and being connected to a Polish priest accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 underage boys.

Yet Friday’s statement does not declare Wesołowski guilty of any specific crime. It states that the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation has finished the first part of a canonical process against him and sentenced him to dismissal from the clerical state.

Criminal proceedings against the former nuncio, the statement continues, will continue after the conclusion of the appeal process.

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