Vatican orders ex-diplomat to face child sex abuse trial
VATICAN CITY, June 9, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – A monsignor who was a former
advisor at the Vatican’s US embassy in Washington will face charges of
possessing and exchanging child pornography, the Holy See announced Saturday.
In a statement it said that Carlo Alberto Capella was ordered to face trail
on Thursday, with the first hearing set for June 22.
Capella, who was in office until last year, was recalled from Washington by
the Vatican in September.
The US State Department notified the Vatican in August through diplomatic
channels of a possible violation of child pornography laws by a member of its
diplomatic corps in Washington, the Vatican said at the time.
The United States had made “an official request” for the man’s diplomatic
immunity to be lifted but the Vatican refused, said a US official on
condition of anonymity.
It is the latest case the Catholic Church has faced after repeated
criticism for the way it has handled scandals over paedophile priests.
Last week Pope Francis wrote a letter to Chileans expressing “shame” that
the Catholic church failed “to listen and react in time” to allegations of
sexual abuse by the country’s clergy.
The Chilean church has been rocked over accusations of wide-scale ignoring
and covering up of child abuse by paedophile priest Fernando Karadima during
the 1980s and 1990s.
In May the pontiff promised to “restore justice” after reading the
conclusions of an investigation into the abuse, carried out after his defence
of Chilean bishop Juan Barros — accused of covering up Karadima’s abuses —
caused a public outcry.
He later apologised to three of Karadima’s victims at the Vatican and last
weekend he received seven more people abused by the priest, who was suspended
for life by the Vatican.
Two weeks previously 34 Chilean bishops announced their resignation over
the scandal after being summoned to the Vatican by Francis.