A FORMER Vatican ambassador has been convicted by a church tribunal of sex abuse and defrocked, the church announced yesterday.
Monsignor Jozef Wesolowski, who was ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has two months to appeal, but he also faces other charges by a Vatican City criminal tribunal.
The Holy See recalled the Polish-born cleric last August after Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez told Pope Francis about rumours that he had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican and Polish authorities subsequently opened investigations, but have not charged him.
The case has been problematic for the Vatican since Monsignor Wesolowski was a representative of the pope.
The Holy See had previously sought to distance itself from the worldwide sex abuse scandal by blaming grave crimes on wayward priests and their bishops who failed to discipline them rather than Vatican officials.