Parents in Dominican Republic accuse Vatican envoy of sex abuse

SANTO DOMINGO - Parents of several children in the Dominican Republic have accused the Vatican's now-sacked envoy to the Caribbean nation of paedophilia, authorities said Tuesday.

"There are a number of parents who have filed reports" against Josef Wesolowski, deputy prosecutor Bolivar Sanchez told reporters.

Sanchez was tapped by Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito to lead the investigation into the case.

"So far, we have interviewed three (boys) here; in another location we interviewed four more boys," said Sanchez.

"They are all from 13 to 18 years old and mainly from very poor neighbourhoods," he said.

"I can't give many details at this stage of the investigation, but there are some very painful situations involved," he added.

On August 21 Monsignor Wesolowski, the papal nuncio in Santo Domingo, was sacked without the Vatican sharing the news with the public.

Last week, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told the I.Media news agency on Vatican affairs that an investigation was underway in Rome into allegations of child sex abuse against Wesolowski.

The Dominican press said the diplomat had sex for money with underage boys in the "Zona colonial", the historic centre of Santo Domingo.

Wesolowski, a 65-year-old Pole who has been the papal envoy in Santo Domingo for five years, was ordained in 1972 by the then Archbishop of Krakow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, who later became Pope John Paul II.

John Paul II appointed him nuncio to Bolivia, his first posting. Wesolowski also worked in several countries in Central Asia and was appointed to the Dominican Republic by Pope Benedict in 2008.