Pope Francis is accused of attempting to cover-up a church pedophile scandal in the Dominican Republic after Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the papal nuncio in Santo Domingo and alleged pedophile, was secretly removed from his post without the Vatican sharing the news with the public.
A statement issued Thursday, Sept. 5, by Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), condemned Pope Francis:
Like all of his predecessors, Pope Francis is acting belatedly, secretively and recklessly. Catholic officials act only when forced to do so by media pressure. When they do act, they act secretively — in this case, by not disclosing the allegations, the suspension or the reason for the suspension.
In an attempt at damage control, a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that Archbishop Josef Wesolowski had been removed from his post and that the church was conducting an investigation of him. He declined to provide any details about the accusations against the Polish-born prelate
Authorities in the Dominican Republic report they are investigating allegations of child sex abuse against Wesolowski. Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito told reporters at a news conference that the investigation was in its initial stages and largely in response to media reports of allegations of sexual misconduct by Wesolowski
Wesolowski's sudden and secretive departure from the Dominican Republic has been the cause of feverish speculation in local media. Dominican television is reporting that Wesolowski had “slept” in the same room as several altar boys at his beach house.
The Dominican press also reports that Wesolowski had sex for money with underage boys in the "Zona colonial," the historic center 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.
Wesolowski was secretly relieved of duties without the Vatican sharing the news with the public on August 21.