Vatican arrests former diplomat at USA embassy over child pornography

Marsha Scott
April 8, 2018

"This morning, at the request of the Promoter of Justice, the Examining Judge of the Vatican City State Court issued an arrest warrant for Mons".

Police in Windsor, Ontario, had accused Capella of accessing the repugnant images from a social networking site during a holiday visit to an unidentified local church.

Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, a diplomat who served at the Vatican embassy in Washington until past year, was arrested by Vatican guards Saturday on child pornography charges.

The Vatican said on Saturday a monsignor who was a former advisor at its United States embassy in Washington has been arrested on suspicion of watching child sex abuse.

A Niagara Falls man who is currently on parole for a 2011 manslaughter conviction in the death of his 22-month-old daughter now faces federal charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. If indicted the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican.

Pope Francis has declared zero tolerance over abuse scandals that have beset the Church for decades, but critics say he has not done enough, particularly to hold bishops responsible for mishandling or covering up abuse.

The Vatican recalled Capella after the U.S. State Department informed it upon August 2-1 of a "possible violation of laws concerning child porn images" by one of its diplomats in Washington.

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The United States made "an official request" for the man's diplomatic immunity to be lifted but the Vatican refused, said a USA official on condition of anonymity.

A state department official told the Washington Post that the USA government had asked for Monsignor Capella's diplomatic immunity be waived so he could be prosecuted in the U.S., but the request was refused.

Capella, 51, was a high-ranking member of the Vatican diplomatic corps, serving in Italy before his posting to the US embassy in 2017.

Capella was charged with articles of the Vatican penal code punishing the possession and dissemination of child pornography.

A statement by Canadian police at the time said the suspected offences occurred while he was visiting "a place of worship" in Canada.

Archbishop Wesolowski was recalled to Rome by the Vatican, arrested and stripped of his duties after a report by the Dominican news media led to an investigation by Dominican magistrates.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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