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Vatican official Jozef wesolowski accused of child sexual abuse dies

A Vatican statement said he died of natural causes.

By Ed Adamczyk
Vatican official Jozef wesolowski accused of child sexual abuse dies
The Vatican announced Friday that Jozef wesolowski, under house arrest for child sexual abuse allegations, has died. File Photo by UPI/ David Silpa | License Photo

VATICAN CITY, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Jozef Wesolowski, the former Catholic archbishop to be tried on child abuse charges, died Friday, Vatican officials reported.

He was under house arrest in the Vatican, accused of possession of child pornography and of sexually abusing boys while papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic from 2008 to 2013. Wesolowski, 67, was defrocked as archbishop by a Vatican tribunal in 2014, and as the highest-ranking member of the church hierarchy to be accused of child sexual abuse, his trial was meant to be a test of the Vatican's interest in pursuing elder religious figures accused of the crimes.

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"Vatican authorities quickly carried out the first investigation and have established that the death was caused by natural causes," a statement from the Vatican said. An autopsy was ordered.

A trial date had not been set, but the trial was delayed last month because of Wesolowski's unidentified illness.

Born in Poland, he was papal nuncio, official representative of the Pope, in Bolivia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan before arriving in the Dominican Republic.

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