The Vatican is willing to hand over a former nuncio accused of sexual misconduct to civil authorities in the Dominican Republic, according to a Vatican spokesman, reports the Catholic News Agency.
Fr Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said that the Holy See continues to cooperate fully with ongoing investigations into Archbishop Józef Wesolowski, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic.
Because there is no extradition treaty between the Vatican and the Dominican Republic, the Holy See is not required to return the nuncio to Dominican officials. In addition, the Vatican has a legal right to invoke diplomatic immunity in protection of the Nuncio.
However, Fr Lombardi told CNA yesterday that the Holy See has declared 'our intention to cooperate with the Dominican authorities whenever they require it.'
The recall of the nuncio to the Vatican 'by no means implies the desire to prevent him from assuming his responsibility for whatever may come out of the investigations' in the Dominican Republic,' Fr Lombardi explained.
Accusations of sexual misconduct reported in the media led to the resignation of Archbishop Wesolowski on August 21.
Fr Lombardi explained that after Church authorities were informed of the 'serious accusations' against Archbishop Wesolowski, the Vatican Secretary of State responded quickly, 'calling back the Nuncio, stripping him of his duty and starting an investigation entrusted to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.'