Scrappy prosecutor: Vatican should hand over ex bishop
Santo Domingo.- Despite welcoming Pope Francis’ decision of house arrest of former Vatican envoy Józef Wesolowski, National District prosecutor Yeni Berenice Reynoso on Tuesday said for the victims and Dominican society, justice would be served if the Holy See relinquishes its privilege of jurisdiction established by the Vienna Convention, to prosecute the defrocked senior prelate here.
Reynoso said while the Convention bestows the Vatican with the legal right to prosecute Wesolowski in its territory, the Holy See can waive that right.
The official, whose scrappy style has ruffled feathers of even her own superiors, said it’s ethical when the victims participate in the proceeding and learn firsthand about the course of the investigation.
In that regard, Reynoso said thus far, no one has proposed to compensate for the damages to four teenagers allegedly sexually abused by the former Nuncio in the Dominican Republic during his more than three years in the post.
She said she was particularly impacted by testimony of one of the abused boys, whose disease she affirms Wesolowski used to exchange drugs he needed for sexual favors. "For me that’s an act of extreme perversion."
"I don’t celebrate the fact that the Vatican is going to start a trial, and I don’t welcome it because for us the important thing isn’t to start the trial, it’s that the Vatican should waive its jurisdictional privilege in favor of the Dominican Republic and that the former envoy faces Dominican justice for the terrible crimes committed against children and adolescents who live in extreme poverty," she said.
"He (Wesolowski) abused that poverty and used that mechanism to approach children and take advantage of them for years," Reynoso said, interviewed by elcaribe.com.do.