Catholic Church

Pope’s ex-envoy faces trial in France on sex assault charges

Agence France-Presse, Agence France-Presse
Pope’s ex-envoy faces trial in France on sex assault charges

French President Emannuel Macron (L) shakes hands with Apostolic Nuncio to France Luigi Ventura during his New Year wishes to the diplomatic corps on January 4, 2018, at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Photo by ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Ludovic Marin

Luigi Ventura, an Italian-born archbishop, was stripped of his diplomatic immunity by the Vatican last July after he was questioned by police on sexual assault claims by 4 men

Pope Francis’s former ambassador to France, Luigi Ventura, will go on trial in Paris in November for alleged sexual assault, sources told AFP on Thursday, July 23.

Ventura, an Italian-born archbishop, was stripped of his diplomatic immunity by the Vatican last July after he was questioned by police on sexual assault claims by 4 men, and resigned in December after reaching the 75-year age limit for his post.

His trial will open on November 10.

Ventura denies the allegations by 4 men, which include that he repeatedly groped the backside of a junior municipal official at the Paris town hall at a ceremony in January 2019.

Two other people have since come forward to report similar incidents.

There has also a complaint filed in Ottawa by a man who made similar allegations about an incident in 2008, while Ventura was serving in Canada.

A career diplomat, Ventura served in Brazil, Bolivia and Britain before being appointed nuncio, or envoy, to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger, Chile and then Canada.

The Catholic Church has been battling a wave of allegations detailing decades of sexual assault and abuse by clerics, mostly involving minors. – Rappler.com