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​Former nuncio awaiting Vatican trial died of natural causes, autopsy says

August 31, 2015 | posted by Catholic News Agency

Topics: In the Press


Former nuncio awaiting Vatican trial died of natural causes, autopsy says 

Initial autopsy findings indicate that disgraced former apostolic nuncio Jozef Wesolowski died of natural causes from a “cardiac event,” the Vatican announced Saturday.

The laicized archbishop was awaiting trial by the Vatican court for possessing child pornography and sexual abuse of minors when he died late Thursday evening at the age of 67.

Wesolowski's death prompted the Office of the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, also known as the Vatican prosecutor, to order an autopsy..

According to a Vatican statement released Aug. 29, the autopsy was conducted Friday afternoon. Based on “preliminary conclusions from the macroscopic exam,” the autopsy “confirmed the natural cause of death, attributable to a cardiac event,” the statement said.

The Office of the Promoter of Justice anticipates receiving additional results from laboratory examinations.

Prof. Giovanni Arcudi, Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, was appointed to coordinate the three experts conducting the autopsy, according to a Catholic News Agency report.

Wesoleski was awaiting a criminal trial in Vatican City on charges of pornography and pedophilic acts.

In 2013 the then-archbishop faced allegations of sexual misconduct and he resigned as apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic. A 13-year-old boy alleged that Wesolowski had solicited him for sexual favors in exchange for money.

The archbishop faced a canonical trial in a tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In 2014, the tribunal found him guilty of sexual abuse and subjected him to laicization, which meant he was unable to celebrate the sacraments.