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Newsline: Ex Vatican diplomat found guilty of possessing child pornography

A Vatican court on Saturday sentenced a Catholic priest to five years in jail for possessing child pornography while he was based in the United States as a diplomat. Carlo Alberto Capella will serve time in the small jail inside the Vatican police force headquarters, the Vatican said. The trial lasted two days and Capella admitted at the first hearing on Friday that he had developed a “morbid” desire after he arrived in the United States to take up the diplomatic post in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington in 2016. The U.S. State Department notified the Vatican in August 2017 of a possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images by a member of the diplomatic corps of the Holy See accredited to Washington. The United States later requested that Capella’s diplomatic immunity be waived to open the way for possible prosecution there, but the Vatican refused.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-pornography-trial/ex-vatican-diplomat-found-guilty-of-possessing-child-pornography-idUSKBN1JJ0G1

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Newsline: Former Vatican diplomat indicted on child pornography charges

A Vatican court indicted Mgr Carlo Alberto Capella, a former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, and ordered him to stand trial beginning June 22 on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography. Vatican City State’s criminal court issued the indictment on June 9, the Vatican press office announced. Mgr Capella has been held in a jail cell in the Vatican police barracks since April 9. Mgr Capella is accused of having and exchanging with others “a large quantity” of child pornography; the quantity is such that the charges are considered “aggravated” by the Vatican City court. If found guilty, he faces a prison sentence of one year to five years and a fine from 2,500 to 50,000 euros (about $3,000-60,000). However, according to Vatican law, “the penalty is increased if a considerable quantity of pornographic material is involved.” The 50-year-old Italian monsignor had been working in Washington just over a year when he was recalled to the Vatican after the US State Department notified the Holy See of his possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images.

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/06/12/former-vatican-diplomat-indicted-on-child-pornography-charges/

Newsline: Vatican appears set to open first embassy in South Sudan

Pope Francis appears set to order the opening of the Vatican’s first permanent embassy in South Sudan in a gesture of solidarity with a country that has suffered a devastating civil war since 2013. The bishops’ conference for Sudan and South Sudan announced the move in a release June 6, saying it had received word from the Vatican’s Secretariat of State that Kenyan Msgr. Mark Kadima would shortly be named as South Sudan’s first resident apostolic nuncio. “I express to His Holiness heartfelt gratitude,” said Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, president of the conference. “This step of our Holy Father truly cools the hearts of downtrodden war victims in these nations and … symbolizes the honest friendly ties between South Sudan and the Holy See.” South Sudan has had an apostolic nuncio, or Vatican ambassador, since 2013 in Archbishop Charles Balvo. But Balvo, who is originally from New York, has conducted his work from Nairobi, Kenya.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/vatican-appears-set-open-first-embassy-south-sudan

Newsline: Vatican arrests former diplomat after child pornography probe

The Vatican said on Saturday its police had arrested a monsignor who once worked as a diplomat at its U.S. embassy and was recalled last year after the U.S. State Department said he may have violated child pornography laws. A Vatican statement identified the accused as Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella and said he was arrested earlier on Saturday after a warrant was issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate at the end of an investigation. The Vatican statement gave no details of the specific accusations against Capella, who was recalled from Washington last September. If indicted the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-abuse-arrest/vatican-arrests-former-diplomat-after-child-pornography-probe-idUSKBN1HE0GZ

Newsline: Vatican Recalls Priest at Washington Embassy Amid Child Porn Investigation

A high-ranking priest working in the Vatican’s embassy in Washington has been recalled after U.S. prosecutors asked for him to be charged there and face trial in a child pornography investigation, Vatican and U.S. officials said Friday. The Vatican declined to identify the priest, but said he was currently in Vatican City and that Vatican prosecutors had launched their own probe. If the accusations pan out, the case would be a major embarrassment for the Vatican and Pope Francis, who has pledged “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/vatican-recalls-priest-washington-embassy-amid-child-porn-investigation-n801641

Newsline: Top Vatican Diplomat Set To Meet With Putin In Moscow

The Vatican’s secretary of state is set to arrive in Moscow on August 21 for an official visit slated to include a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cardinal Pietro Parolin said earlier this month that he hopes his four-day trip could help lay the groundwork for an eventual visit by Pope Francis to Russia, which no head of the Catholic Church has visited in the modern era. “The preparation of a possible visit to Russia by [Pope] Francis is not part of the aims of my visit,” Parolin told Italy’s Corriere della Sera in an interview published August 10. “With God’s help, however, I hope it can make some contribution in this direction,” he added. Francis has sought to bridge enduring tensions between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity, including with a landmark February 2016 meeting in Cuba with Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. Parolin told Russia’s state-run TASS news agency in an interview published August 20 that he will meet Kirill again in Moscow. He is set to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on August 22 and Putin the following day, TASS quoted Parolin as saying.

https://www.rferl.org/a/top-vatican-diplomat-russia-visit-putin-pope-francis/28686542.html

Newsline: New US Ambassador To The Vatican Nominated

President Trump’s choice to represent the United States at the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, has one especially prominent achievement as a Catholic: She is responsible for her husband, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, converting to Roman Catholicism in 2009. “When Newt became a Catholic, it was one of the happiest moments of my life,” she said in a 2012 interview with The New Yorker. Callista Gingrich has been an accomplished pianist since childhood and also plays the French horn. For the past 20 years, she has sung professionally in the choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Her husband began attending mass at the Basilica largely to watch her perform in the choir, and he told the Catholic TV network EWTN in 2011 that it was that worship experience that led him to convert to Catholicism. Before marrying her, the twice-divorced Gingrich had his previous marriage annulled. Under Catholic church teaching, divorced Catholics are not supposed to receive communion unless they have their former marriages officially annulled. Newt Gingrich is one of President Trump’s strongest supporters, and Callista Gingrich may well be seen by Vatican authorities as carrying her husband’s political clout.

http://www.npr.org/2017/05/20/529276806/callista-gingrich-nominated-as-ambassador-to-the-vatican