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Archive for Vatican

Newsline: Vatican lifts immunity of papal diplomat accused of sexual assault in France

The Holy See has waived the diplomatic immunity of a Vatican diplomat who has been under investigation by authorities in Paris for allegedly sexually assaulting a city official. Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican Press Office, said the move was an “extraordinary gesture” that underlined the diplomat’s desire to fully cooperate with French authorities. (https://www.americamagazine.org/politics-society/2019/07/08/vatican-lifts-immunity-papal-diplomat-accused-sexual-assault) In January, prosecutors in Paris had launched a formal investigation into an allegation against Italian Archbishop Luigi Ventura, 74, a Vatican diplomat who has been representing the Holy See in France since 2009. Gisotti confirmed July 8 that the Holy See had waived the diplomat’s immunity in light of the criminal proceedings underway against him in France.

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Newsline: Vatican ambassador under investigation for sexual assault

Bishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to France since 2009 and a long-time Vatican diplomat, is under investigation for alleged sexual assault. The French newspaper Le Monde reported that Ventura, 74, is being investigated by Paris authorities after he was accused late January of having inappropriately touched a young male staffer of Paris City Hall. A Vatican statement Feb. 15 said that it was made aware of the French authorities’ investigation of the envoy through the press and is “awaiting the outcome of the investigations.” (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-ambassador-under-investigation-for-sexual-assault-71198) The alleged assault is said to have taken place in Paris’ City Hall Jan. 17, during a reception for the annual New Year address of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo. The address is usually given to diplomats, religious leaders, and civil society members, with a role by the apostolic nuncio. The claim against Ventura was brought to French authorities by Paris City Hall six days after it allegedly took place. The alleged victim has not been identified.

Newsline: Mystery bones found at Vatican embassy to Italy not from missing girls

The bones that were found on Vatican property at the end of October do not belong to two Italian girls who disappeared in the 1980s. In an article by La Repubblica, the remains are said to date further back than 1983, the year when Mirella Gregori and Emanuela Orlandi disappeared under mysterious circumstances. On Oct. 30, two remains were found in the basement of the Vatican Nunciature, an extraterritorial Church property, located in Rome’s city center. The villa was gifted to Pope Pius XII in 1949 by a wealthy entrepreneur called Abramo Giacobbe Isaia Levi to thank the Vatican for welcoming and protecting Jews under fascist persecution. The fact that Gregori lived just a few blocks away at the time of her disappearance and the identification of at least one of the bodies as female led to immediate speculation in Italy that the findings might bring to a long-awaited close one of Italy’s most persistent mysteries. An additional lead was that the body might belong to the wife of the custodian of the property, who disappeared in the 1960s. But inside sources have told the local press that the bones are too old to be related to these cases. Radiocarbon dating will begin Nov. 30, sources said, and take a couple weeks.

https://cruxnow.com/church-in-europe/2018/11/22/mystery-bones-found-at-vatican-embassy-to-italy-not-from-missing-girls/

Newsline: Hungary’s ambassador to the Vatican, Habsburg with a Twitter account

Eduard Habsburg is a Hungarian-German writer, diplomat and social media personality who has served since 2015 as ambassador of Hungary to the Holy See and the Sovereign Order of Malta. A great-great-grandson of Emperor Franz Joseph, he is also known as Archduke Eduard of Austria. Ambassador Habsburg and his wife, Baroness Maria Theresia von Gudenus, have six children. According to the 2011 Hungarian census, roughly 81 percent of Hungarians today identify as Christians, with Catholics representing the largest Christian group (50 percent) more than two decades after the fall of Communism. In recent years, Hungary has taken up the call of Pope Francis to aid persecuted Christians around the world, hosting government conferences and creating a new Secretary of State for Persecuted Christians.

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2018/11/05/habsburg-twitter-account-interview-hungarys-ambassador-vatican

Newsline: Italian police probe bones unearthed at Vatican embassy

Italian investigators have discovered more bones on the grounds of the Vatican embassy in Rome, a week after an almost intact skeleton was unearthed during building work at the site. According to local media reports Tuesday, police excavating beneath the property’s basement found what appeared to be parts of a skull and a lower jaw. Forensic teams are working to identify the age and gender of the body and the approximate date of death, amid speculation the remains could belong to Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican policeman, who went missing in 1983. The latest find came after builders restoring a floor in the janitor’s lodge found a human skeleton on October 29. Coroner Giovanni Arcudi said Tuesday that preliminary examinations of those remains indicated they belonged to a woman probably in her 30s, “not an adolescent.” A lawyer for Orlandi’s family, Laura Sgro, said that didn’t necessarily rule out a match with Emanuela because some have suggested the 15-year-old may have been held for years against her will rather than being killed immediately. Sgro told the ANSA news agency her clients are still waiting for DNA results.

https://www.dw.com/en/vatican-police-probe-bones-unearthed-at-rome-embassy/a-46184285

Newsline: Italian police investigate human remains found at Vatican’s Rome embassy

Workers have discovered human bones at the Holy See Embassy to Italy and police are investigating the matter, the Vatican said. Italian media said forensic scientists were looking to see if the remains might be those of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished in 1983. The Vatican said in a statement that the bone fragments were discovered during restructuring work on an annex to the Holy See’s imposing embassy compound near Rome’s famous Villa Borghese museum. It said chief prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone was leading the investigation and had tasked forensic specialists with determining the “age, sex and date of death” of the body.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-vatican-bones/italian-police-investigate-human-remains-found-at-vaticans-rome-embassy-idUSKCN1N42X3

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