Vatican’s tough approach to sexual misconduct has seen its envoy to France abandoned at his hour of need. The Roman Catholic Church City has faced lots of scandals relating to sexual abuse and misconduct and has been accused of cover-up and laxity.
74-year-old Archbishop Luigi Ventura an apostolic nuncio has ripped off his diplomatic immunity by the Vatican over an alleged sexual assault that has seen him face criminal charges. The official who was representing the Pope in France was accused of molesting a male employee of Paris city authorities during a new year reception where the Paris Mayor was addressing diplomats, religious leaders and civil society figures.
France’s minister of European affairs had urged the Vatican to waive immunity, after a source revealed that during the ceremony, the city employee was repeatedly groped on the backside, in three instances, once in front of a witness.
“At this point, Ventura benefits from diplomatic immunity, but the Holy See is clearly aware of the serious accusations that have been brought against the apostolic nuncio and I don’t doubt for a second that the Holy See will do the right thing,” the minister said.
Interim head of Vatican communications confirmed the archbishop’s immunity had been waived and agreed to fully collaborate with the French judicial authorities.
“I can confirm that the Holy See renounces jurisdictional immunity enjoyed by the apostolic nuncio in France, Msgr Luigi Ventura, by virtue of the Vienna convention of 18 April 1961 on diplomatic relations, for the purposes of criminal proceedings concerning him,” he said.
Diplomatic immunity exempts state envoys from lawsuits or prosecution in their host country, under the Vienna convention but under extreme circumstances, the protection can be scraped away by the diplomat’s home country.