WESOLOWSKI SEXUAL ABUSE CASE A NEW APPROACH OR SAME OLD SAME OLD?

According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.

Major pressure came from a lengthy Sunday New York Times piece in which respected religion writer Laurie Goodstein offered grisly details of allegations of pedophilia against Mr. Wesolowski during his tenure in Santo Domingo. I’m hard pressed to recall a case as brazen and heinous.

Apparently this fellow regularly had a few drinks by the waterfront in the afternoon and then invited a shoeshine boy or other young man in need of money to accompany him to a secluded spot for sex. Though wealthier than its island neighbor Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a place where these kids make a few dollars for a day’s work. The clergyman, on the other hand, was probably paid in Euros so he could well afford to up the children’s wages geometrically in exchange for a little titillation.

It’s hard to imagine anyone defending the man’s behavior if even a fraction of what’s being reported is true. One victim was a boy with epilepsy, for example; Ms. Goodstein cites, on good authority, that “the nuncio gave him medication for his condition in exchange for sexual acts.” Is there no moral cellar here?

For more details please read the article on Religion Dispatches at USC Annenberg