Vatican envoy to France under sexual assault investigation
The Vatican’s envoy to France, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, is under investigation for sexual assault, a French judicial source told CNN Friday.
The Paris prosecutor’s office opened an investigation on January 24, the source said.
Ventura, 74, has been based in Paris since 2009, serving as a diplomat for Pope Francis, as reported by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The archbishop is alleged to have inappropriately touched a junior male official working at the Paris city hall, Paris deputy mayor Patrick Klugman told CNN Friday.
He added that following the alleged sexual assault, the city hall filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor.
The Vatican said in a statement that the Holy See was aware of the investigation and that it “awaits the results.” While the Vatican’s embassy in Paris said it would not comment on the investigation.
The development comes after a hellish year for the Catholic Church that saw more revelations of abuse and coverups, prominent resignations and a former Vatican ambassador urging the Pope himself to step down.
The clergy sex abuse scandal has continued into 2019, with a federal investigation and probes across the United States in the works.
In January Pope Francis blasted bishops across the US for their approach to the crisis, saying that the church’s credibility had been undermined.