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Vatican abruptly ousts Dominican envoy

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Authorities in the Dominican Republic will look into allegations of child sex abuse against the papal envoy to the Caribbean country after his abrupt removal from his post by the Vatican, the attorney general said on Wednesday.

Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito was careful to note that his office is aware only of rumors about the papal nuncio, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, and has not received any accusations.

A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that Wesolowski had been removed from his post and that the church was conducting an investigation of him. He declined to provide any details about the accusations against the prelate.

Dominguez told reporters at a news conference that the investigation was in its initial stages and largely in response to media reports of allegations of sexual misconduct by Wesolowski as well as a friend and fellow priest. He said that he had designated a senior official to lead the investigation and coordinate with the Vatican.

“We will not allow anyone to use the Catholic Church or other religious institutions as a shield to commit illegal acts, especially against children,” he said.

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