- Battle lines drawn
This week produced the clearest evidence yet that the Synod Fathers are sharply divided between those who are supporting Pope Francis in his efforts to present a more pastoral vision of the Church and those determined first and foremost to emphasise its moral teaching
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- Pope Francis invokes Paul VI's call for the Church to adapt to respond to changing 'needs of our time'
- Bishops pass synod document but fail to agree on three measures for care of remarried or gay Catholics
- Politicians and policy makers back Catholic Social Teaching as solution to economic crisis
- Francis picks Brentwood priest for biblical commission
A Vatican tribunal has ordered the laicisation of Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the former nuncio to the Dominican Republic, who stands accused of sexual abuse. The action has been proposed following a hearing before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, although the accused has two months to appeal.
The Holy See also announced that the archbishop faces criminal charges in the Vatican courts.
Laicisation means the archbishop can no longer perform priestly duties or present himself as a priest.
Rome recalled Wesolowski on 21 August last year, and relieved him of his job as papal envoy after the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez, reported to Pope Francis allegations that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys in the Dominican Republic.
Polish-born Wesolowski is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be investigated for alleged sex abuse. Both Poland and the Dominican Republic have mounted ongoing investigations into the former nuncio. Wesolowski was both ordained a priest and bishop by his Polish countryman and former pope, St. John Paul II.