Vatican arrests former diplomat at U.S. embassy over child pornography

Vatican arrests former diplomat at U.S. embassy over child pornography

Saturday's announcement was the first Vatican statement on the subject since September.

After months of investigation, Vatican police have arrested a former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, on charges related to the possession and distribution of child pornography.

A Vatican statement said that Monsignor Carlo Capella was being held in gendarmerie barracks inside the Vatican, and that his arrest follows a Vatican investigation.

Windsor police issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for Capella last September.

"As a result of the child pornography recovered at his home, Joshua Janecka was arrested and booked into the Harris County Jail, charged with five counts of Possession of Child Pornography and one count of Promotion of Child Pornography". If indicted the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican.

The scandal is the latest blow to the Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated sex abuse cases among its clergy. He has pledged zero tolerance but critics say he has not done enough to hold to account bishops who allegedly covered up abuse.

The Vatican recalled Capella, the No. 4 in its Washington embassy, after the U.S. State Department notified it on August 21 of a "possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images" by one of its diplomats in Washington.

Capella was ordained a priest in Milan in 1993 and entered the diplomatic corps in 2004.

A state department official told the Washington Post that the USA government had asked for Monsignor Capella's diplomatic immunity be waived so he could be prosecuted in the U.S., but the request was refused.

He died in hospital in 2015 at the age of 67 before his trial before a Vatican court could begin.

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