Vatican Envoy former French ambassador facing charges of sexual harassment in France

Pope is a former ambassador facing charges of sexual harassment in France


According to the Paris prosecutor's office, former French ambassador Pope Francis will hear allegations of sexual harassment following complaints from four people.


Luigi Ventura's trial is set to begin on November 10 after the prosecutor's office said Thursday that the Vatican had lured the archbishop of Italian descent with his diplomatic immunity.

"He will attend the trial to protect his dignity and innocence," Ventura's lawyer Bertrand Oliver told AFP.

Jed Russell, one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, said the decision to bring Ventura to trial was a "victory" for the alleged victims.

“We are telling all and confirming to suppress the claims of the victims so that their impurity will not be allowed to continue,” he said.

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Ventura, who is accused of covering his buttocks at a diplomatic event, launched an investigation last January after alerting the Paris Municipality prosecution to a complaint lodged by a young employee.

He later returned in 2018 with two other men's complaints, and then a fourth man.

A man in Ottawa made similar allegations in 2008 about an incident while Ventura was working in Canada.

Ventura was questioned by French police in July last year and resigned last December when he reached the age limit of 75 years.

Career Diplomat, Ventura served in Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Niger before serving as ambassador or ambassador to Niger, Chile, and later to Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, and the United Kingdom.

The Catholic Church has emerged from a wave of allegations of sexual harassment and clerical abuse over the decades, mostly associated with minors. Complaints of sexual harassment by adult men are very rare.

Pope Francis has promised to deal with criminal offenses within the church.

At least 3,000 children have been sexually abused in the French Catholic Church since 1950, according to a report in June.

In a recent high-profile case, the clumsy Catholic priest Bernard Prenayat was sentenced in March to five years in prison for boy scouts who sexually abused him in his care several decades ago.

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