The Vatican has recalled a diplomat from the United States after the State Department last month requested diplomatic immunity be waived over possible violation of child pornography laws.
The U.S. Department of State notified the Vatican on August 21 that one of its diplomats had possibly violated laws related to pornographic images of children through diplomatic channels, and requested the waiver.
The Vatican said Friday that it has recalled the diplomat in question, whose name has not been released, and opened its own investigation into the matter.
“The Holy See, following the practice of sovereign states, recalled the priest in question, who is currently in Vatican City,” Vatican officials said in a statement.
“The Promoter of Justice opened an investigation and has already commenced international collaboration to obtain elements relative to the case.”
State Department officials said a request for the Vatican to waive diplomatic immunity for the individual, who is said to be part of the administrative and technical staff at the Vatican embassy, was denied.
The Vatican has previously recalled a diplomatic official, recalling then ambassador to the Dominican Republic Jozef Wesolowski in 2013 on allegations he sexually abused children. While he was defrocked, Wesolowski died before standing trial.
By Stephen Feller