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Former Vatican ambassador to France goes to trial for sexual harassment


Ventura (right in the image with President Emmanuel Macron) was the papal representative in France from 2008 to 2019, after having held positions in several African countries and in Canada.

PARIS.

A former ambassador of the Vatican in France face a judgment in Paris on Tuesday accused of having harassed to four men, at latest sex scandal that shook the Catholic Church.

Prosecutors they opened a investigation after a official of the town hall from Paris accused of abuse to the papal nuncio Luigi Ventura, who was then 74 years old, in January 2019, and the authorities of the city filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor.

Ventura’s attorney denied the allegations.

Last year, the Vatican lifted diplomatic immunity for Ventura, who resigned from his post in December.

A Paris city official said last year that in January 2019, during Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s New Year’s speech, Ventura stroked the young official’s buttocks several times.

Since then, three other men have filed similar accusations.

Jade Dousselin, a lawyer for one of the men who was also a city council official who was 39 at the time, said her client was harassed in 2018.

Ventura’s attorney, Bertrand Ollivier, could not immediately be reached for comment. He told Europe 1 radio in July that his client would attend the court session to defend his honor and innocence, and that he strongly rejected the allegations.

Ventura was the papal representative in France from 2008 to 2019, after having held positions in several African countries and in Canada.

The Catholic Church around the world has been affected by a series of sexual abuse scandals, often involving children, over the past 20 years.

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