France urges Vatican to remove diplomatic immunity of envoy

A file photo of French President Emannuel Macron (L) shaking hands with Apostolic Nuncio to France Luigi Ventura. (AFP)

France called on the Vatican on Friday to take action after sex abuse charges were filed against its envoy to Paris, suggesting his diplomatic immunity should be lifted.

French judicial sources said in mid-February that they were investigating 74-year-old nuncio Luigi Ventura for allegedly molesting an official at the Paris mayor’s office.

Ventura, who earlier served in Canada, is also being investigated for alleged sexual assault there, the Holy See’s embassy in Ottawa said on Thursday.

“I am waiting for the Holy See to assume its responsibilities,” French European Minister Nathalie Loiseau told CNEWS television when asked if Ventura should see his diplomatic immunity lifted.

“At this stage he (Ventura) has diplomatic immunity, but the Holy See obviously knows about the serious charges against the nuncio, and I have no doubt the Vatican will take the right decision,” Loiseau said.

Pope Francis has vowed the Catholic Church will no longer ignore abuse allegations, and he removed two prominent cardinals from his inner circle late last year after they were tainted by pedophile scandals.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:54 - GMT 06:54