CNA Staff, Nov 9, 2020 / 18:05 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The former apostolic nuncio to France will go on trial Nov. 10 in Paris after allegations he committed sexual assault by inappropriately touching five men since 2018.
Archbishop Luigi Ventura, who denies the claims, submitted his resignation as apostolic nuncio to France in December 2019 upon reaching the age of 75, and Pope Francis accepted the resignation less than 10 days later. The Vatican had revoked Ventura’s diplomatic immunity in July 2019, paving the way for a trial in French courts.
“Bishop Ventura impatiently awaits this trial so that he can explain himself, that the light can be shed and his innocence recognized,” Ventura's lawyer, Solange Doumic, told Agence France Presse.
Doumic said that the former nuncio “himself asked for the lifting of diplomatic immunity so as to be able to explain himself to the courts.”
However, lawyers representing the civil complainants argue that lifting immunity was a “fight” for the plaintiffs. In February 2019 three of the plaintiffs challenged the French head of state over the issue.