“Indecently touched”

Papal nuncio in Paris, Archbishop Luigi Ventura, is accused of sexual assault. He allegedly touched a young man indecently at the mayor's New Year's reception.

Prosecutor Remy Heitz has opened an investigation against the papal nuncio in Paris, several French media reported Friday. Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said at noon that it would await the results of that investigation. Ventura (74) has been Vatican envoy to France since 2009.

Touch at New Year's reception

The incident reportedly occurred at the New Year's reception of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in mid-January. Ventura allegedly indecently touched a young man from the mayor's Delegation for International Relations (DGRI) on several occasions.

The Holy See's ambassador traditionally has a special role at the annual reception in Paris as the oldest representative in France. He gives a lecture at the beginning of the event and escorts the mayor from her office to the salon.

Trial of several clergymen

Failure to report sexual assault and abuse by clergy has been an ie in French media for months. In January, a trial was held against several clerics, including Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin. A film by director Francois Ozon dealing with the ie is to be released on Wednesday.

An international summit on abuse will be held at the Vatican starting Thursday. Pope Francis has invited the presidents of all bishops' conferences, the leaders of the united Eastern churches and numerous male and female religious superiors to the four-day meeting in Rome. Also attending will be the heads of all Vatican agencies, the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection, and abuse victims from around the world.

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