Abdication of office accepted

Abdication of office accepted

Archbishop Luigi Ventura © Jean-Pierre Pouteau (CBA)

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of his ambassador to Paris, Archbishop Luigi Ventura. This is accused of sexually assaultive behavior in several cases. Only recently, the former nuncio had reached the retirement age.

Temporary embassy staffer Andrea Ferrante will take over as charge d'affaires, French media report (Tuesday). Ventura was celebrated on 9. December 75 years old and thus reached the retirement age. But he had already returned to the Vatican several months before his term ended.

In July, the Vatican had lifted Ventura's diplomatic immunity. Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti confirmed at the time that the move was related to criminal investigations against the nuncio.

Accusation of sexually assaultive behavior

Ventura is accused of sexual assault in several cases. Among other things, he is alleged to have indecently touched a young man of a delegation at the New Year's reception of Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo in mid-January. The man sued the ambassador both in Paris and the Vatican.

Ventura has been Vatican envoy to France since 2009. He previously served as papal ambassador to several West African countries as well as Chile and Canada.

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