Vatican Arrests Former DC-Based Diplomat on Child Pornography Charges

Posted April 08, 2018

The Italian monsignor was ordered back to the Vatican from Washington in the summer of 2017 after USA officials told the Holy See the priest was being investigated for possible violations of child pornography laws.

He could not be reached for comment; the Vatican said he was being held in a cell in the Vatican's police barracks.

A State Department spokesman said at the time that the United States had requested that the man's diplomatic immunity be waived to open the way for possible prosecution, but the Vatican refused.

After Monsignor Capella was recalled from the U.S., police in Canada issued a warrant for his arrest on suspicion of possessing and distributing child pornography online.

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The arrest warrant was issued by the investigating magistrate of the Vatican City State Tribunal.

Another Vatican diplomat from Poland, Josef Wesolowski, was accused of paying teenage boys for sex while serving as ambassador to the Dominican Republic, but died in 2015 before the start of his trial.

Capella, who was in office until past year, was recalled from Washington last September by the Vatican.

The 2013 law under which he was arrested provides for "one to five years imprisonment and a fine from €2,500 to €50,000 [$3,000 to $61,000]".

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Daniel Bolino, 57, is charged with 20 counts of possession of child pornography.

After US authorities contacted the Vatican about the diplomat, he was moved home.

The Diocese of London, Ont., confirmed that it helped investigators who had suspicions of "possible violations of child pornography laws by using a computer address at a local church". He was ordained as a priest in 1993 in Milan, Italy.

The arrested monsignor was deployed at the embassy, in Washington since mid-2016.

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Pic: The Apostolic Palace in Rome, site of the administration of the Holy See.