Josef Wesolowski, a former Polish archbishop who had been due to be the first cleric tried in the Vatican for child sex abuse, has been found dead in his apartment in the city state.
Wesolowski, 67, was found slumped in front of his television, officials said, and the Vatican said in an official statement that it appeared the disgraced former prelate had died of natural causes.
An autopsy was to be carried out during the day and the results published as soon as possible, the Vatican said, adding that Pope Francis was being kept fully informed.
Wesolowski’s death came six weeks after his landmark trial was suspended after only seven minutes because of an undisclosed illness which resulted in the accused being hospitalised on the eve of its start.
Wesolowski was charged with possessing child pornography in Rome in 2013-14, and the sexual abuse of minors during his 2008-13 stint as the Vatican nuncio, or ambassador, in the Dominican Republic.
He was secretly recalled from his posting after the church hierarchy was informed that he had regularly paid young Dominican shoeshine boys to perform sex acts on him.
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