(SKY NEWS) — The Vatican’s ambassador to France is being investigated over claims he sexually assaulted an official assigned to look after him during an event in Paris.
Archbishop Luigi Ventura is accused of touching the bottom of a member of Mayor Anne Hidalgo’s international relations team during her New Year address.
A City Hall spokesman told Reuters news agency the 74-year-old is alleged to have “caressed in an insistent and repeated manner the young man’s buttocks during the ceremony”.
A complaint was filed against Ventura on 23 January, six days after the alleged incident.
Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti said: “The Holy See is waiting for the investigation’s conclusion.”
Pope Francis has been criticised over the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of a long-running sexual abuse crisis.
While much of the recent focus has been on the United States, Australia and Chile, the trial last month of the Archbishop of Lyon has put the spotlight on Europe’s senior clergy again.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin is charged with failing to act on historic allegations of sexual abuse of boy scouts by a priest in his diocese. A verdict is due next month.