Catholic church relieves Dominican Republic ambassador amid investigation

The Vatican has recalled the papal envoy to the Dominican Republic as authorities in the Caribbean country investigate rumors of alleged child sex abuse.

A statement from a Vatican spokesman says a church investigation was under way of the papal nuncio, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski.

The statement Wednesday from Rev. Federico Lombardi did not specify the nature of the accusations against the Polish-born prelate.

A nuncio is the pope's ambassador to a country and such an abrupt removal is rare.

The attorney general of the Dominican Republic says his office is investigating what he termed "rumors" of abuse against Wesolowski. Francisco Dominguez Brito said his office had received no formal complaints of abuse and was responding to media reports.

The whereabouts of the 65-year-old Wesolowski are unknown.