The Vatican says its former ambassador to the Dominican Republic is facing accusations of possessing child pornography as well as sexually abusing minors.

The Vatican on Thursday released details about the accusations against Josef Wesolowski, who was placed under house arrest earlier this week when he was officially informed of the accusations against him.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the restrictive measures were taken because the Polish prelate represented a flight risk and because Vatican prosecutors feared he might tamper with evidence.

The Holy See recalled Wesolowski last year after the archbishop of Santo Domingo told Pope Francis about rumors that Wesolowski had sexually abused teenage boys. Prosecutors there say he allegedly paid shoe-shine boys to masturbate.

Lombardi says an indictment and trial could take months.