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Dark clouds over the Basilica at Higuey herald time of reflection for Catholics.

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The Vatican’s confirmation that its ambassador in the Dominican Republic has been pushed out of office in the wake of a pedophilia scandal subjects the local Catholic Church to its biggest test since the 30-year reign of terror from the dictator Rafael Trujillo.

I had a chance to speak with the Vatican’s representatives when he first arrived in the country, and he struck me as a decent, open and hard-working priest.

But now, Josef Wesolowski, together with another Polish priest, Alberto Gil Nojache, and several similar cases reflects the Catholic Church’s battle with the specters of child abuse that erode its credibility and faith among the nation’s overwhelming majority of Catholics.

The depth of the scandal also became evident when bishop and Catholic University (PUCCM) president Agripino Nuñez Collado stumbled on a reporter’s question about who alerted The Vatican on the alleged abuses.

Surveys have always shown that Dominicans consider the Catholic Church the country’s most trustworthy institution and Dominican Today hopes that it can again surmount yet another daunting challenge, just as it did when it finally stood up to Trujillo.

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