The Catholic Jesuit order, of which Pope Francis is a member, has been shaken by allegations that a famous priest assaulted numerous women, raising doubts about how the Church punishes offenders.
Father Marko Rupnik, a 68-year-old Slovenian priest and world-renowned artist, is accused of sexually and psychologically abusing a number of women at a religious community in Ljubljana in the early 1990s, according to news sources.
The matter originally made headlines in Italy, before the Jesuits – one of the most important Roman Catholic orders, founded in 1540 – disclosed that they had sanctioned Rupnik, depriving him the ability to hear confession.
The Vatican’s dicastery for religious doctrine was involved in the case, but stated it couldn’t put Rupnik on trial since the statute of limitations had lapsed. The Jesuits then disclosed that Rupnik had also been convicted of “absolution of an accomplice… in a transgression against the sixth commandment” in a different case, meaning absolving someone for having sex with him.
This is a grave offence under church law, and Rupnik will be automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church in May 2020. Later that month, a Vatican order removed the excommunication.
“To be excommunicated, the individual must admit the error and formally repent. And Rupnik has done just that “The Jesuit superior general, Father Arturo Sosa, told media earlier this month.
When asked if Pope Francis was contacted regarding Rupnik’s situation, Sosa responded, “I do not have a direct route with the pope.” He continued: “I believe the prefect of the dicastery conferred with the pope before reaching his decision. That appears to be typical to me. However, I am unable to answer yes or no.
Cover-up
Rupnik is also an accomplished mosaic artist. His works may be seen in the Vatican’s apostolic palace chapel and the Lourdes basilica’s façade.
The case against him has shocked the Jesuit community at a time when the Catholic Church is still dealing with the fallout from clerical sex abuse of minors – and the accompanying cover-up. The Jesuits, who claim 14,500 members worldwide, have invited anybody else with a complaint to come forward, vowing to listen “with understanding and with care”.
The claims of abuse against the ladies of the Loyola Community in Slovenia were first reported to the Vatican in 2021, and were then sent to the Jesuits. According to a chronology released by the Jesuits, an independent inquiry concluded in January 2022 that there “was a case to answer” and advised the Vatican to send Rupnik to court.
The Vatican abandoned the case in October 2022 because it had run its course, but the Rome-based Jesuit order said sanctions imposed on Rupnik during the probe remained in effect.
These include a prohibition on providing confession and related spiritual exercises, as well as a prohibition on engaging in public activities without the consent of his local superior.
A 58-year-old religious sister said Rupnik coerced her into having sex with him in a recent interview with the Italian publication Domani.
She feels the priest was “protected” by the church authorities and that her accusations have gone ignored since the 1990s.
Slovenian bishops voiced “consternation” and “sadness” over the issue last week, and denounced what occurred. “We lament officials’ failure to take the required actions, as well as the cover-up of acts of sexual and spiritual assault, as well as misuse of power and authority,” they stated. A 58-year-old religious sister said Rupnik coerced her into having sex with him in a recent interview with the Italian publication Domani.
She feels the priest was “protected” by the church authorities and that her accusations have gone ignored since the 1990s. Slovenian bishops voiced “consternation” and “sadness” over the issue last week, and denounced what occurred.
“We lament officials’ failure to take the required actions, as well as the cover-up of acts of sexual and spiritual assault, as well as misuse of power and authority,” they stated.

The Catholic Order, of which the Pope is a member, has been hit by a priest abuse scandal

The Catholic Jesuit order, of which Pope Francis is a member, has been shaken by allegations that a famous priest assaulted numerous women, raising doubts about how the Church punishes offenders.
Father Marko Rupnik, a 68-year-old Slovenian priest and world-renowned artist, is accused of sexually and psychologically abusing a number of women at a religious community in Ljubljana in the early 1990s, according to news sources.
The matter originally made headlines in Italy, before the Jesuits – one of the most important Roman Catholic orders, founded in 1540 – disclosed that they had sanctioned Rupnik, depriving him the ability to hear confession.
The Vatican’s dicastery for religious doctrine was involved in the case, but stated it couldn’t put Rupnik on trial since the statute of limitations had lapsed. The Jesuits then disclosed that Rupnik had also been convicted of “absolution of an accomplice… in a transgression against the sixth commandment” in a different case, meaning absolving someone for having sex with him.
This is a grave offence under church law, and Rupnik will be automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church in May 2020. Later that month, a Vatican order removed the excommunication.
“To be excommunicated, the individual must admit the error and formally repent. And Rupnik has done just that “The Jesuit superior general, Father Arturo Sosa, told media earlier this month.
When asked if Pope Francis was contacted regarding Rupnik’s situation, Sosa responded, “I do not have a direct route with the pope.” He continued: “I believe the prefect of the dicastery conferred with the pope before reaching his decision. That appears to be typical to me. However, I am unable to answer yes or no.
Cover-up
Rupnik is also an accomplished mosaic artist. His works may be seen in the Vatican’s apostolic palace chapel and the Lourdes basilica’s façade.
The case against him has shocked the Jesuit community at a time when the Catholic Church is still dealing with the fallout from clerical sex abuse of minors – and the accompanying cover-up. The Jesuits, who claim 14,500 members worldwide, have invited anybody else with a complaint to come forward, vowing to listen “with understanding and with care”.
The claims of abuse against the ladies of the Loyola Community in Slovenia were first reported to the Vatican in 2021, and were then sent to the Jesuits. According to a chronology released by the Jesuits, an independent inquiry concluded in January 2022 that there “was a case to answer” and advised the Vatican to send Rupnik to court.
The Vatican abandoned the case in October 2022 because it had run its course, but the Rome-based Jesuit order said sanctions imposed on Rupnik during the probe remained in effect.
These include a prohibition on providing confession and related spiritual exercises, as well as a prohibition on engaging in public activities without the consent of his local superior.
A 58-year-old religious sister said Rupnik coerced her into having sex with him in a recent interview with the Italian publication Domani.
She feels the priest was “protected” by the church authorities and that her accusations have gone ignored since the 1990s.
Slovenian bishops voiced “consternation” and “sadness” over the issue last week, and denounced what occurred. “We lament officials’ failure to take the required actions, as well as the cover-up of acts of sexual and spiritual assault, as well as misuse of power and authority,” they stated. A 58-year-old religious sister said Rupnik coerced her into having sex with him in a recent interview with the Italian publication Domani.
She feels the priest was “protected” by the church authorities and that her accusations have gone ignored since the 1990s. Slovenian bishops voiced “consternation” and “sadness” over the issue last week, and denounced what occurred.
“We lament officials’ failure to take the required actions, as well as the cover-up of acts of sexual and spiritual assault, as well as misuse of power and authority,” they stated.

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