Rupnik case, on the former Jesuit reported for abuse by the nuns, there is a clash with the Pope’s Diocese – -

Rupnik case, on the former Jesuit reported for abuse by the nuns, there is a clash with the Pope’s Diocese – -
Rupnik case, on the former Jesuit reported for abuse by the nuns, there is a clash with the Pope’s Diocese – -
Of Gian Guido Vecchi

The founder of the Aletti Center, among the most celebrated Christian artists in the world, had been excommunicated, but the Pope’s Diocese casts doubt on everything: «Seriously anomalous procedures»

VATICAN CITY — Le complaints from several nunsthe accusations of “psychological violence, abuse of conscience, sexual abuse and emotional, spiritual abuse”: the former Holy Office had excommunicated him, the Jesuits kicked him out, and now the Diocese of the Jesuit Pope questions everything and talk about “seriously anomalous procedures”in open contrast with the Society of Jesus and the same dicastery for the Doctrine of the faith.

There is one embarrassing clash behind the affair of the now former Slovenian Jesuit Marko Ivan Rupnik68 years old, a charismatic figure who founded the Aletti Centre and he was among the most celebrated Christian artists in the world, at least until he broke out the abuse scandalauthor among other things of the mosaics in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican.

The Vicariate of Rome, led by Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, issued a note in which it informs that on 16 January 2023 the Vicar had arranged a “canonical visit” to the Aletti Center to investigate “the associative dynamics and the real consistency of the questions raised by some instances”. Own some of the abuses reported by the nuns allegedly occurred in the center. The note from the Vicariate never mentions it: it only mentions the unspecified “instances”.

Instead, we read that from the investigation entrusted to the «Visitor» Don Giacomo Incitti, Ordinary of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University, «it clearly emerges that within the Aletti Center there is a healthy community life without any particular critical issues”.

The tone is laudatory: «The Visitor was able to ascertain that the members of the Aletti Center, although saddened by the accusations received and the ways in which they were handled, chose to maintain silence – despite the vehemence of the media – to guard the heart and not claim some blamelessness with which to set yourself up as judges of others. The whole affair, in the Visitor’s opinion, has helped the people who live the experience of the Aletti Center to strengthen their trust in the Lord, in the awareness that the gift of God’s life also makes space through trials.”

But that’s not enough: «The Visitor dutifully also examined the main accusations that they were moves to Rupnik, especially the one that led to the request for excommunication. On the basis of the copious documentary material studied, the Visitor was able to find and therefore has reported seriously anomalous procedures
the examination of which has generated well-founded doubts also on the same request for excommunication”. And so, “in consideration of the seriousness of these findings, the Cardinal Vicar referred the report to the competent authorities”, that is, to the Holy Office.

The reference is excommunication decree issued in May 2020 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for «absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment», meaning that Rupnik had confessed and acquitted a nun whom he had sexually abusedbinding her to silence: one of the most serious canonical crimes, punished with excommunication latae sentiaethat is, automatic.

There excommunication it is for the one Church «medicinal punishment»it is expected may it be taken away from those who repent, but in Rupnik’s case it had happened very quickly and she had been revoked by the former Holy Office “in the same month”. Is it possible that the dicastery, then led by another Jesuit, the Spanish cardinal Luis Ladaria, had taken the decision without having consulted the Jesuit Pope? «I can imagine that the prefect spoke with the Holy Father, but I can’t say either yes or no»the Father General of the Jesuits, Arturo Sosa, replied.

In the meantime, nothing had happened, and indeed the cardinal himself In 2021, De Donatis had entrusted Father Rupnik with the renovation of the chapel of the Roman Seminary. The story then became public on December 5 last year, with a note in which the Society informed that “in 2021” the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith had received a complaint against Rupnik of abuse against nuns of the Loyola Community in Ljubljana, founded at the end of the 1980s and of which the Slovenian Jesuit was the “spiritual father”.

The facts, it was said, they date back to the ninetiesthere had been a “prior investigation” but the former Holy Office had closed the case because they were “time barred”although for Rupnik some “restrictions” remained, such as the ban on confessing or accompanying spiritual exercises. Numerous other complaints then surfaced.

And while Cardinal De Donatis spoke about «media accusations», the Society of Jesus continued its investigations and collected testimonies. On July 14, 2023, Rupnik received the “decree of dismissal from the Society of Jesus” signed by Father General, Arturo Sosa. Rupnik was kicked out «because of his stubborn refusal to observe the vow of obedience».

The Society of Jesus explained: «The Contact Team in cases of complaints against Jesuits gave us in February 2023 the dossier relating to the numerous complaints of all kinds that have reached us, coming from very different sources and for events that occurred over a period of over 30 years about Father Rupnik. As Superiors we considered the degree of credibility of what was reported or witnessed to be very high and we followed the indications and recommendations provided to us by the Contact Team in its final considerations”.

The company had offered Rupnik to “change community and accept a new mission” as «a last chance as a Jesuit to come to terms with his past and to give a clear signal to the numerous injured people who testified against him, in order to enter into a path of truth». But “in the face of Marko Rupnik’s repeated refusal to obey this mandate” all that remained was expulsion.

Father Johan Verschueren, who dealt with the case, wrote: «As a representative of the Society of Jesus and former Major Superior of Marko Rupnik, I can only greatly regret this insistent and obstinate inability to deal with the voice of so many people who felt hurt, offended and humiliated by his behavior and his way of acting and behaving towards them.” At this point it is a question of seeing what Francis will do, who has always tried to keep out of the way in this matter and had already said that he had not intervened in the decisions of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is impossible that the note from the Vicariate of Rome was not submitted to him before publicationbut the same could be said for the decisions of the Society of Jesus. Bergoglio knows Father Rupnik as an artist and theologian, in 2016 he entrusted him with the Lenten meditations at the Roman Curia.

In June, in a video message to the Shrine of Aparecida, Brazil, a mosaic of Father Rupnik was seen in his apartment. Last Friday, Bergoglio received Maria Campitelli, Rupnik’s main collaborator, in audience and president of the Aletti Center.

September 18, 2023 (modified September 18, 2023 | 10:08 pm)


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