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Report: Vatican investigator says Father Rupnik and hierarchy’s ‘complicit silence’ ruined victims’ lives

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff

Father Marko Rupnik / Courtesy of the Diocese of Rome

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Dec 19, 2022 / 18:30 pm (CNA).

The Vatican investigator who uncovered allegations of sexual and spiritual abuse by Jesuit artist Father Marko Ivan Rupnik says the claims are true, according to a letter he sent to Italian priests obtained by the Associated Press.

Bishop Daniele Libanari also said the women Rupnik is alleged to have abused have “seen their lives ruined by the evil suffered and by the complicit silence” of the Church, the AP reported Monday.

He urged the members of the hierarchy who hid his crimes to “humbly ask the world to forgive the scandal.”

Libanori’s letter comes on the heels of revelations in the past week that Rupnik, a Slovenian priest well-known for his mosaics that adorn chapels and churches around the world, had been excommunicated for using the confessional to absolve a woman with whom he had engaged in sexual activity.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles sex abuse cases, declared the excommunication in May 2020 but lifted it that same month, reportedly after Rupnik repented.

Yet when new allegations surfaced of sexual and spiritual abuse by Marko in the early 1990s at the community for women religious in Slovenia where he served as chaplain, the same Vatican office (now called the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith) closed the case because it said the claims were too old to prosecute.

Libanori, also a Jesuit, uncovered the women’s stories when he was sent in 2019 by the Vatican to conduct an investigation into their troubled community in Slovenia amid complaints about their current leader, the AP reported.

“It’s ignoble to think of reducing responsibility and diminishing the evil by dismissing those who complain with summary judgments about their mental health or, worse, their seriousness,” Libanori wrote in a Dec. 4 letter to the Slovene community members, the AP reported. “If anything, this makes the responsibility of those who took advantage of them more serious.”

In his letter to Italian priests, Libanori, an auxiliary bishop of Rome, wrote that while Rupnik deserves God’s love and mercy, his victims deserve to be believed.

“Wounded and offended people, who have seen their lives ruined by the evil suffered and by complicit silence, have the right to have their dignity even publicly restored now that everything has come to light,” Libanori wrote. “We the church have a duty to seriously examine our conscience, and those who are responsible must acknowledge it and humbly ask the world to forgive the scandal.”

The Jesuits, meanwhile, are asking any other potential victims to come forward with claims, the AP reported.


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8 Comments

  1. Rupert Pupnick did not do what is right. Marko Rupnik broke his vows and injured the lives and tranquillity of innocent servants of God. Let the punishment fit the crime. Prayers for his victims. May the Lord comfort and bless them.

  2. Most significantly, Pope Francis is directly implicated in yet another sex abuse scandal. Once again, he has protected and covered up for a predator. If not for his lofty position, he probably (and justifiably) would be criminally prosecuted. Meanwhile, we can’t even get a small group of cardinals to formally censure him, let alone get them to investigate whether he could and should be removed from his office.

  3. A symptom of increasing tolerance of illicit sexual behavior within Church hierarchy, in this instance touching the Chair of Peter because the CDF involved in Fr Marko’s excommunication would by protocol [it is assumed] notified Francis.
    Although, there are similar instances of tolerance Pope Francis’ abrupt dismissal of then CDF prefect Card Muller’s three indispensable sex crime investigators, Francis’ tolerance toward others one child abuse priest removed from ministry by Benedict reinstated by Francis.
    Apparently, the rationale behind this is reassessment of sexual behavior in context of scriptural certitude. To quote Dr John Sehorn in his recent article, Did Jesus really say that? Much of the theological doctrines in question, the eternity of Hell, the sin of adult mutual homosexuality [persons who are kept in service of the Church doing their best] aren’t simply acts of hierarchal charity, rather they indicate a moral philosophy that perceives a more realistic understanding of man and sexuality [needless to say the suffering Slovenian women in the Marko Rupnik case demands justice as insisted by Bishop Libanari-but then, why the cover up? Why the continued silence? Are women and children destined as anthropological pawns of male venality in the new morality?] already underway at the Vatican strikingly similar to the more aggressive approach of the German Synodal way.
    If there is to be a moral sea change, as by indication is in process it will likely not be a repudiation of God. Rather its focus will be on the veracity of the Gospels concerning the Person of Christ.

  4. The stench of Satan wafts through our Catholic Church. We’re it not be for the fact that Christ is the Head of the Catholic Church, there would be no cause for hope. “If the eye offends, pluck it out; if the hand sins, cut it off.” Words spoken by the Head of the Church.

  5. Amoris Laetitia contains the premises that dissemble the conditions that account for sin. For example, the arguments on primacy of conscience in contrast to natural law and revelation, mitigation, existential ‘concrete circumstances’ that beg a realistic pastoral approach, the perceived defects attached to intrinsic evil such as adultery [the mistaken interpretation of natural law principles in Aquinas ST 1a2ae 94, 4 Francis assigning defect in individual cases when St Thomas is instead referencing their universal application among various cultures when ignorance, sin itself provides for the difference] that bring into question the premise of sin altogether.
    Among the more essential questions addressed during this pontificate, then, sin, a presumed reality that would effectively modify one’s status in the community, inclusive of the clerical state has become a matter of value judgment of an act depending on one’s rigorous interpretation of scripture, the revealed word, as compared to a more reasoned, scientific approach of conscience, and the variables reference above.
    New paradigm approach to what is thought the problematic issue of sin is juxtaposed to advances in the sciences, including a presumed natural development of culture in which sensitivities are refined, the previously offensive by nature now understood as acceptable by advances in understanding what accounts for nature and what is now natural. New paradigmatic thought juxtaposes changes in perception of human nature to a permanent human nature. It becomes, not a question of change, rather of perception.
    Which position is correct? If we are to appeal to a definitive axiom apart from individual argument from either position, that axiom, if we are to claim the title of Christian would be the revelation of God the Father in the revealed Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

  6. Rupnik does NOT DESERVE “God’s love and mercy” – NONE of us does.

    “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” Is that not plain enough?

    We all NEED it – desperately – but NO ONE deserves it.

      • I do not believe that just because someone is a member of the Church he should be judged by his clerical peers. This Fr. Rupnik is, for all intense and purposes a common criminal. Anyone who takes vow of celibacy and breaks it, should be reported to the Police and, if found guilty under the laws of the Country, should be prosecuted and jailed. The damage to individuals which has been done by members of the Cloth is no less greater than the common criminal subject to all the laws of the State. ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesars and the things of God to God’.I have no sympathy for those who break their vows. Confess them certainly but also pay for them by law.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Report: Vatican investigator says Father Rupnik and hierarchy’s ‘complicit silence’ ruined victims’ lives | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Report: Vatican investigator says Father Rupnik and hierarchy’s ‘complicit silence’ ruined victims’ lives | Passionists Missionaries Kenya, Vice Province of St. Charles Lwanga, Fathers & Brothers

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