Will anyone in Rome get to the bottom of the Rupnik/Centro Aletti business?

What do you call a whitewash that is also a coverup that is also a snow job?

Pope Francis greets Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik during a private audience at the Vatican in this Jan. 3, 2022, file photo. (CNS photo/Vatican Media)

After the statement from the Rome vicariate on Monday announcing a clean bill of health for the Centro Aletti, the only question is: What do you call a whitewash that is also a coverup that is also a snow job?

The Centro Aletti is the art institute founded by the disgraced Marko Rupnik—the olim Jesuit expelled from the order earlier this year, who is intolerably still a priest in good standing—and currently under the juridical umbrella of the same Rome vicariate that investigated and found there “a healthy community life free of particular critical issues.”

Rupnik, in case you’re having a hard time placing his name, is accused of serial sexual, psychological, and spiritual abuse of more than two dozen women—and at least one man—over three decades, much of which he spent in Rome.

Rupnik isn’t accused of plain vanilla exploitation, either.

Credible accounts from his accusers detail literally diabolical perversion including “threesomes with another sister of the community, because sexuality had to be, in [Rupnik’s] opinion, free from possession, in the image of the Trinity where, [Rupnik] said, ‘the third person would welcome the relationship between the two’.”

Rome’s Vicar General, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, claimed in late December of last year—heading into the Christmas holiday weekend, as a matter of fact—that the Diocese of Rome only learned about the accusations against Rupnik “in very recent times,” even though one of De Donatis’s very own auxiliaries, Bishop Daniele Libanori SJ, had brought a raft of abuse allegations against Rupnik to Rome in 2019, from the Loyola Community of women religious that Rupnik had helped start in the 1980s.

Libanori also encouraged Rupnik’s accusers to file complaints with the disciplinary section of the office then styled the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—i.e., the Vatican department responsible for investigating and sometimes prosecuting sex crimes—and several accusers apparently did just that, though the CDF declined to prosecute for … reasons.

Even if Libanori’s report on the Loyola visit stayed under Pontifical Secret, a mind-boggling level of official dysfunction would have been required in order to keep everyone from Pope Francis to the porter in the CDF from making so much as a phone call to say that the guy is a creep who needs to be kept under close watch and his shop probably shut down posthaste.

The Jesuits themselves restricted Rupnik’s ministry several times—on paper, at least—between 2019 and Christmas 2022, but no one thought to tell the Rome vicariate, apparently. Rupnik kept his priestly faculties at the time De Donatis issued his Christmas weekend statement, as well as his place on several works and committees of the Rome vicariate.

Though it was phrased very carefully, in the exquisitely guttural jargon of the Roman curia, the short of De Donatis’s long was that Pope Francis had decided to leave Rupnik in place and was basically calling the shots in Rupnik’s case. Shortly after De Donatis delivered his early Christmas present, the cardinal vicar found himself mostly stripped of his powers.

Among the other findings of De Donatis’s investigation—conducted by a canon law professor from the Pontifical Urban University, Giacomo Incitti—were “gravely anomalous procedures” surrounding the one tiny bit of medicinal discipline to which Rupnik had been secretly subjected and from which he had been quickly rehabilitated, namely an excommunication for the grave crime of having absolved one of his “accomplices” in a “sin against the Sixth Commandment”—Church-speak for sexual misbehavior—though the excommunication was lifted almost immediately.

The statement from the Rome vicariate said examination of “copious documentary material” related to Rupnik’s case “also generated well-founded doubts about the request for excommunication itself,” which De Donatis dutifully “presented the report to the competent authorities,” presumably the same doctrinal dicastery that declined to prosecute Rupnik. It’s a safe bet a copy made it to Pope Francis’s desk, too.

So, to sum up: A Jesuit auxiliary of the Rome diocese investigated the House that Rupnik Built in his native Slovenia and discovered disgusting things, but official Rome dragged its feet and eventually the Jesuit pope refused to lift the statute of limitations so the Jesuit-led CDF declined to prosecute, then the Jesuits investigated Rupnik and decided that there are credible accusations but Rupnik refused to cooperate so they couldn’t do anything except kick him out, only Rupnik wanted to leave anyway, and then the Rome vicariate investigated its own Centro Aletti—the one Rupnik founded in Rome—and found that everything is awesome and everyone there is completely not guilty of … something, and also they decided that some action taken against Rupnik himself was dodgy somehow but they’re not saying how but they’ve sent it up the ladder to someone but they haven’t said exactly or really at all to whom.

Did I mention that the current director of the Centro Aletti, Maria Campatelli, Rupnik’s longtime associate, was in for a visit with Pope Francis last week?

A few months ago, Campatelli had issued a statement through the Centro Aletti calling the accusations against her old pal “unproven and defamatory”—though not false—and claiming that “[O]ther Jesuits of the Centro Aletti,” have lost faith in the leadership of their Jesuit superiors and “have also applied for permission to leave the Society and are awaiting the conclusion of the relative procedure, to be able to continue the exercise of their priestly ministry.”

The Aletti business looks for all the world like some sort of mutiny or defection triggered by pushback from some Jesuits in senior leadership after their efforts to rein in Rupnik proved too little, too late. Rupnik operated too long without oversight, indeed under the aegis of other superiors, and has perhaps a merry band of ultras around him.

De Donatis cannot possibly expect anyone to credit either his investigation or his report, for which there is only one word in English, a quotidian term, the technical scientific designation for which is excrementum bovinum.

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About Christopher R. Altieri 221 Articles
Christopher R. Altieri is a journalist, editor and author of three books, including Reading the News Without Losing Your Faith (Catholic Truth Society, 2021). He is contributing editor to Catholic World Report.


  1. Excrementum Bovinum is a fitting label for the luminaries mentioned in the article, including the maestro Pontiff Francis.

    All observers can note that they are guided by “the spirit,” as is their forthcoming parade they call their “synod.”

    Per the counsel of the Apostle Paul, I discern that this “spirit” seems very unlike the Spirit that John the Baptist saw descending on his cousin on that great day.

    Instead, this is “the spirit” of Excrementum Bovinum.

  2. Christopher, why the obsession about a bit “below the belt”? You and your “rigorist” US colleagues at CWR should just “move on” and leave the Centro “A Letto” alone. Always the “backwardists!” So what if the Pope saved his former Jesuit buddy from the “death penalty” of laicization and lifted the unmerciful excommunication imposed upon this great artist? After all, the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Bill Clinton likes Rupnik’s “style.” The Pope asks: “Who am I to judge” how Rupnik chooses to “accompany” others with “closeness”? And yet you and the press still pursue poor Rupnik. He should not be hiding but voting with the other papal guests at the upcoming Synod. When will we learn that “all are welcome”? That is why the Pope has no choice but to impose synodal secrecy. If this is how the press maligns Rupnik, how can the Pope trust you to tell the truth about Synodaling? Rupnik is a model of “integral ecology.” The real sin you neglect to cover is “ecological conversion” as “true repentance” that leads to the end of “ideologies and practices that are hurtful and disrespectful to the earth.” For your penance, please say three prayers to the Pachamama.

    • Very nicely summarized. I’m laughing. And crying. And gnashing my teeth. And shaking my head in disgust at this whole vomitous episode. With more to come, we can be sure.

      • LexCredendi,
        You also have very nicely summarized the reaction of those trying to be faithful Catholics and enduring all of this rot coming out of Rome.
        This guy Rupnik should be sharing a cell with Harvey Weinstein.
        St. JP II pray for us.

        • https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=saint+padre+pio+feast+23+september+santuario+san+michele

          San Pio da Pietrelcina (f) – Santa Messa – 23.09.2023

          I love Saint Padre Pio and I LOVE SAINT MICHAEL ARCHANGEL very much. And I love this Beautiful Sanctuary. I visited it before COVID and I met some wonderful people there. I even think one of the Michaelite Fathers who worked there is a Real Saint (Padre Enrico, Father Henry who is a Pole ordained in Canada where he worked for some years and he speaks very good English and Italian, unfortunately he is very much sick now and can’t travel to Italy to Saint Michael Sanctuary as he did for many years during summer to work there.) This place is really wonderful. Many people, including me, obtain mamy graces and even miracles. SO I WAS REALLY VERY SAD WHEN I SAW A MOSAIC OF SAINT PADRE PIO MADE BY THAT NOTORIOUS INCARNATED DEVIL, RUPNIK, in Youtube as a “cover” for this video. APPARENTLY THE DEVIL REALLY HATES SAINT MICHAEL AND THIS HOLY PLACE, if he managed to put a mosaic by that monster Rupnik in a video from such a wonderful HOLY PLACE. Yes, Saint John Paul II, pray for us.

    • Dear Fool,
      You outta’ be on EWTN Late Night, since you’re like the Jimmy Failla of CWR Christianity. Integral ecology indeed! Three prayers to Pachamam!

      I cannot help but remember these synodal men descend from fishermen.

      Under cover of dark night, people vowed to celibacy ad chastity but inclined to label and ‘love’ fish of the opposite sex and lambda gamma beta tau koppa persuasion cast and lower their hooks, lines, sinkers, and nets.

      Apparently they’ve forgotten that day follows night. Surely they’ll cringe at sight of their nakedness and recoil from the net’s catch of death stench.

      The light reveals the truth both of life and of death. Therein lies the beauty of integral ecology! There’s no escaping its designer.

    • Recently I found something nice to say about Francis to a friend of mine, but now I read this article, and I’m disgusted again. I feel I owe him an apology, but I’m at a loss. I know. I’ll just email him a copy of your comments, acknowledged of course!

    • Glorious Fool!

      You’ve done it again! Living up to your cognomen, Bergoglio’s Bane, you have once again placed this Bergoglio’d up papacy in its proper perspective.

      In keeping with Mr. Altieri’s scholarly tone, I believe you’ve shown it to be a “multitudinarius coitus super.”

  3. Has Rupnik been accused of criminal acts & if so are those being investigated by law enforcement?
    I don’t pretend to understand how it works in Vatican law but surely if any felonies were committed it would be appropriate to turn this over to the police?
    The man produced some really dreadful art & certainly doesn’t stir up much sympathy but I do wonder why in these sorts of cases why the identity of accused party is revealed but not his accusers? After a conviction, sure but before that it seems a double standard. Keep everyone involved anonymous or none.

  4. Q: What do you call a whitewash that is also a coverup that is also a snow job?

    A: 1) Just another day at the office.
    2) SSDD
    3) Both of the above

  5. From CNS: “Editor’s Note: To offset the carbon footprint of hundreds of participants traveling to Rome for the October Synod of Bishops, the Synod office announced plans to send “efficient cooking stoves and water purification technologies to households, communities and institutions” in Kenya and Nigeria.”

    If this isnt the most cynically patronizing action of this Sinod, nothing is!

    • “But woe unto you, Pharisees: for ye tithe mint and rue and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God .”

  6. Yo, Altieri,
    I find your stepping into vernacularism and excrementum bovinum solefully disturbing. Much more tasteful on this website, methinks, to call upon Scripture, as in:”Like a dog that returns to its vomit, So is a fool who repeats his foolishness” (Prov 26:11). More interreligious, too, as repeated in 2 Peter 2:22.

  7. It would indeed be telling if the Jesuits allowed Rupnik to have his “band of extras” alongside him, but the Society has for ages stamped out efforts (like within Franciscandom) to create alternate visions of the Ignatian charism, e.g., more orthodox Jesuits of a “stricter observance.”

  8. From Pope Leo XIII’s Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel 1890 version. It looks like he was surrounded by Vatican Catholic Curia Mafia Freemason Cardinals as well.

    A portion of, Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel 1890 edition
    These most crafty enemies have filled and inebriated with gall and bitterness the Church, the spouse of the Immaculate Lamb, and have laid impious hands on her most sacred possessions.
    In the Holy Place itself, where has been set up the See of the most blessed Peter and the Chair of Truth for the light of the world, they have raised the throne of their abominable impiety, with the iniquitous design that when the Pastor has been struck, the sheep may be scattered.
    Arise then, O invincible prince, bring help against the attacks of the lost spirits to the people of God, and bring them the victory.
    Quoted from:

    “Papal ban of Freemasonry,
    (Pope) Leo XIII “emphasizes that ‘the ultimate and principal aim’ of Masonry ‘was to destroy to its very foundations any civil or religious order established throughout Christendom, and bring about in its place a new order founded on laws drawn out of the entrails of naturalism’.”

  9. Rupnik and Bergoglio. The finest representatives imaginable of the Jesuitical order over its last 70 years.

    I propose that their images be rendered in Rupnikkian style, with huge, baleful, empty eyes (suggestive of the nature of their souls), to be displayed in the Sistine Chapel on the side of the goats.

  10. These people never cease to amaze me. I naively expected not to hear too much about this notorious Jesuit, at least from the Vatican, but it seems that the powers-that-be are not content to consign to Rupnik to oblivion and hope everyone forgets about him and the story of how so many people -up to and including Francis – ignored his offenses and then covered up for him. They really like and want to keep him around. The brazen contempt Francis and his henchmen have for common decency and the opinion and intelligence of the Faithful is also indicative of their confidence that they can continue to get away with their outrageous conduct. As hardly anyone cares or even pays attention, it seems perfectly justified. The similarities between them and the Democrats in the US is striking.

  11. As I was reading this article, i was reminded of a Godfather who will protect any member of his family, so long as that member does not harm the family and remains loyal to the “family.” The question is, what exactly defines his “family.”

    • “What will The Owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come & kill those tenants & give the vineyard to others.” Luke 20:16

  12. From the article: “but no one thought to tell the Rome vicariate, apparently” meaning that, once the proper authorities knew about the vice and pursuit of clearly abject things, the Roman Vicarate would surely have done something about it. Well, they know now and has anything been done about it? That’s your answer, folks. That’s your Roman Church hard at work, folks. This papal administration really doesn’t care as much for the salvation of your soul as it does an earth-bound agenda and the handing over of the church’s faithful to the grotesque desires of hell-bound seculars and governmental powers. What’s so mind-boggling about all this is how many people are still willing to listen and regard what this “pontiff” has to say. I long ago dismissed him. If he’s not willing to speak for Christ, why listen? While I’m not a sedevacantist, it is more than apparent enough that he is – I pray that he finds his way back to the Chair and then overcomes whatever evil spell keeps him out of it. We need a pope able and willing to live the part, not just exploit the part.

    • A thoughtful and evocative comment, dear Mark Tabish.

      Let’s also be open to the thought that our LORD Jesus Christ (who has not relinquished His absolute authority over both Heaven & Earth) may be using the Francis Faction to begin the long & arduous process of separating His obedient sheep from the disobedient goats.

  13. This is all very simple.
    Rupnik knows a lot about the homosexual tendencies of many in high places in this pontificate.
    He knows he had to get expelled from the Jesuits. He was OK with that. But he expects to be reinstated by the Vatican after a suitable period – or he will spill the beans about which people next to Francis are flaming homosexuals, who their boyfriends are, where their love nests are and how they took rent boy holidays to Thailand.
    So when this women Campatelli met with Francis this week, she conveyed all that was at stake to Francis personally. Either Rupnik is rehabilitated, or everyone secrets get exposed. Perhaps including Francis’s secrets.
    Francis will comply with her demands of course.

  14. People can mock me if they want but there should be a warning at the top of this article. Thanks to this article blasphemous filth that I heretofore never thought of has been introduced into my mind and soul. I’m actually angry. Just like I had gone 47 years and served years in the military before Pope Francis introduced me to the disgusting term “coprophilia”. Take note, it was a Pope who introduced to me that repulsive word. Being a Catholic sucks these days. It really does. So many disgusting things in the Church. Again, please put a warning on this article. I feel like my last small shred of innocence has been destroyed. Maybe some of us don’t want to be assailed with the most depraved blasphemies against the Most Holy Trinity.

    • Dear Andrew, you speak for tens of millions of innocent, clean-minded Catholics around the world.

      Francis & his mates are polluting what God made pure. They’re ignoring Christ’s warning that such abuse of God’s beloved little ones will attract a judgement worse than their being thrown into the ocean with millstones around their necks. (Luke 17:2)

      Faithful Catholics can relax because King Jesus Christ has already made provision to sort out the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

      Always in the love of King Jesus Christ; blessings from marty

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