The Society of Jesus has confirmed that Fr Marko Rupnik is definitively expelled from the religious order for sexually, spiritually and psychologically abusing women, lamenting they couldn’t prosecute him more vigorously under the Vatican’s internal procedures. Source: NCR Online.
Fr Rupnik remains a Catholic priest but is no longer a Jesuit after he didn’t appeal his June expulsion decree, said Fr Rupnik’s former superior, Fr Johan Verschueren SJ.
Fr Rupnik, a Slovenian priest, is one of the most celebrated religious artists in the Catholic Church. His mosaics decorate churches and basilicas around the world, including at the Vatican.
Late last year, the Jesuits acknowledged Fr Rupnik had been accused by several women of sexual, spiritual and psychological abuse over 30 years.
After conducting an investigation, the Jesuits announced in June that they determined the women’s claims to be “very highly credible”.
They said they had kicked Fr Rupnik out of the order because of his “stubborn refusal to observe the vow of obedience.” The Jesuits had exhorted Fr Rupnik to atone for his misconduct and enter into a process of reparation with his victims, but he refused.
“I cannot but greatly regret this insistent and stubborn inability to confront the voices of so many people who have felt hurt, offended and humiliated by his behaviour and conduct toward them,” Fr Verschueren wrote in a letter obtained yesterday confirming the expulsion.
At the same time, Fr Verschueren acknowledged criticism that Fr Rupnik still remains a priest, who now has no religious supervision whatsoever. He said the Vatican’s legislation precluded an investigation that could have led to a harsher penalty — the most stringent church penalty is to defrock a priest, essentially making him a regular layman again.
Jesuits confirm expulsion of priest artist Rupnik (By Nicole Winfield, AP via NCR Online)