Rupnik is currently rector of the Church of St. Philip Neri at the Esquiline and a member of the Diocesan Commission for Sacred Art and Cultural Heritage.
The priest is also the founder of the Aletti Center, a community which has a sacred art school and a theological center, and organizes and leads frequent retreats and spiritual exercises in Rome and the surrounding area.
De Donatis said “the Diocese of Rome is also aware that it must reflect and possibly take action” with respect to the activities of the Aletti Center. In June 2019, the Aletti Center became a public association of the faithful of the Diocese of Rome.
“The Church,” the cardinal vicar said, “has two inalienable mandates that are at the same time also duties: to be close to those who suffer and to implement the criteria of truth and justice inferred from the Gospel.”
“We ministers of Christ cannot be less of a guarantor and [less] charitable than a secular state, turning a complaint into a crime de plano [flat-out],” he said.
“The judgments that we see spreading by many with particular vehemence,” De Donatis continued, “do not seem to manifest either an evangelical criterion of the search for truth, or a basic criterion on which every rule of law is founded, a verbis legis non est recedendum.”
“A verbis legis non est recedendum” is a Latin phrase and legal concept meaning “from the words of the law, there must be no departure.”
The cardinal referenced twice a decree of Dec. 16, titled “Prot. DIR-SOLI 22/006,” which he said was signed by Fr. Johan Verschueren S.J., major superior for the international houses of the Jesuits and Rupnik’s superior.
He said the diocese assures the Jesuits of “all necessary collaboration” for the implementation of the decree.
“The entire diocese, faced with this disconcerting communication, especially in the media, which disorients the People of God, is living these hours with concern and dismay,” De Donatis said.
The Diocese of Rome, he added, is “aware of the extreme delicacy of the situation, which — it was reiterated — has been amply dealt with in judicial fora that are completely outside the competence of the Cardinal Vicar, and which is now being handled autonomously by Fr. Rupnik’s legitimate Superiors.”
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