Trips by Jesuit priest accused of abuse are transgression of restrictions, superior says

Father Marko Rupnik Father Marko Rupnik. | Credit: Screen shot/ACI Prensa

Jesuit priest and artist Father Marko Rupnik, accused of having physically and psychologically abused numerous nuns, continues to travel and carry out art projects despite restrictions imposed by the Society of Jesus.

According to recent information released by the Italian newspaper Domani, the priest, who was also briefly excommunicated for absolving in confession an accomplice of a sin against the Sixth Commandment, traveled this June to the city of Mostar in Bosnia-Herzegovina and to Hvar Island in Croatia to do art projects.

In a statement to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Father Johan Verschueren, delegate for the Jesuits’ Interprovincial Houses and Works in Rome and the superior of the accused priest, confirmed the veracity of the information and noted that these travels are “a serious transgression of the restrictive measures imposed on Father Rupnik.”

Specifically, Rupnik reportedly visited the city of Mostar as a guest of the Franciscan Order for the closing of the renovation of the church of the Friars Minor of St. Peter and St. Paul, where the Aletti Center — an art school founded by Rupnik in Rome — was in charge of decorating the vault and the walls with frescoes and a large mosaic of more than 7,500 square feet.

In addition, according to the Domani newspaper, Rupnik traveled to Hvar Island to study the possible restoration of the chapel of the bishop’s residence at the request of Ranko Vidović, the bishop of Hvar-Brač-Vis.

It was Verschueren himself who in January asked the accused priest not to leave central Italy in order to be available “for some ongoing preliminary investigations.”

In addition, since February, Rupnik has been prohibited from any public artistic work, particularly in relation to religious structures (such as churches, institutions, oratories and chapels, and houses of retreat or spirituality).

This is not the first time the Slovenian priest has breached the restrictions. On March 5, Rupnik participated in a Mass open to the public in well-known Santa Prassede Basilica in Rome despite the fact that he is only allowed to celebrate Masses in private.

In addition, on Dec. 14, 2022, the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum posted a message on its official Facebook page reporting that Rupnik had been moderator of a thesis presentation at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, entrusted to the Jesuits.

The restrictions that weigh on Rupnik are prohibitions to hear confessions, give spiritual direction, and lead spiritual exercises. He is also prevented from participating in public activities without the permission of his local superior.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

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