Under the altar, relics of two martyrs are kept, one Spanish and the other Mexican, St. Pedro Poveda and St. José Sánchez del Río. Poveda was the founder of the Teresian Institution and was murdered out of hatred for the faith during the religious persecution of the 1930s in Spain. Sánchez del Río was a 14-year-old boy stabbed to death out of hatred for the faith during the 1928 Cristero War.
The Rupnik case
Father Marko Rupnik has been renowned worldwide for his artistic skills and his characteristic style in making mosaics, which are present in such notable places as the Vatican itself, Lourdes in France, and the headquarters of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference. The UFV itself awarded Rupnik an honorary doctorate in 2013.
Since 2018, several investigations have been conducted into alleged sexual and theological abuse committed by Rupnik, founder of the Loyola Community of Slovenia in the 1980s, with which he broke ties in 1993.
In June 2019, the Jesuits announced that they were imposing a series of unspecified restrictions on the priest and the following month the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith asked the order to begin an investigation.
In May 2020, it was reported that Rupnik had incurred automatic excommunication for absolving in confession a woman accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment, but Vatican authorities shortly thereafter lifted the penalty.
The following year, the Vatican asked the Society of Jesus to investigate Rupnik regarding accusations relating to the Loyola Community. In January 2022 it was concluded that there was a case that deserved to be heard in a criminal proceeding, but in October of that year the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith stated that the case was beyond the statute of limitations.
In February 2023, the Jesuits announced new restrictions following new complaints from 15 women against him. On June 15 of that year, Rupnik was expelled from the Jesuits “for disobedience” and, in August, he was incardinated in the Diocese of Koper in Slovenia. In December, the Loyola Community was dissolved.
Pope Francis asked the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in September 2023 to review the case of the former Jesuit priest and decided to lift the statute of limitations to allow a trial to take place.
The Holy Father made the decision after the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors informed him of the serious problems in the way the priest’s case was handled and the lack of attention to the victims.
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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