Pope Francis in a close door meeting collaborator of Rupnik.

Pope Francis in a close door meeting collaborator of Rupnik.

Dismissal of Priest Accused of Abuse Sparks Controversy

Accusations and Dismissal The Jesuits took the decision to dismiss priest and artist Marko Ivan Rupnik on June 9, following accusations of spiritual, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as abuse of conscience. These allegations span over a period of more than three decades, causing significant controversy within the community.

Official Announcement of Dismissal Father Johan Verschueren, SJ, Rupnik’s former superior, released an open letter on June 24, officially declaring that Rupnik was no longer a Jesuit. This announcement came after the 30-day window for appealing the decision had closed, solidifying Rupnik’s expulsion from the Society of Jesus.

Defense and Accusations In response to the public announcement of Rupnik’s dismissal, theologian Campatelli came to his defense in a letter published on the Aletti Center website on June 17. She stated that Rupnik had sought to leave the Jesuits in January due to a loss of trust in his superiors. He believed they were supporting a “media campaign based on defamatory and unproven accusations,” which not only targeted Rupnik but also the Aletti Center, subjecting them to unwarranted criticism.

Allegations of Withholding Information Furthermore, Campatelli accused the Jesuit order of withholding information from the media, including documents that could have presented a different perspective from what was being published. She also questioned the motives behind the Jesuits’ request for Rupnik to transfer to a Jesuit community in northern Italy in March, characterizing it as a strategic move used as a pretext for an act of disobedience.

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