Rupnik sculptures litter and pollute the countryside around Geneva. Diocese is still thinking about what to do! How could this be a difficult decision?

Geneva: a "think tank" on the future of Mr Rupnik's works

A "think tank" has been set up in the diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg (LGF) to examine the fate of the works of mosaic priest, Marko Rupnik, who is accused of sexually abusing adult women. The mosaics on the Chemin de Joie (Path of Joy) in Geneva, created by the former Jesuit, are at the heart of the matter.

In agreement with Charles Morerod, Bishop of LGF, a diocesan reflection group on the Chemin de Joie has been set up to discern the impact of the "Rupnik affair" on the message of this artistic journey, informs the September 2023 Courrier pastoral of the Roman Catholic Church Geneva (ECR). Geneva's Chemin de Joie is a route inaugurated in 2019 of 13 mosaics installed on the facades of churches and other venues throughout the canton. The works were created by artists from the Encanada center in Peru, as well as from the Aletti Center in Rome, where Marko Ivan Rupnik was long-time director.

The challenge of communication

At the end of 2022, the press revealed serious accusations by adult women, mainly nuns, of spiritual, psychological and sexual abuse by the world-famous mosaic priest. Deeming the accusations "highly credible", the Society of Jesus expelled Marko Rupnik in July 2023.

Faced with the artist's disgrace, several places of worship around the world considered removing his works. In August 2023, the Aparecida Basilica in Brazil suspended the installation of the Slovenian priest's mosaics on its façade. In March, the Lourdes Orientation Council set up a "think tank" to consider whether Marko Rupnik's mosaics should remain in the shrine.

The Diocese of LGF is taking a similar step, creating a commission to decide on the future of the Chemin de Joie. Made up of around ten people with a variety of skills and backgrounds, the group met for the first time last June. Its task was to identify the avenues to be explored, and the organizations and other institutions to be contacted, in order to draw up proposals and appropriate communications for the public in this new context. 




A pilgrimage to Geneva 

Do you like walking, hiking, art and meditation? The Chemin de Joie pilgrimage routes are for you! And if you're a Christian, or interested in Christian culture, the itineraries and stages of this Geneva pilgrimage are definitely tailor-made for you!

The Chemin de Joie is an artistic and faith-based itinerary on the theme of Christ's Resurrection.  It comprises 13 stages, each illustrated by a large, colorful mosaic. 

It has been created by the Roman Catholic Church in Geneva, with a view to opening up and bringing people together.

From Bernex to Puplinge, via Le Lignon, the Chemin de joie stretches across the whole canton over a distance of around 30 kilometers. But you can of course choose to walk only one or two stages at a time.

A path of light  

For Christians, the Chemin de joie is a continuation of the Way of the Cross, whose stations tell the story of Christ's passion. 

The Chemin de Joie is therefore a path of light! It celebrates the Easter season, which begins with Easter and ends with Pentecost. 

Most of the mosaics evoke encounters with the Risen Christ. Placed outdoors on church walls, chapel facades or in the heart of a garden, they can be seen at any time.  

Think a pilgrimage isn't for you? Yet many of our contemporaries - believers and non-believers alike - set out on a pilgrimage to enjoy an experience of discovery, a spiritual journey or a beautiful hike.  What's more, with their artistic dimension and beauty, the frescoes on this pilgrimage are for everyone.

Geneva pilgrimage: a country walk to discover the Chemin de Joie mosaics (Perly)

16 routes for all

To help you discover the mosaics of the Chemin de Joie, we've put together a series of suggested itineraries that will take you from one stage to the next, where you'll discover these resplendent works of art.

They'll take you off the beaten tourist track, through town and country, along vineyards or the banks of the Rhône to the outskirts. They'll also take you off the beaten track, with itineraries weaving their way between different neighborhoods and suburbs, or through the canton's parks. 

 At the end of each stage of this Geneva pilgrimage, a mosaic awaits you for an encounter.

The thirteen frescoes on the Chemin de Joie illustrate Jesus' encounters after the Resurrection. With Mary Magdalene, the apostles, Thomas the unbeliever, the disciples of Emmaus and the witnesses of his time.

Works signed by a Master of Spiritual Art (Cathcon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!- and serial abuser)

The mosaic in the church of Sainte-Marie du peuple (Châteleine)

The frescoes were created by artists from the prestigious spiritual art workshop at the Centre Aletti (Rome), under the direction of Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik.

They invite meditation and wonder.

Placing of the reproduction of the Resurrection Mosaic in Choulex

The Resurrection mosaic is now accessible to the public: a faithful copy of the original work, which is "locked up" in Champ-Dollon, was installed in mid-July 2022 near the entrance to the church of Saint-André, in Choulex. The "Resurrection" mosaic is the first stage of this journey. It was also the only one not visible to the general public. However, before being installed in the penitentiary, the mosaic benefited from a major spotlight. Indeed, it was blessed by Pope Francis on the occasion of the mass he celebrated in Geneva in 2018. During the entire celebration, the mosaic was visible beside the altar. The church in Choulex occupies an elevated belvedere position and from here it is possible to perceive Geneva's penal institutions, so we can carry the detainees in our prayers by stopping off in front of the mosaic.

Itineraries to discover

On the Chemin de Joie website, you can download itineraries of various lengths. From 15 minutes for a short outing, to over 4 hours for those who don't mind putting in the miles.  Walks to share with family, friends, couples or to enjoy on your own.

Find the route that matches your desires, strengths and interests.  Or create your own itinerary by combining several routes.

Whether you're a hiker, a walker or a pilgrim, don't wait any longer! Put on your shoes and discover the Chemin de Joie!


Cathcon: Only a modernist would want this work within a thousand miles of piety. 


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