Slovenian bishops distance themselves from Rupnik

Incardination nothing to do with them

A Slovenian bishop has accepted the alleged abuser Marko Rupnik into his diocese. The country's bishops' conference now emphasizes that it has nothing to do with it - and indicates how it views the allegations.

The Slovenian Bishops' Conference (SBK) is distancing itself from the Koper diocese's decision to admit the alleged abuser Marko Rupnik into the diocese's clergy. At the weekend, the SBK published a statement by chairman Andrej Saje, in which the bishop of Novo mesto emphasized that the bishops' conference was not involved in the process of Rupnik's incardination. "Each bishop is autonomous and independent in this matter and is therefore not obliged to inform the SSK," said the statement published in Slovenian, German and Italian. Last week, the Diocese of Koper confirmed to that Bishop Jurij Bizjak had accepted Rupnik, who was expelled from the Jesuit order, into his diocese.

After it became known, the diocese defended the decision by citing the presumption of innocence. As long as Rupnik is not convicted, he "enjoys all the rights and obligations of a diocesan priest." The SBK chairman, on the other hand, now expressed clear doubts about Rupnik's innocence and cited the expulsion of the former Jesuit from his order for this: "Under canon law, such an extreme measure cannot be understood as anything other than a criminal sanction for serious, intolerable actions." The bishop cites Pope Francis' decision to lift the statute of limitations for the acts Rupnik is accused of. In the statement, Saje assured that the country's bishops would side with the victims "so that they can be heard and justice can be done." Those responsible in the church would monitor “what is happening in our church communities so that there is no abuse of authority by senior staff in the future.”

Pope's behavior criticized

The Rupnik case became public in December 2022. The artist is accused of sexual and spiritual abuse. Investigative proceedings by the Jesuit order under the direction of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ended with the determination that the alleged misconduct had expired. In 2022, the Jesuit order banned Rupnik from publicly exercising his priestly office and imposed further conditions. He was expelled from the order in mid-June after apparently ignoring the requirements. With his incardination in the diocese of Koper, Rupnik can in principle exercise his priesthood again without restrictions.

After it became known on Friday that the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children had expressed concerns about the actions of Vatican authorities in dealing with Rupnik and had interviewed those affected, the Holy See's press room declared on the same day that Pope Francis had lifted the statute of limitations on the alleged acts and brought the Dicastery of Faith with them commissioned the process. The Pope has been criticized for his handling of the case. In January he emphasized that he had never been directly involved in the case. His meeting with the leader of Rupnik's Roman community in September was met with clear rejection from those affected



Popular Posts