Rupnik case press release: now the facts, just words are not enough. Rupnik trial must not be transformed into a trial for the victims.

Press Release From Italychurchtoo Coordination

"The Pope is firmly convinced that if there is one thing that the Church must learn from the Synod it is to listen with attention and compassion to those who suffer, especially those who feel marginalized by the Church" (Vatican Press Office bulletin, 10/28/23 ).

Last September 19, five former nuns who accuse Ivanka Hosta and Marko Rupnik of abuse addressed an open letter to the pope, published by our website: a cry of indignation and disillusionment in the face of the pope's recent, one-sided meeting with the current director of the Aletti Center, Maria Campatelli - but not with them, who have been asking for it for years - and to the subsequent statement from the Vicariate of Rome regarding the canonical visit to the Aletti Center itself, which concluded with a diagnosis of good health of the community and with the expression of doubts regarding the procedure that in 2020 led to the excommunication, then mysteriously withdrawn, of Marko Rupnik.

The letter to the Pope from the five former nuns, who revealed themselves by signing their name and surname, went around the world and arrived in the Vatican. The Pontifical Commission Tutela Minorum, integrated into the disciplinary section of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, has raised its antennas. The pope has been informed.

On 8 October, the same Commission contacted the victims proposing a meeting, not aimed at questioning the decisions taken on Rupnik (who, we recall, was not subjected to a second canonical trial because the facts examined had fallen into statute of limitations , and was only "discharged" (expelled) from the Society of Jesus for disobedience to the disciplinary measures that had been imposed on him) as for a procedural review of the way in which the former nuns had been treated. The meeting, which was attended by one of them, took place on 21 October.

On 26 October the Diocese of Koper, in Slovenia, gave official news of the incardination of Marko Rupnik into its clergy, insisting on the innocence of the former Jesuit, as he was not affected by any conviction.

On October 28, the Vatican Press Office announced that the Pope, having listened to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Mins regarding "problems in the management of Fr.'s case." (sic) Marko Rupnik and the lack of closeness to the victims (sic), asked the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to examine the case and decided to waive the statute of limitations to allow a trial to take place." An unexpected decision, which would seem (the conditional is a must) to overturn by 180 degrees the Vatican policy of protection of the former Jesuit which has been witnessed so far.

Italychurchtoo welcomes the Pope's decision: the exemption from the statute of limitations is certainly the sine qua non for clarifying Rupnik's responsibilities and for designing a due path of justice for the victims.

But words are not enough.

While agreeing with the change of posture regarding the issue,

It saddens us and it seems paradoxical that the Pope, because he is pressed by the succession of controversial events, is only now realizing the "lack of closeness to the victims";

It saddens us and it seems paradoxical to us that "listening with attention and compassion to those who suffer, especially those who feel marginalized by the Church" is something that must be "learned from the Synod";

We strongly underline how, at this point, we expect that:

the Pope's decision, which opens a glimmer of hope for the victims, is quickly transformed into the reality of a canonical trial: a commitment not kept would constitute yet another abuse;

what concerns the investigation, development and conclusion of the trial is communicated to the victims and the public, in the name of effective and real transparency that allows the truth to be ascertained;

the canonical trial of Rupnik, whose investigation the Pope has committed to, must not be transformed into a trial of the victims: their credibility as adult women must be respected and protected; they must be able to make use of lawyers of their choice; be duly informed about the procedures and directly involved; otherwise, they will only relive further abuse;

the canonical trial in Rupnik is conducted quickly and is a prelude to further proceedings aimed at bringing to light the responsibilities of those who, in the chain of command of the ecclesiastical hierarchy, despite knowing it, covered up and covered it up;

in the same dimension of transparency, the conclusions of the Apostolic Visit to the Loyola Community of Ivanka Hosta be made public quickly.

Only if these minimum requirements are met will it be possible to think that the institutional Church is truly on the threshold of a new and more concrete way of dealing with abuse, rendering truth and justice to the victims and prosecuting the perpetrators, with no more protection and cover-ups.

Rome, 30/10/23



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