The Society of Jesus, or simply the Jesuits, urged on Sunday all possible victims of a Jesuit priest-artist accused of committing spiritual and sexual abuse to come forward and contact them.
Details of the Alleged Abuses
A report by The San Diego Union-Tribune bared that the religious order issued the call in its bid to uncover new evidence against the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik.
Rupnik, the news outlet said, is a Slovenian prelate known among the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy for his mosaics that adorn basilicas, chapels, and churches worldwide.
The Jesuits have come clean concerning the priest's sins, including one considered among the gravest crimes any Catholic Church member could commit.
The news agency said the religious order had decided to excommunicate Rupnik after discovering he used the confessional to offer absolution for a woman's sin.
Tribune said the Jesuits found out Rupnik was having a sexual relationship with the woman.
The Tribune said the Jesuit order excommunicated Rupnik in May last year, but the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith overturned the decision in the same month. The news outlet said the Vatican Congregation's decision was unusually fast for a crime of such gravity.
Additionally, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith failed to probe Rupnik after a former nun surfaced and accused the latter of subjecting her to sexual and spiritual abuse.
The Congregation argued that the statute of limitations for the crime Rupnik allegedly committed had already lapsed.
The report noted that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is practically peppered with members of the Jesuit order: its leader is a Jesuit prefect, its sex crimes prosecutor is also a Jesuit, and the man who was once the Congregation's second-highest official happened to live within the same Jesuit community as Rupnik's.
'Abuse of Conscience'
The former nun Rupnik allegedly victimized called the latter's actions against her "an abuse of conscience."
"His sexual obsession was not impromptu but was profoundly connected to his concept of art and his theological thinking. Father Marko started slowly and sweetly infiltrating my psychological and spiritual world, leveraging my uncertainties and fragility and using my relationship with God to push me into sexual experiences with him," the unnamed former nun told reporters.
The nun said she had filed her complaint against Rupnik in 1994 but disclosed Rupnik's Jesuit community in Slovenia ignored her. She told reporters the Jesuits' decision to set her complaint aside coincided with the rise to fame of Ruonik's communities in Rome and Slovenia.
The nun added that as the Jesuits continually failed to act on her complaint, Rupnik continued victimizing other sisters. She alleged that Rupnik humiliated his victims and used pornography and several partners in his spiritual and sexual abuse of victims.
Tribune noted that the Vatican generally views Catholic priests' spiritual and sexual abuse of adult women as forgivable offenses.
The news outlet said the Vatican sees such impropriety as a "lapse of priestly chastity," adding that the Vatican leadership fails to consider the victims' trauma over such inactions and abuses of religious men.
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