The Rupnik Case. The Pope’s Devastating Script on Priests, Sex, and Abuse.
18 Dicembre 2022Lascia il tuo commento
Dear friends and enemies of Stilum Curiae, the story of Jesuit Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, brought to light by Silere Non Possum and by Messa In Latino, leads to a series of serious and sad reflections. In particular, on the trust, or growing lack thereof, that Catholics can have in the reigning Pontiff, and in his way of handling abuses and scandals related to the sexual activity of priests, bishops, and cardinals.
Imagine if, instead of Pope Bergoglio, Benedict XVI was at the center of the scandal linked to the Jesuit Father Rupnik, excommunicated and then pardoned (by whom? it’s a Mystery) for having absolved a nun in the confessional, an accomplice with Rupnik himself in committing sin against the sixth commandment … The newspapers would be full of scandalized headlines.
Imagine then if the Rupnik case were not an isolated episode, but presented itself as just one pearl in a necklace that always had the same Pontiff as protagonist, with different supporting actors.
We list here some of those “pearls”, sure to forget others (we wrote a book about this vice, but we are too lazy to go consult it).
Let’s start with Theodore McCarrick, punished by Benedict XVI, covered up by the then-archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl, rehabilitated by Pope Bergoglio and used as his diplomatic messenger in various parts of the world, including China, with the splendid results we have before our eyes, despite the denunciation of Archbishop Viganò; receiving impunity and honors until the long shadow of his sins reached him and forced his protectors to drop him like a burning ember.
Then there is Mauro Inzoli, of CL, “Don Mercedes,” excommunicated, condemned, pardoned by the Pontiff, finally reduced to the lay state but always without excommunication.
Let us not forget Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta, who faced a trial before the civil court in Argentina, and who found refuge in the Vatican. The accusations against him were quietly overlooked by Pope Bergoglio, who preferred to believe his former protégé when he was in Argentina, and the improbable apologies advanced. He even created a position for him – one that had never before existed – in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.
And then Bishop Pineda, the right-hand man of the Pontiff’s right-hand man, the Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga, denounced by a letter from fifty seminarians for the usual reasons; a letter published in the country’s newspapers; there is no news of canonical or disciplinary measures against him, on the contrary …
And as I said at the beginning, certainly the list is longer, and goes back to when Bergoglio was archbishop in Buenos Aires.
And now the case of Father Rupnik. Franca Giansoldati rightly wrote yesterday in Il Messaggero:
“The script of the Rupnik case seems to follow a similar situation that has already happened in the past.
Vatican City – The ugly case of abuses of Father Error risks having a devastating domino effect and directly involving Pope Francis . The Jesuit artist internationally known for his mosaics that adorn cathedrals, shrines and even the chapel in the Apostolic Palace. The General of the Society of Jesus, Father Arturo Sosa, had to publicly acknowledge – making a ruinous reversal – that Rupnik had actually incurred excommunication for the very serious canonical crime of the acquittal of an accomplice, a provision that someone very high decided to cancel. In these hours the pressure is growing within the Church to have transparency on “Rupnikgate” and to know who was the authority that decided to undertake such a juridical decision. Everyone knows that the revocation of such a provision remains an extraordinary act that, technically, could be done only by the Pope.
It is only following pressing questions from the Associated Press that the Jesuit Superior General, Father Sosa, acknowledged that the Congregation for the Faith prosecuted Rupnik for a separate and previous case in 2019, which ended with his conviction and temporary excommunication for one of the most serious crimes contemplated by canon law: The acquittal of an accomplice. In this case he acquitted a woman in confession with whom Rupnik had previously had sexual relations. The case dates back to 2015. Rupnik admitted the circumstances and formally repented, and the Congregation lifted his excommunication. It remains to be clarified whether the Pope had authorized the Jesuit Cardinal Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation to cancel this penalty, or if it was an autonomous initiative of the prefect of the Dicastery?
The scandal erupted last week after two Italian blogs, Silere non possum and Messa in Latino, began talking about Rupnik’s uncomfortable past, revealing allegations of psychological, sexual and spiritual abuse against women and nuns. At first, the Jesuits confirmed that a complaint had been received in 2021, but that the Vatican had declassified the accusations, dating back to the 90s in Slovenia, because they were time-restricted.
However, the general of the Jesuits – the so-called Black Pope – specified that he had maintained precautionary restrictions on Rupnik by forbidding him to hear confessions, to hold spiritual retreats. In the statement of December 2, however, Father Sosa did not mention that there were other charges against Rupnik. Because there was, in fact, not only the investigation started in 2021 and ended with a prescription in October 2022 but there was also another previous investigation for the acquittal of an accomplice in confession. A circumstance revealed by the blog Messainlatino.it and ignored in the statement dated December 2.
«”I can understand how victims feel betrayed,” Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and head of the center for abuse studies at the Gregorian University in Rome, told Reuters. “For the sake of transparency, we need to know who knew something, what and when, and what happened next. We could have revealed the different levels of responsibility, which could have avoided all this,” he added, referring to the 2021 complaint. “I ask myself and I ask my community, the Jesuits: Who could know? Who knew? Who sensed that something was wrong and did not go further?
If Father Rupnik’s excommunication was lifted in record time, who decided it? Knowing a little about the Vatican mechanisms, we strongly doubt that the prefect Ladaria (also a Jesuit, like Rupnik and the Pontiff) acted autonomously, in a case of such gravity, without informing the pope, and, most likely, asking for authorization to act.
Now let’s go back to the initial idea. If Benedict XVI had been responsible for all these wonderful things, what would have happened? And why is everything quiet now, apart from a few Catholic blogs, and a few isolated journalists?
Messa in Latino writes: “Meanwhile, the blog Messa in Latino asks for the head of Father Sosa. Shouldn’t he resign for lying?”.
Perhaps not only him, before the damage done by these behaviors becomes a real devastation of the Catholic world.
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