Apparently repeating his about face on the failure of the Chilean bishops to protect children in 2018, Pope Francis has had second thoughts on the case of the famed religious mozaic artist Marco Rupnik, a former Jesuit dismissed by his order in 2022.
On Friday 27th October it was announced by the Vatican that the statute of limitations on investigation of the former priest had been lifted – to permit a new examination of his case. This followed protest from Rupnik’s alleged female Czech victims, after it had been announced in the same month that he had been incardinated by a Slovenian diocese, enabling him to minister as a priest yet again.
Already incensed by a reported meeting between the pope and a Rupnik supporter in Rome in September, the artist’s Czech victims – whom the pope has reportedly not yet met – won media support for greater transparency on the issue. This has resulted in his case being reopened by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), formerly known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). This body now has overall responsibility for dealing with issues of clerical sexual abuse, as well as the issue of doctrinal orthodoxy.
The editor of La Croix International, Robert Mickens, has been especially trenchant in his criticism of these events, falling as they do at the same time as the conclusion of the October 2023 Synod on Synodality.
“The members of the Synod assembly could not even acknowledge in their “Letter to the People of God” that hundreds, certainly tens of thousands and perhaps even millions of people – minors and vulnerable adults – have been sexually abused by Catholic priests over the past 70 or so years alone. The best they could muster in their anodyne text was to mention “victims of abuse committed by members of the ecclesial body”. Seriously? This was not a tough one.”
For this full commentary article in La Croix, assessing the October synod, click here.