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Father Rupnik’s alleged victims rue upcoming mosaic dedication at world’s 2nd-largest church

May 02, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Alleged victims of Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, the Slovenian priest and artist accused of sexually abusing dozens of women, criticized the upcoming dedication of Rupnik mosaics on the southern facade of the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida, the Brazilian shrine that is the second-largest Catholic church in the world.

“In Rupnik, the sexual dimension cannot be separated from the creative experience,” said one former member of Rupnik’s religious community. “In portraying me, he explained that I represented the eternal feminine: his artistic inspiration stems precisely from his approach to sexuality.”

“Today’s mosaics have their roots in the time when he used women as models and half an hour later abused them,” added another former member, who is now a diocesan hermit.

In October, amid an outcry, the Pope waived the statute of limitations in the Rupnik case, allowing the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate multiple charges of sexual abuse against the former Jesuit. The priest in now a priest in good standing in a Slovenian diocese.

In March 2020, Father Rupnik was invited to take the place of the Preacher of the Papal Household in preaching a Lenten sermon to the Roman Curia—despite Rupnik’s canonical conviction, two months earlier, of the offense of absolving an accomplice in a sexual sin. Rupnik was subsequently excommunicated, and the excommunication was swiftly lifted.

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  • Posted by: feedback - May. 02, 2024 8:22 AM ET USA

    It seems that the only explanation of the go-ahead in 2024 with another public display of Rupnik's work comes from a complete ignorance of his past and his moral corruption. Or, maybe Rupnik's continued "good standing" with Francis has something to do with it? Either way, it's a global scandal and a terrible waste of Church funds - since his revolting "art" (by direct and instant association with a revolting author) will be removed from the church sooner or later.