Prominent Jesuit priest and artist disciplined after abuse allegations

Reuters [London, England]

December 5, 2022

By Philip Pullella

The Roman Catholic Jesuit order said it disciplined a prominent priest and artist who reportedly sexually and psychologically abused nuns in his native Slovenia three decades ago.

The Jesuits issued a statement about Father Marko Ivan Rupnik following Italian media reports last week that several nuns had accused him of abuse in the early 1990s when he was their spiritual director at a convent in Slovenia.

Rupnik faces restrictions including not being allowed to hear confessions or preside at spiritual exercises.

The priest is well known in the Church as a mosaics master who designed chapels around the world, including one in the Vatican and in the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C.

The statement from Jesuit headquarters in Rome said the order had carried out an investigation into Rupnik after the Vatican’s doctrinal department received a complaint last year about “the method by which he carried out his ministry”.

It gave no details of the allegations except to say that no minors were involved.

The order gave the results of the investigation to the Vatican, which decided that the “facts in question” were beyond the statute of limitations and closed the investigation in October, the statement said.

Attempts to reach Rupnik at his school for religious art in Rome were not successful.

The Jesuit statement said the order placed the restrictions on Rupnik when the investigation began last year and the order decided to keep them in place despite the Vatican closing the case.

The statement made no mention of the specific allegations made by the nuns in the Italian media reports.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Cynthia Osterman