NewsPope issues decree. A dark cloud hangs over the Vatican

Pope issues decree. A dark cloud hangs over the Vatican

Pope Francis
Pope Francis
Images source: © Getty Images
ed. MDol

4:34 AM EDT, October 28, 2023

Pope Francis has set forth criminal proceedings against Slovenian priest Marko Rupnik, who is facing accusations of molestation and sexual violence against numerous women. Rupnik was dismissed from the Jesuit order, and the Vatican publicized the pope's decision this Friday.

The Apostolic See's press office released a statement, sharing that the Papal Commission for Protection of Minors informed Pope Francis in September about "significant challenges in managing the Priest Marko Rupnik's case, as well as an absence of empathic support to the victims".

"As a result, the Holy Father approached the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to reassess the case. He also decided to repeal the statute of limitations to allow the case to proceed to trial," the Vatican announced.

The statement underlines, "The Pope strongly believes that if there's any lesson the Church should learn from the Synod, it is to listen compassionately to the suffering, particularly those who feel ostracized by the Church".

Damage to the Vatican's reputation

According to several commentators, the scandal concerning Father Rupnik, previously globally renowned for his creation of sacred mosaics, has tarnished the Vatican's reputation. The key concern lies in the apparent lack of immediate, decisive action in response to substantial allegations raised by the many women who suffered for years, including sexually exploited nuns, claims that were subsequently presented to the Apostolic See.

Information emerged that Father Rupnik had been excommunicated, only for this excommunication to subsequently be rescinded. Nevertheless, additional limitations imposed on the priest remained in effect. Despite this, he disregarded them and continued to travel despite the prohibition.

A definitive decision was made by Father Rupnik's Jesuit order to remove him from their ranks in June 2023.

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