The head of Pope Francis’ Jesuit religious order admitted Wednesday that a famous Jesuit priest had been convicted of one of the most serious crimes in the Catholic Church, some two years before the Vatican decided to shelve another case against him for allegedly abusing other adult women under his spiritual care.
Father Arturo Sosa, the Jesuit superior general, made the admission during a briefing with journalists that was dominated by the scandal over Father Marko Ivan Rupnik and the reluctance of both the Vatican and the Jesuits to tell the whole story behind the unusually lenient treatment he received even after he had been temporarily excommunicated.
Rupnik is unknown to most Catholics but is a giant within the Jesuit order and the Catholic hierarchy because he is one of the church’s most sought-after artists. His mosaics depicting biblical scenes decorate the basilica in Lourdes, France, the Vatican’s own Redemptoris Mater chapel, the John Paul II institute in Washington and are due to grace the new basilica in Aparecida, Brazil.
The scandal involving Rupnik erupted last week when three Italian blogs — Silere non Possum, Left.it and Messa in Latino — began revealing allegations of spiritual, psychological and sexual abuse against Rupnik by women at a Jesuit community with which he was affiliated in his native Slovenia.Jesuits admit artist excommunicated before new abuse claims | Crux