Rupnik victims say Rome archdiocese statement ‘makes a mockery’ of their pain – Catholic World Report

Father Marko Rubinek. /Credit: Screenshot/ACI Prensa

Rome Newsroom, September 19, 2023 at 14:00 (CNA).

Victims of Father Marko Rubinek’s alleged spiritual and sexual abuse on Tuesday expressed their “bewilderment” at a recent Archdiocese of Rome statement praising the Center for Art and Theology founded by the former Jesuit artist, saying it “mocks the pain of victims” and shows little concern for them. Those who are looking for justice.

In an open letter published on September 19, former members of the Slovenian Rupnik religious community accused of abuse said they were “left speechless” by the archdiocese’s final report on its legal investigation into the Aleti Centre, an arts and theology school in Rome. Where Rupnik lived and worked as a director from 1995 to 2020.

The diocese described the Aletti Center — where Rupnik was accused of engaging in sexual acts with consecrated women — as currently enjoying a “healthy community life… free of certain serious issues,” and added that the investigation raised “doubts” about the procedures that led to Rupnik’s excommunication.

“This report….which absolves Rupnick of any responsibility, and makes a mockery of the pain of the victims, but also of the entire Church, which has been mortally wounded by this blatant arrogance,” the open letter said.

The letter was signed by Fabrizia Raguso and other former sisters of the Loyola Community, a Slovenian community co-founded by Rubinek and Sister Ivanka Hosta. The letter was posted on Italy Church Too, an online platform for victims of clergy abuse.

Pope Francis meets with Maria Campatelli, director of the Aletti Center, at the Vatican on September 15, 2023. The Aletti Center was founded in Rome by former Jesuit priest Father Marko Rubinek.  Source: Vatican media
Pope Francis meets with Maria Campatelli, director of the Aletti Center, at the Vatican on September 15, 2023. The Aletti Center was founded in Rome by former Jesuit priest Father Marko Rubinek. Source: Vatican media

The women said Pope Francis’ recent meeting with Maria Campatelli, the current director of the Aletti Center and a close collaborator of Rupnick, caused them more pain because the pope never responded to letters from members and former members of the Loyola community.

“This meeting that the Pope granted to Campatelli in such a friendly atmosphere was thrown in the faces of the victims (these and all victims of abuse); The open letter stated: “A meeting denied by the Pope.”

She added, “The victims were left with a silent cry denouncing the new violations.”

Rubinek was excommunicated by the Jesuits in June after being accused of spiritual, psychological and sexual abuse over more than three decades.

The Archdiocese of Rome announced on September 18 that the legal investigation into the Aletti Center conducted by Monsignor Giacomo Inceti, a professor of canon law at the Pontifical University Urbanana in Rome, had concluded and the community had been cleared of any serious problems.

Last year, a woman alleged in an interview with the Italian newspaper Domani that Rupnik had previously assaulted her in his room at the Aletti Center in Rome when she was a religious nun.

The visit “was able to ensure that the members of the Aletti Center, although saddened by the accusations they received and the ways in which they were dealt with, chose to remain silent – ​​despite the media violence –,” the statement from the diocese said. In order to protect their hearts and not claim some blame and judge others.

She said that the investigation also examined the main accusations against Rubinek and the procedures that led to his deprivation of church rights.

Rubinek had previously received automatic excommunication, or “Latae Senentiae,” for hearing confession and then attempting to grant absolution to a woman with whom he had sexual relations. An internal investigation conducted by the Jesuits confirmed Rupnik’s excommunication in January 2020, which was lifted in May 2020 after Rupnik repented for the canonical crime.

According to the Archdiocese of Rome, the visit established “dangerously irregular procedures” that “generated justifiable doubts even about the excommunication request itself.”

In light of these “doubts,” Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, vicar of the Archdiocese of Rome, submitted the report to the church authorities.

The Rome Diocese’s announcement came days after Pope Francis met with Campatelli, director of the Aletti Center, who published a letter in June in which he defended Rupnik against a “media campaign based on defamatory and unsubstantiated accusations” and claimed that the Jesuits had withheld documents “that would To show a different reality than the one that was published.”

In the letter published on the Aletti Center website on June 17, two days after the public announcement of Rupnik’s expulsion from the Jesuit Society, Campatelli accused the Jesuit order of withholding information from the media, including documents “that would show a truth different from the truth.” which has been published.

It said that Rupnik asked in January to leave the Jesuits after losing confidence in his superiors because he favored “a media campaign based on defamatory and unsubstantiated accusations (which exposed the person of Father Rupnik and the Aletti Center to forms of extrajudicial execution).” She also said that other Jesuits who are part of the Aletti Center have applied to leave the religious order.

The official visit to the Alite Center took place between January 16 and June 23, and included community meetings and interviews with center members.

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