VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) — As more details come to light regarding the shocking case of Jesuit Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, the Jesuit’s own timeline shows that he was already judged guilty of having absolved a sexual accomplice in confession weeks before he was asked by Pope Francis to lead a Lenten homily.
As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported – HERE, HERE and HERE – Rupnik has been accused of psychologically and sexually abusing religious sisters in an order for which he was a co-founder. The religious community was founded by a nun to whom Rupnik was both a friend and a “spiritual father.”
In a separate offense, Rupnik was also automatically excommunicated and found guilty by an ecclesiastical court of absolving in confession a woman with whom he had sexual relations.
Beset with questions about the dates regarding Rupnik’s alleged actions and the investigations into them, the Society of Jesus (the Jesuit order) released a detailed timeline earlier this week.
Absolving an accomplice in Confession: 2015 – 2020
The allegations that Rupnik absolved a woman with whom he had conducted sexual relations date back to October 2018, according to the Jesuit timeline, although the event itself is believed to have taken place in 2015.
READ: Pope reportedly intervened to lift excommunication of sexually active, abusive Jesuit priest
The Jesuits established a “preliminary investigation” in October 2018, and by May 2019 a file was sent to the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) after the investigation deemed the allegations “credible.”
From June 2019, Fr. Johan Verschueren, the Delegate of the Jesuit Superior General for the International Houses in Rome, placed restrictions on Rupnik’s public ministry, and the next month the CDF asked the Jesuits to establish a “penal administrative process.”
Speaking to the National Catholic Register, Verschueren stated that the restrictions involved Rupnik having to “avoid private, in-depth spiritual contacts with persons” and being “forbidden to confess women, and to give spiritual direction to women specifically in the context of Centro Aletti. In 2020, these restrictions were widened geographically to include anywhere.”
READ: Jesuits confirm disgraced priest was excommunicated, focus now turns to Pope’s alleged involvement
UPDATE (01/11/23): This petition has been hand-delivered to the Vatican.
UPDATE (1/3/23): John-Henry Westen will hand-deliver this petition to the Vatican in the coming days, so please SIGN and SHARE it with as many people as possible.
America’s best loved pro-life priest, Fr. Frank Pavone, the National Director of Priests for Life as well as the President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council, has been laicized (dismissed from the priesthood) by order of Pope Francis.
SIGN: This outrageous attack on the pro-life movement by the so-called “listening Church” is a mockery of justice. Stand by Fr. Pavone ASAP!
A December 13 letter to all bishops in America, sent from the Pope’s representative in America – the Papal Nuncio Fr. Christophe Pierre – said that Fr. Pavone was laicized for “blasphemous communications on social media” and “persistent disobedience of the lawful instructions of his diocesan bishop.”
In a separate statement, the papal nuncio wrote that the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Clergy – the head of the Vatican’s department dealing with priests – said that there was “no possibility of appeal” of the decision.
DEMAND JUSTICE: Pope Francis' totalitarian regime cannot strike down faithful pro-life priests like Fr. Frank Pavone without international outrage!
The statement calls Fr. Pavone, “Mr. Pavone.”
“Since Priests for Life, Inc. is not a Catholic organization, Mr. Pavone's continuing role in it as a lay person would be entirely up to the leadership of that organization,” the statement says.
The statement notes that the decision on the matter by the Dicastery for Clergy was issued on November 9, but Fr. Pavone had not heard of the decision from the Vatican until CNA called him for comment.
SIGN AND STAND UP NOW: DEMAND THAT POPE FRANCIS IMMEDIATELY STOP HIS ATTACKS AGAINST FAITHFUL PRIESTS!
If Pope Francis and this Vatican regime can get away with expelling faithful priests like Fr. Frank Pavone, then the Catholic Church may truly be entering the darkest period of her existence!
John-Henry Westen: Here Is What the 'Blasphemy' Charge Against Fr. Pavone Is All About
John-Henry Westen: BREAKING: Pope Francis laicizes America’s best loved pro-life priest Fr. Frank Pavone
It was only six months later, in January 2020, that the judges in the penal process “unanimously” declared “that there was indeed absolution of an accomplice,” according to the Jesuit’s timeline.
In May 2020, the CDF pronounced that Rupnik had indeed absolved an accomplice, meaning that he had incurred the latae sentential excommunication, an excommunication which – according to the Jesuits – was lifted by a “CDF decree later that month.”
However, website Messa in Latino, which had jointly broken the news about Rupnik in the last few weeks, has stated that this excommunication was lifted by Pope Francis himself, who intervened within “a few hours” to overturn the excommunication.
Notwithstanding this, just weeks after the penal process judges “unanimously” declared Rupnik had absolved an accomplice, the priest was invited by Pope Francis to deliver a Lenten homily to the Papal household in March 2020.
Handling of abuse allegations: 2021 – 2022
The Jesuit’s timeline also presented brief details about the allegations and investigation into Rupnik’s alleged abuse of religious sisters in the 1990’s – investigations which will go no further as the CDF ruled that the events in question were too old, and thus bound by the statute of limitations.
Rupnik was accused of “psychological abuse and sexual violence” against a number of nuns. ACI Prensa reported that a “source” informed the news outlet that Rupnik had abused at least nine nuns, and Left.it wrote that one of the nuns had attempted suicide following the alleged abuse.
READ: Former nun details years of ‘satanic’ sex abuse by Jesuit priest Fr. Rupnik
However, an alleged victim of Rupnik’s, using the pseudonym “Anna,” estimated that of the 41 women in the Loyola Community in the early 1990s, Rupnik had engaged in sexual abuse with about 20 of them.
According to the Jesuit’s timeline, the CDF contacted the Society of Jesus in June 2021 regarding allegations against Rupnik. The following month, an external investigation was established, led by Rupnik’s fellow Jesuit Daniele Libanori, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rome. Fr. Verschueren imposed additional restrictions on Rupnik.
The Register added that these updated restrictions now included Rupnik’s interactions with men, with Verschueren saying that Rupnik was given “restrictions in the field of public activity to avoid causing scandal to the victims.”
In a six-month period similar to the previous investigation against Rupnik, by January 2022 the investigation had found there was a “case to answer” and sent the findings to the CDF, along with the recommendation for a penal process.
However, in October 2022, the CDF dropped the case, referencing time limitations. According to Messa in Latino, this was also due to Pope Francis: “Despite this it seems that, due to the Holy Father’s intervention, the process did not take place precisely because it was ‘time-barred’ [bound by the statute of limitations.]”
Rupnik’s continued ministry
While the CDF dropped the investigation of sexual abuse, the restrictions imposed upon the disgraced Jesuit remain in place.
Nevertheless, as LifeSite and numerous other outlets have noted, Rupnik continues to enjoy a certain degree of public ministry. Until December 10, his Centro Aletti YouTube channel was posting a weekly video in which the priest discusses the Gospel.
The Diocese of Rome also posted a video in February of this year, in which Rupnik can be heard speaking about adoration. Rupnik preached at a clergy retreat in May and at another retreat in August; both took place while his case was under scrutiny at the CDF. Indeed, a number of recordings of public events led by Rupnik can be found online.
Despite his prior excommunication, the priest was also permitted by the Holy See to create the logo for the 2022 World Meeting of Families organized by the Dicastery for Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth. The logo was revealed in July 2021, the same month Bishop Libanori began his investigation into Rupnik’s alleged sexual abuse.
While Rupnik was ostensibly facing restrictions on his ministry, he featured in videos and other promotional material promoted by the same Dicastery.
Rupnik is still listed as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization and as a consultant to the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
As The Pillar noted, Rupnik was listed as a consultant at the Congregation for Clergy in 2020, and for a number of years he published a weekly homily on the Congregation’s website.
Rupnik was also received by Pope Francis in a private audience on January 3, 2022.
Having just received an honorary doctorate from Brazil’s Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná at the end of November, Rupnik is now scheduled to lead the four-day Spiritual Exercises at the Pontifical Sanctuary of the Holy House of Loreto in February 2023.
The Vatican has neither issued a statement on the Rupnik case nor addressed allegations that Pope Francis intervened within “hours” to lift the excommunication the priest incurred.
The Holy See Press Office has not responded to later questions about the Rupnik case, which LifeSite sent on December 15.