The Slovenia Times

New restrictions imposed on disgraced Slovenian Jesuit

Society

The Jesuit order has decided to prohibit Slovenian priest from pursuing his artistic activity after 15 more people, women as well as men, came forward with fresh accusations against him of spiritual, sexual and psychological abuse.

In a report published on 21 February, Johan Verschueren, Rupnik's superior in the religious order, says a number of people who do not know each other have come forward with similar accusations against the priest, which led to the conclusion that the allegations are "very credible".

As a precautionary measure, the order has tightened the restrictive rules against Rupnik by banning him from any public artistic exercise, particularly in relation to religious structures.

These new restrictions are in addition to those already in place, including a ban on any public ministerial and sacramental activity, a ban on public communication, and a ban on leaving the Lazio Region.

The Rupnik scandal, which first came to light at the end of last year, has rocked the Jesuit order and the entire Catholic Church given that Pope Francis is a member of the order.

Rupnik has not spoken publicly about the accusations and Verschueren said in his latest update that he has declined to meet Jesuit investigators.

An artist specialising in mosaics, Rupnik rose to prominence when the late Pope John Paul II commissioned him to redesign a chapel in the Vatican between 1996 to 1999. He has since designed numerous chapels around the world. He also created the logo of the 2016 Year of Mercy declared by Pope Francis.

His mosaics in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican won him the 2000 PreŇ°eren Prize, Slovenia's top accolade in the arts, and there have been calls for him to return or be stripped of the prize.

Father Rupnik's misconduct took place between the mid-1980s and 2018, according to the latest testimony by victims.

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