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Priest kicked out of Jesuits for alleged abuse of girls welcomed into Slovenia diocese

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ROME — A well-known priest-artist who was thrown out of the Jesuits after being accused of sexual, non secular and psychological abuse of girls has been accepted right into a diocese in his native Slovenia, the newest twist in a case that has implicated the pope and laid naked the bounds of the Vatican’s in-house authorized system.

The Diocese of Koper confirmed in a press release despatched to The Related Press on Thursday that the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik was accepted as a priest there in August.

Rupnik was taken in as a result of he had been expelled from the Jesuits and since the diocese hadn’t obtained any paperwork exhibiting that Rupnik had “been discovered responsible of the alleged abuses earlier than both an ecclesiastical tribunal or civil courtroom,” it mentioned.

The assertion cited the Common Declaration on Human Rights’ provision on the presumption of innocence and proper to a protection for anybody accused of a criminal offense.

Rupnik, whose mosaics adorn church buildings and basilicas across the globe, was declared excommunicated by the Vatican in Could 2020. The Jesuit order kicked him out this summer time after a number of grownup ladies accused him of sexual, psychological and non secular abuses courting again 30 years.

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The scandal has been a headache for the Vatican and Pope Francis himself on account of suspicions Rupnik obtained favorable remedy from the Holy See since Francis is a Jesuit and different Jesuits head the intercourse crimes workplace that investigated the priest and declined to prosecute him for abuse.

After conducting their very own investigation, the Jesuit order introduced in June that it discovered the ladies’s claims to be “very extremely credible” however the Vatican’s canonical norms in pressure on the time of the alleged abuse precluded harsher punishment for {old} {cases} involving the abuse of adults.

The Catholic Church has lengthy responded to ladies who report clergymen for abusing their authority by blaming the ladies for seducing the churchmen, portraying them as mentally unstable or minimizing the occasion as a mere “mistake” or “boundary violation” by an in any other case holy priest.

The Jesuits mentioned they’d kicked Rupnik out not due to the abuse claims, however due to his “cussed refusal to look at the vow of obedience.” The Jesuits had exhorted Rupnik to atone for his misconduct and enter right into a technique of reparation together with his victims, however he refused.

Whereas Francis’ position within the Rupnik scandal has come into query, the pontiff insisted in a Jan. 24 interview with The Related Press that he had solely intervened procedurally within the case, although he additionally mentioned he opposed waiving the statute of limitations for {old} abuse {cases} involving adults.

Extra lately, Francis was seen as being a part of an obvious try by Rupnik’s supporters to rehabilitate the priest’s picture. In a broadly publicized viewers, Francis obtained an in depth collaborator and powerful defender of Rupnik’s who has denounced what she referred to as a media “lynching” of him.

In a press release final month, the Vicariate of Rome, which Francis heads, solid doubt on the Vatican’s lone punishment of Rupnik – a 2020 declaration of excommunication that was eliminated two weeks later. Ladies who alleged they had been abused by Rupnik mentioned the assertion revictimized them.

Often, when a priest strikes from one diocese to a different, or joins a diocese after leaving a non secular order, the method takes years. In keeping with canon regulation, it additionally requires “acceptable testimonials … regarding the cleric’s life, morals, and research,” from the priest’s earlier superior.

Neither the Vatican, nor the Jesuits nor the Vicariate of Rome responded to requests for remark Thursday about Rupnik’s switch to Koper, or whether or not any documentation about his case had been despatched to Slovenia from Rome.

The diocesan assertion offered to the AP differed from the one initially printed by Catholic media in Slovenia and included a reference to the diocese not receiving documentation about any abuse convictions.


AP author Ali Zerdin contributed from Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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