How The Jesuits Could Have Laicized Accused Serial Sex Abuser Marko Rupnik

The Society of Jesus on Monday released a letter on the case of Fr. Marko Rupnik, the disgraced religious artist and priest who was expelled from the order earlier this year, after dozens of accusations of sexual abuse of religious sisters came to light against him.

The letter, signed by Fr. Johan Verschueren, S.J., the Jesuits’ superior for the society’s international houses in Rome, explained that since the legal window for appeal has now closed, Rupnik is now definitively expelled from the society.

The artist does, however, remain a priest — albeit without faculties to minister until, and unless, he can find a benevolent bishop or religious order to take him in.

That Rupnik has not been laicized remains a point of scandal for many Catholics, given the decades of serious allegations he faces, as Verschueren acknowledged.

“Many have asked us why a process that could lead to the loss of the clerical state of Marko Rupnik has not been carried out,” the superior wrote. “I would like to remind you here that this is not in itself the competence of the Society of Jesus, but of the Holy See.”

But the Jesuit superior said his own hands were tied.

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