How bad is this Rupnik business? It is very, very bad. The Rupnik business is worse—by orders of magnitude—than l’Affaire Barros, l’Affaire Inzoli, worse even than l’Affaire Zanchetta. The disgraceful rehabilitation of Danneels is mere tasteless imprudence by comparison. The Rupnik business will stain Pope Francis’s legacy, and possibly define it.
Over the past several days, hard-boiled newsman Ed Condon reluctantly conceded that “there is a motivating force for the protection of Rupnik,” and Robert Mickens—a veteran Vatican hand generally well disposed to Francis—openly asked whether Pope Francis isn’t the one protecting him.
The cardinal vicar of Rome, Angelo De Donatis, said as much in words back in December of last year, but he may have been firing a parting shot before Francis effectively neutered him just over a week into 2023.
In case you need help placing the name, Rupnik is Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, olim Jesuit expelled from the order earlier this year after several somehow stymied attempts to bring him to justice on charges of serial sexual, psychological, and spiritual abuse against more than a dozen victims—the vast majority women religious—over three decades, much of which Rupnik spent in Rome at an art institute he founded, called the Centro Aletti.
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