HEY BISHOPS! It’s Time to Take a Hammer and Chisel to Rupnik’s Mosaics

It all needs to be gutted and removed.

When I was seven, my parents brought home a painting and hung it above the fireplace. They summoned my brother and me into the living room, and we looked at the painting up close. In front of us was a collection of squares in muted and faint purples, pinks, blues, and grays. My parents then had us view the painting from a distance, dimming the lights. A man appeared on the canvas. We were enchanted by this transformation. My parents didn’t tell us the name of the painting or the artist, and it was always known as “the cool painting” in our home.

Last summer, I found myself again contemplating that cool piece of art, this time as a middle-aged woman. I reflected and asked myself: Do I need to stop looking at others so closely that they become a collection of faults? Should I instead step back and take a broader view in order to appreciate humanity? I don’t know what the artist was trying to convey with his art, but I was able to be moved and learn by just contemplating this piece because artwork, detached from the artist, can teach us.

I don’t remember ever having seen a Rupnik mosaic in person, but these mosaics are found on the facades and interior walls of some significant churches across the Catholic world, including the Shrine of John Paul II in Washington, D.C. There was a time in the not-so-distant past when Fr. Marko Rupnik was deemed an artistic genius, organizing colors and textures with his own unique hands into iconic and enchanting depictions of saints, biblical scenes, and Our Lord. As there are calls now to remove his art, some are likening him to Michelangelo or Caravaggio, a flawed man who sinned but created artwork that, when encountered, elevates the human soul.

But Fr. Rupnik is not just a sinner like the rest of us. He is a predator who used his priesthood and elevated position as a prolific and celebrated artist to manipulate vulnerable women psychologically and spiritually and sexually abuse them. And like all victims of clerical sexual abuse, these women became victims solely because they responded to God’s call. Had they had no faith, then Fr. Rupnik would never have had access to abuse these women. What a cruel irony it is that responding to the desire in every human heart—to know, love, and serve God—is the very reason they became victims of abuse.

Continue reading at Crisis Magazine

TAKE ACTION: Contact your bishop and ask him to call for the removal of Marko Rupnik’s works throughout the United States.


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