Catholic Bishops of Slovenia Statement "We are on the side of the victims" Concerning Sexual Abuse and Violence Committed by Artist Fr. Marko Rupnik SJ

 Statement of the Slovenian bishops upon the discovery of abuse and violence by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik DJ

On Thursday, December 22, 2022, a press conference of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference took place in the premises of the Society. At the conference, the president of SŠK Msgr. dr. Andrej Saje and Metropolitan Archbishop of Ljubljana Msgr. Stanislav Zore presented the statement of the Slovenian bishops entitled: Statement of the Slovenian bishops upon the discovery of abuse and violence by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik DJ.

Statement of the Slovenian bishops upon the discovery of abuse and violence by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik DJ

The Slovenian bishops, upon the discovery of abuses by the Jesuit Fr. Mark Ivan Rupnik on December 21, 2022, gathered at an extraordinary session of the Slovenian Bishops' Conference in Ljubljana, where we unanimously adopted the following statement.

It is with great sadness and hurt that we follow the disclosure of various abuses by Fr. Rupnik, which took place over a long period of time and which the current Slovenian bishops learned about from publications in the media. After the Jesuit superiors confirmed the veracity of the facts, we condemn all of Rupnik's acts of emotional, sexual, and spiritual violence and gross abuse of the sacrament of reconciliation. We support them in their quest for truth and justice. It's never the victims fault! We are on the side of the victims. We express our sympathy and closeness to them and pledge to help them. We also want to stand by the wider community.

We regret that the inadmissible acts remained hidden for so many years and that they caused suffering to the victims and their loved ones. We regret the omission of the responsible actions and the concealment of the facts of sexual and spiritual violence and the abuse of power and authority, and not only in the case of Fr. Rupnik, but also in all other cases that happened in Slovenia or anywhere else. We regret that the victims of the decade were not really heard. Any abuse of spiritual power and authority to carry out violence against other subordinates is unacceptable and is a despicable act.

We stand for greater transparency and zero tolerance towards physical, sexual, psychological and spiritual violence. Regardless of the fact that some actions are obsolete from the ecclesiastical-legal point of view, they are always reprehensible and worthy of condemnation. We commit ourselves to monitor the happenings in our church communities with greater attention and to ensure that in the future there will be no abuse of authority by persons who have any leadership role in the Church.

The victims of Fr. We urge Rupnik to contact publicly published addresses (e.g. so that the truth and a just verdict can be reached as comprehensively as possible. At the same time, we ask that other victims of violent acts in church communities by other perpetrators also come forward. We ask everyone to report any form of abuse and violence. At the same time, we ask for your patience so that we can strengthen our urgently needed structures and complete all the prescribed procedures, and at the same time provide education and awareness about the issue of sexual and spiritual violence. Only by working together and by breaking the silence that is the ally of the perpetrators can we stop this unimaginable evil.

The news about the abuses of Fr. Rupnik shocked the Slovenian and global public. The broader community is also indirectly a victim of his actions. We knew Fr. Rupnik as an outstanding artist and insightful spiritual leader who marked many personal lives and communities and created many works of art and spiritual literature. We understand that many of you are hurt by this news and that you are wondering if it is necessary to throw it all away. We ask you to distinguish between his inadmissible and reprehensible actions and the rest of his extraordinary spiritual-artistic opus, which was created in mosaics and in other fields. The listed facts are a great test of our faith and trust in God.

The realization of very painful discoveries should be an opportunity for the purification and renewal of the Church. We invite you to connect in search of the truth and create a common vision of the future. We are before the Christmas holidays. Jesus comes to save us and cleanse us and come into our darkness. He came to be a light to men. Let's not let the forces of darkness and lies win.

Msgr. dr. Andrej Saje
Novomeški škof in predsednik SŠK

Msgr. dr. Peter Štumpf
Soboški škof in podpredsednik SŠK

Msgr. dr. Maksimilijan Matjaž
Celjski škof in član stalnega sveta SŠK

Msgr. Stanislav Zore
Ljubljanski nadškof metropolit

Msgr. Alojzij Cvikl
Mariborski nadškof metropolit

Msgr. dr. Jurij Bizjak
Koprski škof

Msgr. dr. Anton Jamnik
Ljubljanski pomožni škof

Msgr. dr. Franc Šuštar
Ljubljanski pomožni škof

Sources: and Vatican News