Jesuit Superior Fr Arturo Sosa Confirms that Fr Marko Rupnik, SJ had been Excommunicated Due to “the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment"

Father Marko Rupnik, is a Jesuit artist is under ministry restrictions after abuse allegations. Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the Jesuits confirmed that Father Marko Rupnik, a Slovenian Jesuit and artist in restricted ministry because of abuse allegations, had been excommunicated. The excommunication was due to the canon law regarding, “the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment,” a reference to sex.
CNS explains, Father Rupnik incurred excommunication automatically when he heard the confession and granted absolution, but the excommunication was confirmed by the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Father Arturo Sosa, superior general of the order.
On December 14th while meeting with reporters, Father Sosa said the excommunication was lifted when Father Rupnik admitted his wrongdoing, repented and wrote a formal request for forgiveness.
CNS wrote that several Italian blogs reported that the case involved a consecrated Italian woman and that the doctrinal office’s investigation of that allegation was conducted from 2019 to 2020.

The Jesuits had confirmed in early December that the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith received another complaint about Father Rupnik in 2021 involving members of a women’s religious community in Slovenia; Father Rupnik was a spiritual adviser to the community in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The doctrinal office asked the Jesuits to conduct a preliminary investigation, which they entrusted to a religious from another order, the Jesuits’ Dec. 2 statement said. A report was submitted to the doctrinal office, which “closed the case” because the statute of limitations had expired.
Father Rupnik's artwork decorates chapels in the Vatican, all over Europe, in the United States and Australia. The Jesuits say that he is barred from hearing confessions, offering spiritual direction and leading retreats, and he is required to have the permission of his local superior before publishing articles or books or engaging in any public ministry.
Father Rupnik may continue celebrating Mass and making art, Father Sosa told reporters at the pre-Christmas gathering.
The restrictions imposed were determined by “the type of situation that was reported” by the victims, he said, describing them as “surpassing the limits” of what is appropriate in a relationship between adults when a priest is carrying out his ministry.
Father Sosa said Father Rupnik was heavily involved in the formation of the “Skupnosti Loyola” or Loyola Community, a new religious community in Ljubljana, Slovenia, but when relationships in the community became “conflictive,” his local Jesuit superior sent Father Rupnik to Rome.
In remarks to reporters, Father Sosa said the case shows “how much we still have to learn, especially about people’s suffering. This case, like others, causes us shock and sorrow; it forces us to understand and empathize with the suffering of all those involved in one form or another.”
Asked by Associated Press why the Jesuits did not mention the earlier excommunication in their statement Dec. 2, Father Sosa said, “These were two different cases.”


Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik was born 28 November 1954 in Zadlog, Slovenia near Idrija. In 1973 he entered the Society of Jesus. He studied philosophy in Ljubljana and then, in 1977, enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome where he finished studies in 1981. Theological studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome followed. He was ordained a priest in 1985. Still at the Gregorian, he began a specialization in missiology. In 1991 he earned a doctorate from the Gregorian’s Faculty of Missiology with a dissertation on The Theological Missionary Meaning of Art in the Writings of Vjaceslav Ivanovic Ivanov. 

Since September of 1991 he has lived and worked in Rome at the Centro Aletti, of which he is the director. He teaches at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Pontifical Gregorian University, Saint Anselm Pontifical Liturgical Institute, and gives seminars and lectures at numerous other European academic institutions. From 1999 to 2013 he was a consultant for the Pontifical Council for Culture and since 2012 he is a consultant for the Pontifical Coucil for New Evangelisation.

In 2013 he received a doctorat honoris causa from the University Francisco de Vitoria of Madrid and in 2014 from the Faculty of Theoogy of Lugano.

His work as an artist and theologian has always been complimented with work that is more specifically pastoral, above all in leading numerous courses and retreats.

Edited from Catholic News Service
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