The Ministry of Labor responded to the reception of the former Jesuit Marko Rupnik, accused of abusing nuns, to the Diocese of Koper. As the Secretary of State wrote Dan Juvanthe Church should also be held accountable for perpetrators of abuse within its ranks, instead of rewarding them with public functions within its dioceses.
State Secretary Dan Juvan responded to Rupnik’s acceptance into the diocese. PHOTO: Screen capture
As Juvan wrote in his response, we as a society need to seriously discuss why, despite its prevalence, sexual violence is one of the least reported forms of crime, where the victim is most often doubted and where the institutions that are supposed to protect the victim and ensure fair treatment most often fail . “Last but not least, sexual violence is also a criminal act in church law,” added the state secretary.
This is also why, according to Juvan, the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities pays special attention to sexual violence against adult victims in the resolution on the national program for the prevention of violence against women and in the family.
“The emphasis in it is on the education of social workers, judges, police officers, teachers and doctors. The credibility of the applicants’ statements is openly doubted again and again in the presence of evidentiary material. Our common goal must be exactly the opposite – we must encourage the victims of all forms of violence and provide them with appropriate treatment,” the state secretary wrote.
At the Slovenian Bishops’ Conference (SŠK), the STA’s request for clarification was answered only that the incardinations of priests are exclusively the responsibility of ordinary bishops or dioceses. They added that bishops are free to accept whom they accept into their diocese, and that the SŠK is not competent to comment on the decisions of individual bishops, nor does it collect information on incardinations.
The Diocese of Koper confirmed on its website the mid-reporting of the Catholic web portal Silere non possum that Rupnik was accepted into the diocese at the end of August. As they explained, it was the bishop of Koper Jurij Bizjak accepted on the basis of the decree on Rupnik’s dismissal from the Jesuit order, his application for admission, and on the basis of the fact that the bishop does not have any documents proving that Rupnik was found guilty of the alleged abuses before a church or state court.
In doing so, the Diocese of Koper cites the Declaration on Human Rights, according to which anyone accused of a crime has the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty in accordance with the law, in a public proceeding in which he is given all the options , necessary for its defense. As long as Rupnik is not found guilty before the court, he enjoys all the rights and duties of diocesan priests, they added.
Rupnik addressed the request to Bishop Bizjak a month before he was expelled from the Jesuit community Družba Jezusova on June 9. The bishop consulted about it with the apostolic nuncio in Slovenia, the French bishop Jean-Mario Speichomand with the Vicar of the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis and Giacomo Incitti, professors of canon law at the Pontifical Urbaniana University and judges at the Court of Appeal of the Diocese of Rome. A week after receiving the request, the bishop of Koper answered in the affirmative.
According to the portal Silere non possum, Rupnik can exercise his priestly profession freely, which means that he can grant absolution, perform spiritual guidance and spiritual exercises. The portal adds that Rupnik would particularly like to continue conducting spiritual exercises and creating mosaics.
In December of last year, accusations by former nuns from the Loyola community came to the public that Father Rupnik allegedly abused them mentally and physically in 1992-1993. During the investigation of the case, it was emphasized that no minors were involved in the case, and the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith concluded after the investigation that the charges against Father Rupnik had expired, so the case was closed last October.