Logo of the Society of Jesus. Photo: La Tercera

In Regard to the Rupnik Case, Jesuits Explain How Their Survivor Response System Works

Statement of the Delegate of the Superior General of the Society of Jesus for the International Houses in Rome.

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Valentina di Giorgio

(ZENIT News / Rome, 20.12.2022).- “We are determined to keep improving our response to abuse,” is the first statement of Father Johan Verschueren, S.J., Delegate of the Superior General  of the Society of Jesus for the International Houses in Rome, in response to the recent and decried case of his co-religionist Rupnik.

In a publication dated December 20, Father Verschueren made a statement “to explain how our Survivor Response system works, which was established in September of this year and covers all situations for the Jesuit communities and works in Rome that are under my leadership — which is a leadership delegated from Father Sosa” [Venezuelan Arturo Marcelino Sosa Abascal , S.J., is the present Superior General of the Society of Jesus].

He says that “[w]hen someone contacts us by the dedicated email (teamreferente.dir@gmail.com), the request goes immediately to our response team comprising psychologists, spiritual guides, and legal experts. A designated person of the team then contacts the complainant to take a full testimony. A preliminary investigation is set up if the facts seem to warrant that.”

And he adds: “[a]ccording to the specific case, the team offers the necessary help and support to the complainant and advises about the next needed steps. If a formal procedure is required against a Jesuit, the formal investigation starts according to canonical, civil or criminal law.”

Father Verschueren’s statement ends adding that “[f]or sure, we all still need to journey to find better ways to address these difficult situations and to ensure recognition of the facts, justice and a path to possible healing (acknowledging that this can involve a long and painful journey). We are determined to keep improving our response to any situation of abuse, and to receive all complaints in open and fair manner.”

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