Rafael Manuel Tovar
(ZENIT News / Aparecida, 20.08.2023).- The placement has been suspended of the mosaics in the Basilica of Aparecida, made by Marko Ivan Rupnik, accused of sexual abuse in Europe between 1980 and 2000 by 20 women, nine of whom being nuns. On June 14 of this year, Rupnik was permanently expelled from the Society of Jesus, because of “his obstinate refusal to observe the vote of obedience.”
The construction of the mosaics on the façades of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, in Brazil, was interrupted after the Delegate of the Interprovincial Houses and Works of the Society of Jesus in Rome, Father Johan Verschueren, informed about the Congregation’s decision, reported in the news of Brazilian Radio Itatiaia.
The priest worked on the mosaics of the Basilica of Aparecida, whose construction began in 2019. Rupnik is associated to the Aletti Center, entity that has installed 200 mosaics in churches of five Continents. “As the priest is a member of this institution, the National Shrine follows the case closely and hopes for the guidance of the Church for its definitions.” The Basilica is installing in its façades a “Biblical Journey,” with mosaics that represent 110 passages in the four façades of the Shrine, projected as an “Outdoor Bible.”
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ Vicar in Rome, communicated a year ago the diocese’s position on Father Marko Rupnik, differentiating between the criticisms of accusations made in the media,” which accentuate the scandalous dimension of the facts and the willingness to find the truth in the accusations.
As in so many cases, the victims demand words of solidarity and of rejection against the sexual abuses pointed at the Slovenian priest while directing groups of Spiritual Exercises.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in October of 2022 that the complaints referred to prescribed cases. However, the Society of Jesus maintained the measures taken against him. The Slovenian Bishops have condemned. The “unacceptable acts of Father Rupnik, deploring that they remained concealed for such a long time.”
The analysis being made in the Shrine of Aparecida, about removing the mosaics made by Father Rupnik, recalls the action of the Oregon Catholic Press, which published the songs of Father Cesáreo Gabaráin, and which it removed from its Website as adherence to the accusations made against the composer. Thus the approach opens of removing all artistic works in churches of official places of the Church of authors who have committed crimes.