Courtyard of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith 

By Salvatore Cernuzio

Feb 22 2024

The Holy See Press Office offers an update on the ongoing investigation by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith into allegations against Fr Marko Rupnik, the former Jesuit whom several religious sisters have accused of psychological and sexual abuse.

The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) has contacted several institutions over the past months to obtain documentation related to Fr Marko Rupnik, a Slovenian-born former Jesuit and artist.

The Holy See Press Office confirmed on Wednesday that the DDF’s investigation has been expanded into other ecclesial realities with which there had previously been no contact.

The Press Office said the investigation is continuing into allegations against Fr Rupnik, who has been accused of inflicting psychological and sexual abuse on several adult consecrated women. He was dismissed from the Society of Jesus in June 2023.

On Oct 27, Pope Francis entrusted the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith with the task of examining the case, after deciding to “waive the statute of limitations to allow the proceedings to take place.”

The decision was taken after the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, in September, sent the Pope some reports it had received regarding “serious problems” in the handling of the Rupnik case and “the lack of closeness to the victims.”

Identifying proper procedures

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Holy See Press Office said: “In recent months, following the responsibility received from the Pope at the end of October, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith contacted the institutions involved in different capacities in the case to receive all available information related to the case.”

“After expanding the search to realities not previously contacted and having just received the latest elements in response, it will now be necessary to study the acquired documentation in order to identify which procedures can and should be implemented,” explained the Press Office.

Two former consecrated women hold press conference in Rome

Also on Wednesday, Feb 21, two former consecrated members of the Loyola Community held a press conference in Rome at the headquarters of the National Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI).

The women were Gloria Branciani and Mirjam Kovac, who are Italian- and Slovenian-born, respectively.

Accompanied by their lawyer, Laura Sgrò, Ms Branciani spoke of “physical, psychological, and sexual abuses” she personally experienced at the hands of Fr Rupnik when she was young.

Ms. Kovac told reporters about the “spiritual abuse and abuse of conscience” she endured and other abuses she had learned about, which were carried out by someone who was considered a reference figure in the religious community.

The two former nuns said they hope to now obtain truth and justice, without any “personal revenge.”

“I have forgiven myself, and I have forgiven Rupnik,” said Ms. Branciani, reiterating her hope that “the truth and the wrong suffered may be recognized.” – Vatican News