From The Catholic Herald: 

Marko Ivan Rupnik, a former Jesuit who has been at the centre of controversy amidst accusations of spiritual and sexual abuse, has been granted permission to return to priestly ministry in the Diocese of Koper in his native Slovenia.

The decision follows consultations by Bishop Juri Bizjak with senior prelates from Rome– alongside a report released in September on the Aletti Center, the artistic institute founded by Rupnik, after a canonical visitation investigating the accused priest’s dealings.

It is understood that Bishop Bizjak, who heads the Diocese of Koper where Rupnik has been incardinated, discussed the course of action with Slovenia’s apostolic nuncio Bishop Jean-Marie Speich, canon lawyer Giacomo Incittii, and Cardinal Angelo De Donatis who serves as the vicar of the Diocese of Rome.

Nuncio Speich lauded the decision to incardinate Rupnik in Slovenia with encouragement and approval, calling it an “excellent solution” and foreseeing no additional trouble “because there was no conviction anyway.”

September’s report claimed to have found “reasonable doubts” about Fr Rupnik’s excommunication due to the supposed identification of “irregularities in the procedures”. The Aletti Center, meanwhile, was said to have “a healthy community life… taking place… without any particular critical factors.”

The report was met with strong indignation and opposition from victims of abuse at the time, who accuse prelates involved, including the Pope, of a cover-up.

The return of Fr Rupnik to ministry comes despite his official expulsion from the Jesuit order in July and confirmation of his laetae sententiae excommunication by Jesuit Superior General, Father Arturo Sosa, earlier in December 2022.

Rupnik, who is accused by over 25 women (most of whom are religious sisters), had been prevented from hearing confessions, from being a spiritual leader, and from conducting the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises with others, as well as from being seen in public without the permission of his superior. Rupnik disobeyed most of these requests and was subsequently excommunicated.

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