Cardinal De Donatis chooses the path of silence and Libanori cannot accept it. The Episcopal Council splits
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis is silent and says Rupnik is the victim of slander.
There is very heavy air in St John Lateran (seat of the Pope’s Vicar in Rome) and the presbytery of Rome is confused. In these hours Silere non possum has published some choices made by the Vicar of His Holiness regarding the Marko Ivan Rupnik case. The perception is this: while the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Society of Jesus were working to ascertain the facts, the diocese of Rome was giving Rupnik and the Aletti Centre more and more assignments.
As we explained, this system was favoured by Angelo De Donatis’ friendship with the Slovenian Jesuit. Today, however, the Cardinal Vicar’s silence, becomes embarrassing, following our revelations about the Rupnik Case.
Expiscopal Council splits
On Friday 16 December 2022, during a meeting reserved for members of the Episcopal Council, the auxiliary bishop for the Eastern sector, Mgr. Riccardo Lamba asked the Cardinal Vicar about the news we have published.
De Donatis explained that these were slanders directed at Rupnik, nothing more. The bishops were baffled.
In fact, these are not ‘speculation or parlor talk’ but there are provisions of religious orders and Holy See Tribunals that state, in black and white, that the Jesuit absolved the accomplice in the sin against the sixth commandment. There are claims, circumstantiated, that some religious women were abused by Rupnik. How can one remain silent in the face of all this?
It was Angelo De Donatis himself who, during the “Dalla parte delle vittime” conference (On the side of the victims) in November 2022, said, “There is a great desire to protect, prevent and educate”. How can one act to protect if, first, one doesn’t prove that one doesn’t do favouritism?
The auxiliary bishop for the Central sector, Mgr. Daniele Libanori S.I., after listening to De Donatis’ reply, told the bishops present that these are not calumnies but the facts are established and he left the meeting. The prelate, in fact, dealt with the entire investigation concerning the Loyola Community where Rupnik exercised ministry.
Despite this, De Donatis showed no concern and, impassive, went ahead with the meeting. The auxiliary bishops were astonished.
Mgr Lamba’s request was more than legitimate. A confrere in the episcopate, moreover, recently arrived in the Vicariate, therefore unaware of everything, asks the Vicar of His Holiness what is happening.
If it isn’t a matter of being honest with one’s close associates, at least say what is to be done with the clergy who also legitimately ask for explanations. Instead, De Donatis chooses to take the side of his ‘master’ rather than preserve the atmosphere of communion and fraternity. He chooses to trample on the decisions of the Holy Roman Church and the words of Rupnik’s victims. It chooses, once again in these five years, the path of silence.
Auxiliary Bishop Libanori, who has shown great rigour in this affair, cannot accept this. Yesterday, he took pen and paper and wrote to the priests of the central sector of the diocese of Rome.
“I write after a long reflection, because I feel the duty to support, as far as I can, the faith of the little ones shaken by the scandal of the facts attributed to Fr Marko Rupnik, my brother in common membership of the Society of Jesus”, Libanori says.
“It seems, the prelate continued, that the news reported in the newspapers corresponds to the truth, since the Company Superiors have admitted the existence of precautionary measures against him in relation to those facts. Important names have been mentioned and, as always happens in the presence of serious news, the attitude towards alleged protectors is severe or openly accusatory”.
Libanori then turns his gaze to the victims: ”
Libanori, poi, volge il suo sguardo alle vittime: “I endeavour to silence the feelings I have when faced with shocking testimonies, provoked by arrogant silences, which reveal to the world the filth of which some spiritual schools are full”. With the words of a Father who wants to reassure his children, the bishop says: “The wounded and offended people, who have seen their lives ruined by the evil they have suffered and by complicit silence, have the right to be compensated even publicly in their dignity, now that everything has come to light. The Church – that is us – has a duty to make a serious examination of conscience and, those who know they have responsibilities must acknowledge them and humbly ask the world for forgiveness for the scandal“.
In fact, in addition to the silence of the Cardinal Vicar, the silence of Marko Ivan Rupnik and the Aletti Centre, who continue their activities without hesitation, is also shameful.
“We all want the truth, protests Libanori. We are entitled to it. Seeking it is a precise duty. There is the tremendous truth of the disputed facts that requires the Church to assume its responsibility by declaring, without ambiguity, who is the victim and who is the aggressor, taking the necessary measures so that the ministry of the Church is not profaned”.
“The Church, the long letter continues, has condemned abuse with the utmost rigour, especially in recent years. It is expected to be consistent with its own teaching in this case as well”. The reference is also clearly addressed to those individuals, in addition to the Vicar himself, who for years have been filling their mouths with words such as “transparency, openness, listening” but, on Rupnik case, have remained silent.
Among them is the Jesuit Hans Zollner, described in the press as “one of the world’s leading experts in the field of safeguarding and preventing sexual abuse”. The priest was silent on the Rupnik case and only made a few timid statements to the press following our articles in which we called him out.
Leaving aside the fact that it is unclear where he acquired his expertise as ‘the world’s foremost expert’, and what titles he has, we ask: how come the Jesuit did not reply to the nun who sent him a letter on 05 June 2022? How come Zollner didn’t tell to the servant newspapers who interviewed him, that he was aware of the case because he was in copy in the letter?
In the Rupnik Case, all the hypocrisy against which even Christ lashed out emerges. Jesuit Bishop Libanori’s letter seems to say just that.
Letter from one of Rupnik’s victims to Father Hans Zollner and other church leaders
Only by being truthful, writes Libanori, “freer and perhaps more credible, will we be able to resume our mission of making known the Lord who comes for the unjust and sits at table with sinners”.
Silere non possum