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Vatican Faces Backlash Over Use of Artwork by Accused Abuser Father Rupnik…

Vatican Faces Backlash Over Use of Artwork by Accused Abuser Father Rupnik…

This isn’t the first time Vatican News has decided to use the controversial art.

The Vatican is once again drawing criticism for using the artwork of Father Marko Ivan Rupnik in a Vatican News article on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 7.

Father Rupnik, a priest and artist, has been accused of spiritual, psychological, and sexual abuse of religious sisters. He was removed from the Jesuits last June, and the Vatican has announced that Rupnik will face a canonical process over the abuse allegations after Pope Francis decided to waive the statute of limitations on the claims.

Father Rupnik was briefly excommunicated in 2019 for absolving a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship in confession. His excommunication was lifted, and he continues his priestly duties in a Slovenian diocese. 

The Vatican also used Father Rupnik’s artwork recently for the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity on May 26, and the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on June 1, also causing disapproval from Catholics on social media. 

Father Rupnik’s art, which features large-eyed depictions of Jesus and the saints, is in more than 200 liturgical spaces in Europe and North America, including the Vatican and the John Paul II Shrine in Washington D.C. 

A spokesperson from the John Paul II Shrine told The Pillar that perpetual pilgrims taking part in the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage have been advised not to take photos in front of Father Rupnik’s mosaics following the Eucharistic Procession and Benediction on June 8. 

The Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith continues to investigate the allegations against Father Rupnik. 

Catholic News Agency, also owned by EWTN and sister agency to the Register  has reached out to the Vatican for comment but did not hear back before publication. 

Hannah Brockhaus of the Catholic News Agency contributed to this report. 

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