SNAP stands with BishopAccountability: Pope must launch a probe of Fr. Marko Rupnik's protectors

For immediate release: February 21, 2024

At a press conference on the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ abuse summit, Anne Barrett Doyle of BishopAccountability and an attorney for two women who were victimized by Fr. Marko Rupnik, Laura Sgrò, JCD, call on Pope Francis to begin an investigation of who protected the cleric. SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, stands in solidarity with this request.

In addition to Anne and Laura, two former religious sisters who endured abuse by Fr. Rupnik, a world-renowned religious artist, will appear publicly for the first time. The women want to hold Pope Francis to his 2019 vow to wage an “all-out battle” against cover-up and abuse. The Church’s handling of the accusations against Fr. Rupnik show that nothing has really changed.  

In late 2022, the media exposed the fact that Fr. Rupnik’s crimes against religious sisters were not taken seriously by top Catholic officials. It was disclosed that the accusations of nine victims were dismissed without investigation as "beyond the canonical statute of limitations."

Three months later, the Jesuits, Fr. Rupnik’s religious order, announced that they found the women’s accusations "credible." In June, they expelled the priest from their order.

Yet, Fr. Rupnik remained a clergyman. In fact, this past October, he was incardinated in his home diocese of Koper, Slovenia. However, the media exposure did prompt the Pope to waive the statute of limitations in the sisters’ case and allow the canonical case to move forward.

The two survivors, along with Anne and their attorney, want more. They urge the Pope to make good on the commitment he made five years ago. The women call for an independent investigation of the handling of Fr. Rupnik’s crimes. They also ask that the findings be published, as was the McCarrick report. 

In the interest of true openness and transparency, we second this very reasonable request. For meaningful change to take place, what happened in secret must be exposed to the light.

CONTACT: Marc Artzrouni, SNAP European Coordinator ([email protected],+33 (0)6 95 73 65 92 – France), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Executive Director ([email protected], 267-261-0578), Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board of Directors President ([email protected], 814- 341-8386)

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