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ROME, Italy (ChurchMilitant.com) - A global publisher has withdrawn three books authored by Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik after the iconic Jesuit artist was accused of serial sex abuse.
Rupnik's fellow Jesuit Fr. James Martin, a highly popular LGBTQ+ propagandist and prolific social media pundit, has remained tight-lipped on the Slovenian nun-abuse scandal.
Martin wrote the foreword for Rupnik's Human Frailty, Divine Redemption: The Theology and Practice of the Examen, hailing the mosaic creator as a "brother Jesuit" who "has long been one of my favorite Christian artists."
On Thursday, Pauline Books and Media announced that it would withdraw the English editions of Rupnik's works it had published over the years "in light of this very sad news, and out of respect for those who have been hurt."
The sisters noted that they were "saddened by the recent news" about Rupnik and the three titles would "no longer be available through our channels." Earlier, the publishing house posted a tweet calling for prayer for "everyone who has been hurt and affected."
"Father Rupnik's new book is a godsend — almost literally," Fr. Martin wrote in his foreword to the 2012 work, explaining how the book would introduce readers to "a kind of prayer that anyone can do."
"My Jesuit brother is also a gifted spiritual guide, and his new book will help you not only do 'the basics,' but go deeper," Fr. Martin gushed. "Most of all, this beautiful new book will help you draw closer to God."
Father Martin, regarded as the face of homosexual activism on the internet, wrote how he "marveled" at Rupnik's "astonishingly beautiful mosaics both on the façade of the Basilica of the Holy Rosary in Lourdes and in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut."
Rupnik's "bold portrayals of Jesus, the Blessed Mother, and the saints speak directly to my heart. He is a gifted artist," Fr. Martin added.
However, since the scandal erupted in the Italian media on Dec. 1, the LGBTQ+ activist — who unremittingly posts his opinions on Twitter — has remained silent despite other prominent Jesuits posting on social media their opinions and concerns regarding Rupnik.
Martin, nevertheless, did not refrain from using Twitter to vigorously comment on the recent case of a Christian software designer who refused to create a website for same-sex marriages.
The Jesuit LGBTQ+ campaigner's comments attacking Christians whose businesses don't support homosexual marriage were linked to Martin's article titled "When is religious liberty a fig leaf for homophobia?" The piece was written recently for "Outreach: An LGBTQ Catholic Resource."
The Associated Press report does not mention Pope Francis' role in lifting Rupnik's excommunication for absolving a sexual partner or Rupnik's abuse of nine nuns in the Loyola community in Slovenia but mentions Jesuit abuse expert Fr. Hans Zollner.
Zollner, a theologian and psychologist, is director of the Institute of Anthropology's Interdisciplinary Studies on Human Dignity and Care at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He is also one of the leading experts on safeguarding and prevention of sexual abuse.
In a statement to ACI Prensa, Zollner said the Dicastery of the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) "must respond" to the scandal since "they are the ones who have determined that the facts (of the case) have exceeded the statute of limitations."
"The Society of Jesus cannot do it, it is the competence of the dicastery," Zollner explained. The Jesuits "have said what they could say and, from what I see, the explanations about what they arrived at with the ruling must be given by the dicastery."
Meanwhile, Italian media Messa in Latino reported that the judge conducting the canonical trial of Rupnik was Fr. Francisco Javier Canseco from the Society of Mary. Canseco was assisted by two non-Jesuit investigators.
The trial, which began in 2019 and ended in 2020, is reported to have found Rupnik guilty of violating canon 977: using sacramental confession to absolve a woman with whom he had entertained "de sexto" relations.
The trial for absolving a sexual accomplice did not concern Slovenian religious sisters but an Italian consecrated woman. This case, in which Pope Francis intervened by lifting the judge's sentence of excommunication, was not beyond the statute of limitations.
Canon 1378 §1 stipulates that a priest who violates canon 977 incurs a latae sententiae (immediate) excommunication reserved to the Apostolic See.
From 2021 to 2022, Rupnik was tried a second time by the DDF in a separate case involving the abuse of nine religious sisters from the Skupnost Loyola (Loyola community), to which he served as confessor and spiritual director in the '90s.
The DDF dismissed the second case, ruling it to be beyond the statute of limitations. Richard Scorer, lawyer at Slater & Gordon who acts for many victims of abuse by Catholic clergy, told Church Militant:
Two things are now very clear about Pope Francis. Firstly, his response to the abuse crisis is woefully inadequate. Secondly, in dealing with individual cases, there is clear evidence of him showing favoritism and leniency towards those on his wing of the church.
His response is driven not by the need to rid the Catholic church of this cancer, but by internal church politics and protection of his friends and allies. On the abuse crisis, Francis simply cannot be trusted.
Earlier, Jesuit superior general Fr. Arturo Sosa defended the investigation into Rupnik, insisting that the Society of Jesus did not need to "publish every case" and that "individuals are entitled to a certain amount of privacy."
"These are issues between adults" and "there are no minors involved," Fr. Sosa insisted. The superior general explained that the restrictions continue to be in place "because we want to go further in the matter and see how it helps all those who are involved."
In 2009, Fr. Martin published an article in America titled "The Mosaics of Marko Rupnik: A video and photo gallery." The article provided links to photographs and a video of Rupnik's artworks on a website hosted by Sacred Heart University. The links have been deleted.
In 2014, the LGBTQ+ activist posted pictures of "three beautiful chapels decorated by the Jesuit artist Marko Rupnik, S.J."