Ex-Jesuit's religious community in Slovenia ordered to dissolve in one year over widespread abuse

A website is visible with a crest and the words "Razpustitev Skupnosti Loyola"

A screen grab shows the notice on the website of the Archdiocese of Ljubljana, Slovenia, of the Vatican's decision to suppress the Community of Loyola, a women's religious community founded in the early 1990s with the assistance of Fr. Marko Rupnik, who is facing multiple allegations of abuse, including of women in the community. (CNS photo/nadskofija-ljubljana.si)

by Associated Press

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The Vatican has decided to shut down a Slovenian-based female religious community founded by a controversial ex-Jesuit artist accused by some women of spiritual, psychological and sexual abuses.

The archdiocese of Ljubljana, Slovenia said in a statement Dec. 15 that the Loyola Community would have one year to implement the Oct. 20 decree ordering its dissolution. The reason given was because of "serious problems concerning the exercise of authority and the way of living together."

The dissolution of the community was the latest chapter in the saga of Fr. Marko Rupnik, a once-famous Jesuit artist and preacher whose mosaics decorate churches and basilicas around the world.

He had founded the Loyola Community in the 1980s with a nun. But recently, former members of the community came forward to say he had spiritually, sexually and psychologically abused them. In 2020, he was declared excommunicated by the Vatican for committing one of the gravest crimes in the church's canon law; using the confessional to absolve a woman with whom he had engaged in sexual activity.

Pope Francis recently reopened a canonical investigation into their claims, reversing the Vatican's previous decision to shelve the case because the statute of limitations had expired. Earlier this year, the Jesuits kicked him out of the order because he refused to enter into a process of reparations with the victims.

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