Urge priests at Brazil's biggest Marian shrine to remove Rupnik's artwork

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The largest Marian Shrine in Brazil is planning to unveil artwork by disgraced priest Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik on its south facade in May, despite the pain he caused to the abused and the indifference it shows towards sexual immorality.

We must urge the Redemptorist priests at the National Sanctuary of Aparecida to remove Rupnik's artwork from one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the world, making clear that sexual abuse has no place in the Catholic Church.

SIGN: Tell the Redemptorists to remove Rupnik's artwork

Mosaics by Rupnik and his Rome-based Aletti Center adorn the south facade of the basilica, and are set to be officially unveiled on May 11. 

After initially pausing plans to unveil the artwork in 2023 at the height of the Rupnik scandal, the shrine’s rector, Father Eduardo Catalfo, CSsR, joined the shrine’s administrator, Father Fábio Evaristo, in February to reveal details of the installation of Rupnik’s famous mosaics. 

Rupnik’s unique mosaics already cover the northern facade of the basilica – the second largest church in the world (by interior size) after the Vatican – in what is the largest work of Rupnik’s to date. The Aletti Center has provided detailed images and a layout of the mosaics as they currently stand on the north face of the basilica, as plans had been drawn up for his mosaics to cover all four facades in the form of an outdoor Bible. 

As LifeSiteNews has extensively reported, Rupnik stands widely accused, in allegations which became public in late 2022, of committing serial abuse in multiple forms – sexual, spiritual, physical, and psychological. According to testimony from an alleged victim of Rupnik, who is also a former member of his Loyola Community, the priest abused at least 21 of the 40 members present in the community during the 1990s.

One of Rupnik’s alleged victims, Gloria Branciani, gave detailed descriptions of the instances of abuse that Rupnik allegedly performed on her, stating that such events – which included threesomes “in the image of the Trinity” – took place “even in his room at the Aletti Center.” Branciani attests Rupnik’s art is intimately connected to his alleged abuse, writing in 2022 that Rupnik’s “sexual obsession was not extemporaneous but deeply connected to his conception of art and his theological thinking.”

An ever-growing scandal has built up around Rupnik, since the details became public in December 2022, but also around Pope Francis, the Jesuit Order and the Diocese of Rome, with various allegations of inaction and deliberate cover-up being levied at each. 

The Jesuits, who expelled Rupnik from the order last year, had compiled a 150-page dossier of reported instances of abuse that the Slovenian allegedly committed.

These date from 1985 to 2018, and Rupnik’s former superior, Father Johan Verschueren, S.J., stated that the credibility of the allegations against Rupnik is “very high.”

Alleged victims of Rupnik have said that Rupnik made sexual advances during painting sessions, after Holy Mass, or after hearing confessions in his Rome Aletti Art Center. 

We must urge the Redemptorists to remove these images which are linked to horrible evils. 

SIGN: Tell the Redemptorists to remove Rupnik's artwork

Those peculiar mosaics depict various Biblical scenes, with some critics suggesting Rupnik's bizarre modernist style betrays a disdain for the traditional artwork that inspired the moral life of believers. 

As faithful Catholics, we must demand that Rupnik’s artwork be removed from the Aparecida Shrine in Brazil, which is intended to be a place of healing and comfort, and not of trauma. 

The decision regarding Rupnik’s artwork at Aparecida is of the utmost importance because it will influence the choice to either keep or remove Rupnik’s other artwork across the world. 

SIGN: Tell the Redemptorists to remove Rupnik's artwork

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