Slovenia’s culture minister asks Jesuit priest Rupnik, accused of sexual abuse, to return the award he received from the government in 2000
Newsroom (Jan 03, 2022 11:15 PM, Gaudium Press) Slovenia’s culture minister, Asta Vrecko, has asked Jesuit priest Marko Ivan Rupnik to return the Preseren prize, an award he was given in 2000 for his artistic work.
The minister’s request came after the revelations of psychological and sexual abuse that the priest allegedly committed against religious women in the 1990s.
Asta Vrecko acknowledges that it is not possible to officially withdraw the award from Rupnik, but “it would be a decent act, to say the least, for the recipient to return it himself,” Vrecko said.
The Preseren award is Slovenia’s highest national honor given for artistic achievement.
Priest Marko Ivan Rupnik received the Preseren award in 2000 for his mosaic painting in the Redemptoris Mater chapel in the Vatican’s private quarters.
The minister also reported that the process for giving the prize to the Jesuit was irregular, because he was nominated for the realization of a work that is not in a public space. Now, the award should be given if the work of art is accessible to the public, she explained.
Despite her statement, Minister Asta Vrecko stated that she has “no intention of erasing history” and that the law is clear and does not allow the award to be taken away from the Jesuit, however she entrusts her petition to Rupnik’s decency to have the award returned.
Compiled by Angelica Vecchiato