At the large Saint-Paul bookstore, the largest on Avenue de la Conciliazione, which leads to Saint Peter’s basilica, priests, tourists, theology students, bishops and cardinals come every day to look for books on spirituality or patristic. People flock here to study, read the Bible or deepen their spiritual life. And we stroll between the tables where the books chosen and recommended by the booksellers have been wisely lined up next to each other.
Among this choice of booksellers, the works that attract attention today are signed by a Slovenian priest, Father Marko Rupnik, an internationally renowned mosaic artist. This Jesuit, accused of raping nuns, and at the center of a resounding scandal, was banned at the end of February from any “public ministry”. And the books put forward at the Saint-Paul bookstore relate to subjects such as “examination of conscience”, “discernment”, or even “initiation into the spiritual life”. Themes that leave you wondering to say the least, when you know that the author of the books is accused of sexual violence or harassment by 24 people.
“They don’t realize it,” says a Roman Jesuit, himself scandalized after seeing the books on display. In fact, the Rupnik affair continues, in the Vatican, to be largely relativized by some, because of the difficulty of apprehending the phenomenon of influence, in particular on adults. The Slovenian priest also concelebrated a mass on Sunday March 5 in the presence of the faithful, in a Roman church. And this despite the obligation imposed by the Society of Jesus to cease “all ministerial and sacramental public activity”. And with impunity.
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