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It’s Time to Remove Father Rupnik’s Art

While it is far short of the sort of justice that this case demands, we have reached beyond the point in the Father Marko Rupnik scandal when concrete steps must be taken to remove the disgraced artist’s ubiquitous mosaics from public display.

Certainly, this is easier said than done. But that is a logistical discussion, involving the mechanics of disassembling his works, replacing them with something better, and raising the funds needed to make that happen.

It might take years. It might prove costly. It will be a burden, to be sure. But the sooner the process begins, the better.

This is not an expedient surrender to iconoclasm or “cancel culture,” even though the court of public opinion already has judged him guilty of sexually, spiritually and psychologically manipulating and abusing multiple religious sisters under his authority.

Neither is it an anticipation of an eventual verdict in a court of law. Earlier this month there was a report that five more complaints have been forwarded to Vatican investigators. We still don’t know all the facts, and we don’t know what legal fate awaits the former Jesuit. The point is this: Father Rupnik is entitled to due process. His artwork is not.

Nowhere is it written that works of art must remain on display until a guilty verdict is rendered in a court of law. Tastes matter. Perceptions matter. That is all the justification that’s necessary right now. As an artist, Father Rupnik can certainly appreciate this. Greater artistic talents have endured far worse.

Father Rupnik’s many clients around the world, including the Lourdes shrine in France, the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., and even the Vatican itself, owe his artwork nothing — not even the presumption of innocence. His distinctive mosaics were commissioned for a purpose: to lift minds and hearts toward God. They are no longer capable (if they ever were) of achieving that purpose.

Read more at National Catholic Register 

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