ROME – In the latest development in the ongoing saga of ex-Jesuit Father Marko Rupnik, a celebrated artist now facing multiple charges of sexual abuse against adult women, the Vatican has dissolved a community of nuns he co-founded in his native Slovenia in the 1980s.

Earlier this year, the current leader of the community, Sister Ivanka Hosta, was sanctioned by the Church and ordered to pray for the victims of her own abuses and those of Rupnik.

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni confirmed to Crux on Dec. 15 that “with the decree signed in recent weeks, following the apostolic visitation and having consulted those responsible for the visit, the ordinaries and other figures who know its life and work, the Loyola Community has effectively been suppressed.”

Co-founded by Rupnik and Hosta in Ljubljana in the 1980s, the Loyola Community was a women’s community dedicated to living the spirituality of Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus.

For years the community has been the subject of various allegations of abuse and mismanagement, which have been under investigation since 2019.

Following Bruni’s statement, the Diocese of Ljubljana later Friday afternoon published a communique on its website announcing the dissolution of the Loyola Community.

In the communique, it was stated that papal delegates to the community, Father Amedeo Cencini, Sister Marisa Adami, and Father Victor Pope, presented the decree of dissolution to members of the Loyola Community, some of whom were connected online, during a Dec. 14 meeting in Ljubljana.

The decree was issued by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, more commonly called the “Dicastery for Religious.”

Though co-founded with Rupnik – who is currently under Vatican investigation and faces allegations of having sexually assaulted at least 25 adult women – he and Hosta parted ways in 1993, with Rupnik and several loyalists moving to Rome, where he established his famed Aletti Center and continued to build his profile as the Catholic Church’s best-known muralist and mosaic artist.

In 1994, the then-Archbishop of Ljubljana, Alojzij Šuštar, approved the Loyola Community as an institute of diocesan right.

However, allegations of abuse from current and former members prompted Archbishop Stanislav Zore, the current archbishop of Ljubljana, to request an apostolic visitation of the group in 2019.

Given that the Loyola Community’s general office is in Rome, while its head office is in Apnenik, in Slovenia, Rome’s Jesuit auxiliary Bishop Daniele Libanori was tapped to conduct the visitation. The visitation concluded in February 2020, and in October of that year, Libanori was asked by Zore to assume governance of the community as commissioner.

In September, the Portuguese website 7MARGENS reported that Hosta had been the subject of a disciplinary decree from the Vatican.

A small portion of the decree, which was reportedly dated June 21 and published by the Portuguese site, said that “anomalies” in governance uncovered in the course of the visitation had brought “confusion” to members, and that “quite a bit of suffering of some sisters” both in the community and among those who left had been discovered.

Hosta was reportedly found guilty of exercising “a style of government that is detrimental to the dignity and rights” of members.

In addition to a small snippet of the decree, the website also said three penalties had been imposed on Hosta, one of which was a ban on holding any position of governance or authority within the community, including providing spiritual direction.

Hosta was also reportedly ordered to move to a community property in Portugal and was barred from contacting, directly or indirectly, any members or former members of the Loyola Community for three years.

She was also apparently ordered to make an annual pilgrimage to a Marian shrine near her Portuguese residence to pray for Rupnik’s victims and all the nuns of the Loyola Community that she herself is accused of abusing.

In its new communique, the Diocese of Ljubljana said the decree to dissolve the community was signed Oct. 20, “due to serious problems concerning the exercise of authority and the way of living together.”

According to 7MARGENS, Libanori is tasked with overseeing the dissolution, which must be completed within a year.

Rupnik himself, 68, has been accused of engaging in sexual, psychological and spiritual abuse of at least 25 adult women over a 30-year period.

Allegations surfaced publicly in 2021, revealing that he had been briefly excommunicated in 2020 for allegedly using the confessional to absolve a woman with whom he’d had sexual relations.

Speaking to Italian newspaper Domani in December 2022, one alleged Rupnik victim said that while still in Slovenia he had been her spiritual guide in the Loyola Community, and that he had demanded “absolute availability and obedience,” and that he had isolated her from both friends and family while carrying out physical and spiritual abuse.

“Father Marko openly started to duress other sisters in the community with the usual psycho-spiritual strategies he had already used with me, with the goal of having sex with as many women as possible,” the former nun said, saying there were around 41 sisters in the Loyola Community in the early 1990s, “and, from what I know, Father Rupnik managed to abuse almost 20.”

Rupnik has also been accused of engaging in sexual acts with consecrated women at the Aletti Center he founded in Rome, which for years served as his global base of operations.

When complaints began to arrive, the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF) initially declined to open canonical proceedings beyond the initial excommunication, citing a statute of limitations in the Church’s Code of Canon Law for the abuse of adults, which had previously been waived in other cases.

An internal inquiry conducted by the Jesuits concluded that the allegations were “highly credible” and culminated with the expulsion of Rupnik from the order in June for disobedience. However, he was incardinated into the Diocese of Koper in Solvenia a month later.

Pope Francis on Sept. 15 met privately with a longtime Rupnik ally who’s publicly termed the charges against him a “lynching.”

Just three days later, the Diocese of Rome, after conducting a visitation into the Aletti Center, gave it a clean bill of health, flagging what it said in a statement were “gravely anomalous procedures” behind Rupnik’s excommunication in 2020 and raising “well-founded doubts” about the decision.

In October, Pope Francis appeared to reverse course in the Rupnik case and lifted the statute of limitations, allowing the DDF to launch a formal inquiry and pursue charges.

Follow Elise Ann Allen on X: @eliseannallen