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Pope Francis to visit Hungary in April

Pope Francis in Budapest, Hungary, on Sept. 12, 2021. / Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Rome Newsroom, Feb 27, 2023 / 05:50 am (CNA).

The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Francis will visit Hungary for the second time, from April 28-30.

According to the Feb. 27 announcement, the three-day papal trip to Budapest will include meetings with Hungary President Katalin Novák, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, a private visit with children at the Blessed László Batthyány-Strattmann Institute, and meetings with poor people and migrants, young people, clergy, academics, and members of the Society of Jesus.

Pope Francis returns to the central European country after a short visit in 2021 for the 52nd International Eucharistic Congress.

The pope spent just under seven hours in Budapest to celebrate the congress’ closing Mass on Sept. 12 before embarking on a three-day trip to the neighboring country of Slovakia.

Pope Francis met Orbán during his 2021 visit to Hungary and in the Vatican in 2022. Novák, who was elected president of Hungary in March 2022, met Pope Francis at the Vatican last August. A Christian wife and mother, Novák was formerly Hungary’s family minister. also reports that Francis’ trip will focus on the topic of young people in advance of the Aug. 1-6 World Youth Day in Lisbon, Portugal, which the pope is also expected to attend.

Let’s Not Waste A Good Temptation – A Sermon On Matthew 4:1-11

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” That’s the first line in today’s gospel (Matthew 4:1-11) and my first thought is, Well, that’s not fair. The Spirit and the devil…

What have the Jesuits done about Rupnik? A timeline

Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J., with the official image of the 10th World Meeting of Families in Rome. / Screenshot from Diocesi di Roma YouTube channel.

Rome Newsroom, Feb 26, 2023 / 08:00 am (CNA).

The Society of Jesus said Feb. 21 it had received 15 credible accusations of abuse against Father Marko Rupnik and would be taking steps to begin an internal procedure against the Jesuit priest and artist.

The process could result in disciplinary actions up to and including the 68-year-old Rupnik’s expulsion from the Jesuit order.

In the Feb. 21 declaration, Rupnik’s superior, Father Johan Verschueren, said, “I feel it is my duty to deal seriously with this case and others like it that have arisen and are arising, out of respect for, and in protection of, truth and justice for all parties involved.”

To other restrictions on the priest’s public ministry, Verschueren added a ban on public artistic endeavors.

But the Jesuit order has admitted to knowing of abuse accusations against Rupnik for years, not only since alleged victims went public in early December 2022.

Here’s a timeline of known facts about what the Jesuits knew and when they knew it in the Father Rupnik case, and what actions the order has taken so far.


October: Jesuit Father Juan Antonio Guerrero Alves, Rupnik’s superior, receives allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Rupnik, and an allegation that Rupnik gave absolution in confession to an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment. A preliminary investigation is set up.


May: The 2018 allegations are deemed credible; a file is sent to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).

June: Precautionary restrictions are imposed on Rupnik by his superior, Father Guerrero. What the specific restrictions were is currently unknown.

July: The CDF asks Father Arturo Sosa, the Jesuits’ superior general, to set up a penal administrative process for the Rupnik accusations. Sosa appoints a delegate and two assessors who are not part of the order.


January: The delegate and assessors assembled by Sosa unanimously find that Rupnik did commit the canonical crime of absolution of an accomplice. The order knows that Rupnik had incurred an automatic excommunication for that crime.

May: The CDF also formally declares the excommunicable act (the absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment) happened and that Rupnik is in an excommunicated status. The excommunication is lifted by CDF decree later the same month. Rupnik ceases to be director of the art and theological center he founded in Rome, the Centro Aletti, and administrative restrictions are imposed for three years.

October: Bishop Daniele Libanori, SJ, an auxiliary bishop of Rome, is appointed extraordinary commissioner of the Loyola Community following a canonical visit that identified governance problems in the religious institute. 


Libanori, in conversations with current and former members of the Loyola Community in early 2021, uncovers allegations of abuse against Rupnik, who had split from the institute in 1993 after co-founding the community with current head Sister Ivanka Hosta in the late 1980s. Libanori, according to the Associated Press, urges the women to file their complaints with the Vatican.

June: The CDF contacts the Jesuit general curia about allegations concerning Rupnik and some members of the Loyola Community.

July: Sosa asks Father Johan Verschueren, who succeeded Guerrero in January 2020 as Rupnik’s superior, to set up a preliminary investigation into the allegations with a person outside the Jesuits.


January: An investigation concludes that there was enough evidence for a case; the results are sent to the CDF with a recommendation for a penal process. Pope Francis has a meeting with Rupnik at the Vatican on Jan. 3.

February: Verschueren imposes new, unspecified restrictions on Rupnik’s ministry.

October: The CDF (now called the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith) says the statute of limitations has expired on the alleged criminal acts and there can be no trial. Rupnik’s ministry continues to be under restrictions.

December: Sometime during this month, Verschueren imposes new restrictions on Rupnik. On Dec. 18, the Jesuits publish a statement asking anyone who has suffered abuse to contact them to lodge a new complaint or to further discuss any complaints that were already made. The statement also includes a basic timeline of when the Jesuits learned of accusations against Rupnik and what actions were taken.

On Dec. 17, Verschueren tells the National Catholic Register that Rupnik’s early restrictions were to “avoid private, in-depth spiritual contacts with persons, forbidden to confess women, and to give spiritual direction to women specifically in the context of Centro Aletti. In 2020, these restrictions were widened geographically to include anywhere.” In further comments to the Register on Dec. 20, Verchueren says Rupnik had been able to continue certain public activities while under restrictions because “a few exceptions” were made for him. “The local superior had the right to allow exceptions,” Verschueren said, and “could judge whether they were opportune or not.” He added: “I admit that this did not work well. We made these rules ‘absolute’ after complaints reached my ears.”


January: In statements to ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner, Verschueren says he asked Rupnik to not leave Lazio, the Italian region where Rome is located, during ongoing preliminary investigations. 

February: The Society of Jesus says it will open a new internal procedure on Rupnik after receiving 15 abuse accusations with a “very high” degree of credibility.

A more detailed timeline of the developments in the Rupnik case, including notes on his public activities while under restrictions, can be read here.

Pope Francis: The devil uses ‘three widespread and dangerous temptations’ to divide us

Pope Francis greets the crowd at his Sunday Angelus address on Jan. 29, 2023. / Vatican Media

Vatican City, Feb 26, 2023 / 06:15 am (CNA).

On the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis warned of three “widespread and dangerous temptations” that the devil uses to separate us from God and divide us from each other.

In his Angelus address on Feb. 26, the pope said that the devil uses three “powerful poisons” to attack and divide Christian communities: attachment to material things, mistrust, and the thirst for power.

“[These] are three widespread and dangerous temptations that the devil uses to divide us from the Father and to make us no longer feel like brothers and sisters among ourselves, to lead us to solitude and desperation. This is what he wanted to do to Jesus and what he wants to do to us, to lead us to despair,” Francis said.

Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address on Feb. 26, 2023. Vatican Media
Pope Francis delivers the Angelus address on Feb. 26, 2023. Vatican Media

The pope pointed to the Gospel of Matthew to offer advice for how to overcome the three types of temptations, as Jesus did when he was tempted by the devil after 40 days of fasting in the desert.

“Jesus defeats the temptations. But how does he conquer them? By avoiding discussion with the devil and responding with the Word of God,” he said.

Pope Francis explained that Jesus resisted the devil “by opposing him in faith with the Divine Word.”

To counteract the temptations of attachment to material things, mistrust, and the thirst for power, Jesus quotes three phrases from Scripture that speak of freedom from goods, trust, and service to God.

“In this way, Jesus teaches us to defend unity with God and among ourselves from the attacks of the divider,” he said.

The pope encouraged people to turn to the Word of God in their spiritual struggles and in times of temptation.

“If I have a vice or a recurring temptation, why not obtain help by seeking out a verse of the Word of God that responds to that vice?” he said. “Then, when temptation comes, I recite it, I pray it, trusting in the grace of Christ.”

“May Mary, who welcomed the Word of God and with her humility defeated the pride of the divider, accompany us in the spiritual struggle of Lent,” he said.

After Pope Francis prayed the Angelus in Latin with the crowd gathered in St. Peter’s Square, he asked people to pray for the Holy Land, Burkina Faso, Ukraine, Syria, and Turkey.

Pilgrims at the pope's Angelus address on Feb. 26, 2023. Vatican Media
Pilgrims at the pope's Angelus address on Feb. 26, 2023. Vatican Media

“Dear brothers and sisters, painful news is still coming from the Holy Land, where so many people have been killed, even children,” the pope said.

“How to stop this spiral of violence? I renew my call for dialogue to prevail over hatred and revenge, and I pray to God for the Palestinians and Israelis to find the path of fraternity and peace with the help of the international community.”

The pope also said that he was pained to hear on Sunday morning of a migrant boat shipwreck on the coast of southern Italy. At least 43 people died in the shipwreck on Feb. 26 near Steccato di Cutro in Calabria. Eighty people survived, according to Reuters, and the coast guard is still searching for survivors.

“This morning I learned with sorrow of the shipwreck that occurred on the Calabrian coast near Crotone. Already 40 dead have been recovered, including many children. I pray for each of them, for the missing, and for the other surviving migrants,” the pope said.

“I thank those who have brought relief and those who are giving shelter. May Our Lady support these brothers and sisters of ours.”

I Don’t Want To Do Lent This Year – An Ash Wednesday Sermon On Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21

I’m not sure if this is a confession or just a description of where I am these days but I don’t want to do Lent this year. Do you? Let me explain what I mean by that. We began tonight…

“Get Up And Do Not Be Afraid” – A Sermon On Matthew 17:1-9

Today’s gospel (Matthew 17:1-9), the transfiguration of Jesus, is often thought of, described, or spoken of, as a mountaintop experience. And I think it is a mountaintop experience, but I’m beginning to think it’s not the mountaintop experience we often…

Healing Our Divided Life – A Sermon On Matthew 5:21-37

Our older son Brandon often brought a friend over for supper. He was a really nice kid. He was polite and well behaved. He always said and did the right thing. I don’t remember his name but I do remember…

Salt And Light – A Sermon On Matthew 5:13-20

Anybody feeling particularly salty today? How about bright and shining? You are “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” aren’t you? That’s what Jesus says about you in today’s gospel (Matthew 5:13-20).  Today’s gospel is a small piece…

Let’s Wait And See – A Sermon On Luke 2:22-40

“Now you are dismissing your servant in peace.” That’s what Simeon says in this evening’s gospel (Luke 2:22-40) after he took the child Jesus in him arms. Simeon’s experience of receiving and holding Jesus was one of being set free,…

We’re All Blessed – A Sermon On Matthew 5:1-12

“Blessed.” Jesus says that word nine times in today’s gospel (Matthew 5:1-12). We often talk about ourselves or others as being blessed. “I’m blessed.” “She’s blessed.” “We’re really blessed.” You’ve said and heard those things, right? But here’s what I…