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  • Writer's pictureFaith Hakesley

An Open Letter to Dr. Paolo Ruffini, Vatican's Head of the Dicastery for Communication

Dr. Paolo Ruffini

Head of the Dicastery for Communication

Vatican City

Dear Dr. Ruffini,

We write to you as victims of clerical abuse, bearing the deep scars inflicted upon us by those who were meant to be our spiritual guides. Our wounds have been exacerbated by the Vatican's continued use of Marko Rupnik’s art, despite his reprehensible actions. This letter is a plea for justice and a demand for accountability within the Church that so deeply betrayed us.

The Church has consistently promised transparency, accountability, and compassion for victims of clerical abuse. However, the recent controversy surrounding the use of Rupnik’s art is a glaring example of the Vatican’s failure to uphold these promises. Your defense of Rupnik at a recent Catholic media event was a profound betrayal to all of us who have suffered.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, advised all Curial offices not to use Rupnik’s art. Yet, this guidance was blatantly ignored. The disregard for such counsel highlights a lack of respect and empathy for the victims of abuse. The ongoing display of Rupnik's art within Church institutions is a painful reminder of the abuse we endured and the lack of serious action against those who have perpetrated such horrors.

Pope Francis has called for a unified, compassionate Church. However, the actions—or inactions—of the Dicastery for Communications under your leadership have done the opposite, causing further heartache and trauma. Your defense of Rupnik and the continued use of his art are indefensible. They undermine the Church’s commitment to justice and healing for abuse survivors.

In light of these grievous oversights and failures, we demand your immediate resignation from your position as Prefect of the Dicastery for Communications. The Church must demonstrate its commitment to supporting victims of abuse and ensuring that those who have inflicted harm, directly or indirectly, are held accountable. Your resignation would be a small step towards rebuilding trust and showing genuine compassion and respect for victims.

Additionally, we are publicly calling on all Catholic organizations, dioceses, parishes, and publishers of Catholic media to join us in this demand. We also urge the removal of Marko Rupnik's art from all places of worship, churches, and publications. This collective action will send a clear message that the Catholic Church is committed to justice, healing, and the dignity of all survivors of abuse.

The Catholic Church must prioritize the well-being and healing of those who have suffered at the hands of its clergy. Only through sincere actions and accountability can the Church begin to restore its moral authority and offer true solace to its wounded flock.

Together, let us take a stand and say enough is enough. Let us work towards a Church that truly embodies compassion, justice, and healing for all.


Faith Hakesly, Victim/Survivor and Vice President of the Board, TentMakers of LouisianaLetitia Peyton, Executive Director and mother of a victim/survivor, TentMakers of Louisiana; Quinn Hebert, President of the Board, TentMakers of Louisiana;

Dana LaCombe, Secretary of the Board; TentMakers of Louisiana;

Eddie Villemarette, Treasurer of the Board; TentMakers of Louisiana,

Cheryl Villemarette, Board Member, TentMakers of Louisiana,

Scott E. Peyton, father of a victim/survivor and Advisor of the Board, TentMakers of Lousiana, Scott "Alex" Peyton, brother of a victim/survivor and Advisor of the Board, TentMakers of Louisiana,

Tatiana Sofia Begault, Advisor of the Board, TentMakers of Louisiana,

Jody Plauche, Advisor of the Board, TentMakers of Louisiana

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