When I wrote to Bishop Giuseppe Zenti, the Bishop of Verona, in 2010 to inform him about Nardo living in the Comboni Mother House in Verona, I had a similar reply that you had – not from the Bishop, but from his Vicar General, Giuseppe Pelligrini.
“Assure you of our prayers” and “the people involved fall within the competence of the Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries,” was his response. In other words: ‘nothing to do with me.’ Terrible really.
I took the advice of Pelligrini, the Verona Vicar General, and wrote to Father Enrique Sanchez, the Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries.
Sanchez’s response was: “Please be assured of my continuing prayer,” and “at the end of the day, Mark, we are all in the hands of God. May He go with you always.”
My reply: “where were the hands of god when I was being abused by the hands of a priest.”
I received a similar response from the Verona Bishop, Flavio Roberto Carraro in 2002. Carraro’s Vicar General, also offered to say prayers for me and, yes, he also said: ‘nothing to do with me.’
I am not short of people praying for me!
When I wrote to Father Martin Devenish, the Provincial of the Comboni’s London Province, in 2001, he, also offered prayers: “I am sorry that I can do no more in the circumstances, although I shall continue to remember you and your family in my prayers.”
I wonder if the above are still praying to their god for me now.
The Pop’s remarks here are very telling: “They discussed training of seminarians, where the Pope warned about “forming the heart… so as not to create little monsters who will then be unleashed to take care of God’s people. The thought gives me goose bumps!””
Davin Glenday was a student at Mirfield at the height of the abuseby Pinkman and Valmaggia. He went on to become Superior General of the Verona Fathers and then Secretary General of the Union of Superior Generals, the Capo dei Capi of religious orders. I wonder what he knows about abuse at Mirfield? It’s a pity the “boss” did not ask him in the photo in the above article.
They are still saying their prayers for us all:
“The statement concludes with the current head of the Order in the UK, Father Martin Devenish, saying: “We know that anyone subjected to abusive behaviour will experience suffering and we are dismayed to think such suffering may have been caused to youngsters who attended our junior seminary. If that is the case, we are deeply sorry to anyone who has been hurt in this way and our thoughts and prayers are with them.” (Catherine Deveney – The Observer, Sunday 19 October 2014(
Offering prayers is a little presumptuous: many of us do not belong to a particular faith, and those of us who are atheists, would i suspect, prefer to think rather than have prayers said for them.
Perhaps it would haves been better if Devenish had said the prayers for himself.