Comboni Missionaries Abuse Settlement
Recently, the Comboni Missionaries, formerlly also known as the Verona Fathers, settled out of court with 11 men who claimed that they were abused as boys of 11-14, at a Comboni Missionaries Seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire in the 1960s and early seventies. They paid out a total of £120,000 to the 11 men.
However, there was no admission of guilt and no apology has been given by the Comboni Missionaries. So, the ex-seminarians have decided to fight on until they get an admission and an apology. Recently Pope Francis set a new tone in the Catholic Church when he apologised to all victims of abuse by the church.
Said one of those who settled, Gerry McLaughlin who was 11 years of age when he joined the Comboni Missionaries Seminary in Mirfield, “This new attitude has not percolated down to all levels of the church and some distinctly entrenched attitudes remain”.
The ex-seminarians claim that they were abused by three separate priests. Father John Pinkman, who was in charge of the Junior Boys, used to bring the boys, as young as 11 to his bedroom, to explain the Facts of Life to them and ask them to remove their clothes so that he could explain further. He went on to abuse many of them.
Another priest, Father Domenico Valmaggia, who was in charge of the Infirmary at the Comboni Missionaries seminary, was the person to go to if the boys felt ill. Every so often, he said that he had to weigh the boys who came to see him and he asked them to remove their clothes so that he could do so. He then went on to abuse many of them.
Father Romano Nardo was perhaps the worst abuser of the lot of them. He used to show boys a cross that he had cut into his chest. He said he wanted to show them Jesus’s love. With one boy he scratched the cross with his fingernails and went on to abuse him for months and months till he was caught and sent to the Missions.