Comboni Missionaries – Mark’s New Story
These days I am certainly dealing with my life in a much more calm and settled way than I had before.
I am not desperate to see Father Romano Nardo. Yes, Father Enrique Sanchez’s reply annoyed me, and upset me – it was half-expected wasn’t it?
And my world will not fall apart if I never have the opportunity to see Nardo. However, it will keep on being awkward for the Comboni Missionaries when it is highlighted that they refused to let me meet with Nardo, especially when the possible outcome of such a meeting could have been me offering forgiveness to him.
My offer of forgiveness to Nardo is not my raison d’etre in what I am doing. It never has been.
So why am I doing what I am doing. It is for change. Change within organisations, especially powerful institutions like the Catholic Church. We talk about apologies and acknowledgements but that really does not matter. It certainly does not to me now – it used to, but not now. Apologies and acknowledgements come about through dialogue, honest dialogue where truth and humility are ever present. I can not see that happening just yet.
I may have said and used certain words in the past. However, it was often said because I did not know what I really wanted to happen and consequently did not know what to say. Justice, apology, acknowledgment and listening were often banded about. Easy words – especially if they come from the abusers or the abusers’ organisations like the Comboni Missionaries. It can get them off the hook. Now It is easier for me to say what I want to say, and I will certainly say what I believe to be the truth when given the opportunity.
Father Nardo Romano
I have moved on considerably – for the better – especially in the last year.
I feel that there has been a line drawn under the abuse that Nardo perpetrated on me. Call it closure, call it moving on or call it peace with myself; it does not matter – but it is there and it is within me.
The moving on and drawing a line underneath the Comboni Missionaries behaviour and how their actions has affected aspects of my life is harder. However, I can deal with most of those feelings as well.
I am undertaking activities and interest that i would have been unable to do two years ago. I am not preoccupied for most of the day with the Comboni Missionaries.
Abuse at Mirfield
The above are all activities i would be unable to undertake if i had not come to terms with the abuse at Mirfield.
There are many good days now – and a couple of bad days. I have a good psychotherapist that I can relate to. He has helped enormously. And yes, we have talked about forgiveness and meeting with Nardo.
The Mirfield 12 have had an enormous positive effect on me: not being alone when fighting for change; the strength that comes from being part of a group; the humour at times between us and the concern we have for each other.
We are a unique group. There is no other like us in the world. I believe we can make things happen, and make change a reality for many children who have suffered or are suffering abuse within institutions and organisations .
Click on Mark’s Story to read about his abuse at the hands of the Comboni Missionaries.