Comboni Missionaries Christmas Appeal
They are known in English-speaking countries as the Comboni MIssionaries (ex-Verona Fathers), in Italy as Missionari Comboniani, in Spanish-speaking countries as Misioneros Combonianos, in German-speaking countries as Comboni-Missionare and in Portuguese-speaking countries as Missionarios Combonianos.
They have, in 2014, paid out £120,000 to 11 men who claimed to have been abused by Comboni Missionaries, Father John Pinkman, Father Domenico Valmaggia and Father Romano Nardo at their seminary in Mirfield in Yorkshire in the Sixties and Seventies.
However, whatever the language, the one thing that Missionarios Combonianos have not done is apologise. As even little children know, if you don’t apologise, it means that you don’t think that you have anything to apologise for.
This is despite the current Superior General, Father (Padre) Enrique Sanchez, the boss of the Comboni Missionaries, admitting to Mark Murray that they brought Father Roman Nardo home in 1997, after 27 years in Uganda, after Mark’s accusations of abuse against him. He assured Mark that father Nardo was now under house arrest in a home for the sick in Verona and would be allowed no access to children.
And, yet, there has been no apology from Padre Enrique Sanchez or previous bosses of Missionari Comboniani like Father (Padre) David Glenday. Indeed, Missionari Comboniani are saying, callously, that paying out 120 grand to those accusing them of abuse, and the cover-up of abuse, was just the cheapest option for them. That really is a kick in the groin to those whose groins were so abused by Comboni Missionaries when they were just 11, 12, 13 and 14 years of age.
The same defence was used by Michael Jackson, and his representatives, when they paid out $20m to the father of a boy who accused Michael Jackson of abuse.
The closest that anyone from Misioneros Combonianos has come to apologising has been Father Martin Devenish, head of the Order in Britain who said “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.”
However, there are a dozen, or more, men who were at the seminary as youngsters, who believe that the ‘if’ needs to be removed. There was no ‘if’ when they were being abused by Padre John Pinkman, Padre Domenico Valmaggia and Padre Romano Nardo of the Comboni Missionaries.
Pope Francis has already apologised for the rampant abuse perpertrated on Catholic boys by priests of the Catholic Church. The Franciscans have already apologised to 14 boys abused by priests of their Order, to whom they had already paid out millions of dollars.
By not apologising, Missionarios Combonianos are out of step with the rest of the Catholic Church as far up as its very leader.
2014 was the year that the Comboni Missionaries paid out £120,000 to 11 boys who were at their seminary in Mirfield. Despite what they said, those ‘boys’ have taken this as tacit admission that the abuse occurred.
Now, 2015 must be the year when the Comboni Missionaries, finally, apologise not only for the abuse that occurred but for decades of cover-up of the abuse at the very highest levels of the Order.
The longer they delay, the less any apology will be believed as being sincere.
This is the Christmas Appeal of the Mirfield 12 to the Comboni Missionaries on Christmas Day 2014.
Happy Christmas to everyone!
Let’s make it a better 2015!
Let’s make it the year that it is all over!
That would be better for everyone!
Let’s make it the year that everyone moves on!