Father Enrique Sanchez and Father David Glenday.
I would like to talk with you – you would not want to talk with me, I am sure of that. However, it is you, the representatives of the Comboni Missionaries, that should be offering the hand of reconciliation and pleading for forgiveness and not me.
I sometimes think how I would talk with – and how he would listen and how he would respond – to Father Peter Zuani, my Comboni Missionary Novice Master. I believe his response would have beeen totally different to yours. Father Peter was one of the most spiritual and holy men that I had ever been blessed with knowing.
There were many times – as so many of you must know – that I spent talking and praying with Father Peter about my vocation to the religious life. And there were times when I was on the cusp of telling him I had no vocation. There were times when I wanted to – was desperate inside to – tell him about the sexual abuse that Nardo had done to me. And yet, as a missionary Comboni Brother I was being sent to the very country that my abuser had been living in since 1970. I was living a lie, and I was too frightened to tell anyone or do anything about it.
I believed – irrationally – that because I had been sexually abused by the Comboni Missionary, Father Romano Nardo, I too, would go on and become an abuser of children. The fear that accompanied me when I thought about it, directed me in becoming a Comboni Brother. I too, just like Nardo was, would be kept safe and protected when, and if, I started abusing children.
It is probably now to late for talking, at least to me.
The abuse inquiry has begun. Today it is Day One for Judge, Lowell Goddard. It will be a Statutory Inquiry.