Mark Murray’s Abuser
Many, many years ago, in a seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire, run by the Comboni Missionaries, Mark Murray was repeatedly abused by a priest of that Order whilst he was just 14 years of age.
The priest’s name was Father Romano Nardo. There was an element of masochism, too, as Nardo scratched a cross on his own chest and that of Mark Murray as well.
Nardo was there from Italy till the summer of that year to learn English before being transferred to the English-speaking Missions in Uganda.
Missions in Uganda
Mark was regularly in Nardo’s room being abused for four months. He was spotted by another priest coming out of Nardo’s room at 6am. Shortly afterwards, Nardo was transferred to the Missions in Uganda a couple of months early.
The abuse has severely affected Mark’s life and that of his family. In the late Nineties, Mark reported Nardo to the order and they promptly brought him back from the Missions in Uganda after 20 years service there.
They told Mark that Nardo would never be allowed access to children again. They moved him to one of their buildings in Verona, Italy.
West Yorkshire Police
Mark also reported his abuse to West Yorkshire police. In the late Nineties they tried to get Nardo extradited to be interviewed and to face charges. However, this request was turned down by the Comboni Missionaries saying that Nardo wasn’t mentally able to be interviewed over it.
Despite this, Mark has pictures of Nardo concelebrating mass many years after that.
Mark has asked to meet Nardo many times. He has also asked for an apology from the order. He has been in touch with the No. 1 Comboni Missionary in England, Father Martin Devenish, who told him he would get the police onto him.
He contacted Father Enrique Sanchez, who is head of the Comboni Missionaries worldwide, but was rebuffed by him too. He also contacted Father David Glenday, the ex-head of the Comboni Missionaries, who now has a senior position at the Vatican. He asked Mark to write a letter to Father Sanchez. This got him no further.
It was at an impasse. The Comboni Missionaries not only refused to apologise but would not even admit that any abuse had taken place.
This is despite there being over 1,000 documented instances of abuse of 18 boys in the Sixties and Seventies at the seminary in Mirfield by several different priests and a lay preacher.
Verona Fathers Trip
So, Mark decided to take the matter into his own hands.
A few weeks ago, Mark decided to fly to Verona to try to meet his abuser in person. After all, he knew where he was.
Instead of just doing that he was advised to contact the local press there – otherwise he could end up in an Italian police cell. A bunch of local priests would be more likely to be believed than he would be.
It’s just as well that he did as the Comboni Missionaries were not only unsympathetic but they accused him of being drunk and called the police.
La Repubblica Newspaper
Luckily, though, Mark had contacted La Repubblica, a major newspaper in Italy.
They gave him a camera disguised as a wrist watch – and so he had evidence of what took place – and that he wasn’t drunk.
When Mark arrived, he asked reception if he could go into the chapel there. After a while, he plucked his courage and asked reception if he could speak to Father Romano Nardo. She went to fetch him.
When Nardo came out, he knew who Mark was within seconds.
You can find the La Repubblica article and the videos of the meeting between Mark and Nardo by clicking on Comboni Missionaries Abuser Meeting
There is a not very good Google Translate into English version here
Channel 4 News
Mark was later interviewd by Channel 4 Television in the UK.
After all of this, the Comboni Missionaries have still not apologized, still do not admit any abuse took place and have moved Nardo to another location in case he is harmed by Mark Murray.
Indeed, they are threatening to sue Mark.
When will they ever learn!
When will they ever learn!
If you want any further information on Mark’s case or any of the other abuse cases at Mirfiled, ust contact us.