English & Welsh Bishops Receive Comboni Missionaries Abuse Document

Conference of Bishops

Members of the Conference of Bishops of England and Wales have a received a copy of Brian Hennessy’s Document on the Comboni Missionaries Reaction to Clerical Sexual Abuse accusations.

The contention of this document is that the Comboni Missionary Order has committed hierarchical victimisation of a group of ex-seminarians by failing to report paedophile priests of their Order to law enforcement agencies:

–  have failed to follow the procedures of Nolan, Cumberlege and safeguarding procrdures,

–  have failed to follow the instructions of Canon Law and

–  have failed to follow the Order’s own Code of Conduct.

In doing so they failed to acknowledge the suffering of Victims and refused to have any dialogue with them and have even been openly hostile to some victims even knowing that at least one of those victims was suicidal.

La Repubblica

The leading Italian newspaper La Repubbluca has reported these incidents on both their TV and copy news outlets and are now in the process of lobbying the Vatican on these issues.

In the United Kingdom the story has already been covered by the BBC, Channel 4, the Telegraph and the Times – and an hour long documentary film is in consideration of being made for a major tv news outlet.

The document calls for action at many levels: CDF at the Vatican, the Pontifical Commission on Child Abuse, the Bishops Conferences of England&Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, and at national and Regional civil/political levels.

The Group of ex-seminarians have also been represented on the Home Office Committees that have contributed to establishing the format and TORs of the forthcoming committee into the conduct of institutions in relation to child abuse – and will be participating in the forthcoming Inquiry.

Comboni Missionary Order

There should be no doubt that the Bishops of the British Isles will be challenged by the media for their views on these matters and any lack of clear decision or direction will meet with a degree of derision.

This would be unfortunate given that the Bishops’ conferences have given such a clear and outstanding lead through Nolan and Cumberlege and the consequent safeguarding procedures now in place.

Regrettably the Comboni Missionary Order have ignored every guidance and rule that pertains to child abuse.

The Bishops of the British Isles are called upon, therefore, to make an example of the Order and take action in accordance with the recommendations in Chapter 10 of the attached document -or otherwise be held to account by the British public for any inaction or obfuscation.

by Brian Hennessy


I think that most people will agree that Brian has produced a fantastic, and very detailed, document which gets to the heart of the matter. It shows how the Comboni Missionaries have not followed their own procedures nor those of the Catholic Church.

It documents all the incidents of abuse that he can and all the abusers. It will be a powerful document in the coming days.

It will be very useful when the Home Office Panel for Organisational Clerical Abuse sits and this document is presented to them.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Brian for taking the time out of his life to put all of this together in support of Mark Murray’s achievements and of others.

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