The Tablet newspaper, which has been on the go since 1840, is the 2nd oldest newspaper in Britain after The Spectator, It is the main Catholic Newspaper in the UK.
Today it publishes an article which slams the Comboni Missionaries for their attitude to those who were abused by Comboni MIssionary priests at their seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire.
It said that 12 ex-seminarians are calling on the Comboni Missionaries to acknowledge and apologise for the abuse that took place at Mirfield in the Sixties and Seventies.
One of the ex-seminarians, Brian Hannessy, has documented more than 1,000 instances of the abuse, and the Comboni Missionaries reaction to it, and has sent the 157-page document to all the Archbishops in the UK as well as the heads of religious communities.
Hennessy said that the Comboni Missionaries had not followed their own procedures when abuse was reported.
The Comboni Missionaries paid out £120,000 to the group of 12 but said that this was not an admission of guilt.
Hennessy told The Tablet that the cover up of abuse “has run so deep in the veins of the hierarchy of that religious order that it has resulted in the hierarchical re-victimisation and discrimination of the victims of child sexual abuse that was committed by depraved members of their order”.
Jim Kirby told the Tablet that all the abused wanted was an apology from the Comboni Missionaries and for them to admit that they had failed in their duty of care to the boys at their seminary in Mirfield.
He told The Tablet “We want them to meet us and to treat us properly and with respect. So far we have been fobbed off and we have been insulted. Some of us have been told by priests that we are ‘only in it for the money’.”
He continued, “It would help if the Comboni fathers would stop saying this was all a long time ago, and the priests are dead: they’re not all dead, and the ones who are still alive should be brought to court, but in the meantime it would mean so much if they just invited us to meet them and said, guys, we’re sorry; not only for what happened all those years ago, but for failing to face up to it in the years since. What’s happened has added insult to injury, and now is the moment when it has to stop.”
To read the whole article click on The Tablet Article on the Comboni Missionaries Abuse
It seems that the Comboni MIssionaries were not available for comment.