My trip to Verona was an important and monumental event for me. The biggest in my life. I met, and i spoke with, Father Romano Nardo , my Mirfield priestly sexual abuser after 45 years.
I was able to ask him to look at me: “look at me, look at me, look at me, look at me, Father look at me” — his response “i am not worthy”
I was able to ask him to try and understand that what he did to me as a child had destroyed a massive part of me.
I can live with what happened to me by Nardo.
However, It is much harder to understand the arrogance and the complete lack of compassion for what the CM’s are continuing to put my friends and my family through.
When my son was coming up to the age of 14 – the same age as i was when i was abused by Nardo – the memories and the flashbacks of my abuse very nearly destroyed me.
I tried to talk with the CM’s about that – they did not want to know.
The CM’s are not the Church in Verona. They may think they are, but they are not.
They are, or should be according to the Gospels, on this world to serve. They have chosen a vocation of service to the venerable, destitute and those in pain and suffering.
They are here, as we all are, to love. They have chosen to love as Jesus showed them how to.
Jesus did not abuse children, nor condone or cover up the abuse of children.
We are all on the same journey, with the same end. When I was in Verona meeting my priestly abuser, the CM’s journey was not with me. They were in their own shallow, safe and comfortable place that I could not, nor did not, want to recognise or be part of.
“You must move on. ” “There is nothing here for you.” “I will pray for you.” “Prayer is very powerful.” “if you are waiting for an apology from the Combonis you will be waiting for a long time.”
Thank you, but no thanks Father Superior of Verona.
The CM’s did not have the guts to apologise. They did not have the guts to listen. If they had, truly listened, with an open and honest heart in the spirit of justice and the Gospels they would have known that their only true response would have had to be one of apology and empathy. That would take courage and that would leave them vulnerable. They had not the guts to do it.Thet sent for their lawyers and the carabineer
And they still do not have the guts to listen to me and the others that were abused.
I was informed last week, from a very reliable source, that Father John Clarke would like to apologise to me – however, his hands are tied – in other words his lips must remain sealed because the CM’s lawyers have said that is the way it must be.
The abuse carries on. I, and others, have to deal with it all every day.