Comboni Missionaries General Chapter XVIII
A momentous event is taking place for the Comboni Missionaries (ex-Verona Fathers) in Rome this month.
They are having their their seldom held General Chapter when representatives of all the 1,700 Comboni Missionaries will be in Rome to look at where they have been, where they are now, and where they want to be in the future.
This is only the 18th General Chapter that they have held in their history of well over a hundred years.
It is a period of introspection for them.
Chapter General Council to Elect New Superior General
At this momentous occasion they will also elect a new Superior General, i.e. a new head of the Order.
For the Compboni Missionaries, it is like a Vatican Council and an election of a new Pope all rolled into one.
The present Superior General, Father Enrico Sanchez, will be stepping down. He, as well as other previous Superior Generals, like the UK’s own Father David Glenday, will assist in the preparations and voting for the office of the new Superior General.
Child Abuse at Seminary in Mirfield
It is not known whether the Comboni Missionaries will be talking about their history of Sexual Child Abuse of Minors at their seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire during the Sixties and Seventies at their General Chapter and any new response to it.
Pope Francis said just this week in te USA “The crimes of sexual abuse against children cannot be repeated” and wants to punish bishops who have covered up sexual abuse of minors.
However, so far, the Comboni MIssionaries have snubbed and defied Pope Francis’s instructions and have failed to even acknowledge that sexual abuse took place, never mind apologised for it.
Comboni Missionaries Cover-Up of Sexual Abuse
They are also continuing to cover up the sexual abuse, hiding out Father Romano Nardo at their house in Verona and refusing permission for West Yorkshire Police to interview him.
Defying Pope Francis may come back to haunt them.
However, if they elect a new Superior General who is untainted by the crimes of the past and the cover-up of what Pope Francis calls ‘crimes’, they have an opportunity to move forward in tandem with Pope Francis and the rest of the Catholic Church.
New Comboni Missionaries Superior General
The Mifield 12, who received payouts of £120,000 last year from the Comboni Missionaries, and the others whose cases are current, are calling on the Comboni Missionaries to use this General Chapter, and the election of a new Superior General, to take this opportunity to put the past behind them.
Representatives of the Mirfield 12, and the others, are willing to meet the new Superior General at his earliest convenience to help put the stain of child sexual abuse behind them and to work out new processes that make sure that this can never happen again.
We wish the Comboni Missionaries good fortune in their choice of their new Superior General. This may be the most important election they have ever had and opportunity to move in step with Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.
The future doesn’t bear thinking about if they don’t take this opportunity to change direction.