‘GOD WEEPS” by Brian Mark Hennessey
- On the last day of his visit to the United States yesterday, Pope Francis said “God weeps”. He was not referring to wars that ravaged parts of the world, nor hunger, poverty and physical deprivation. He was referring to child sexual abuse within the Church by clerics of the Church. Saying that he held the suffering of Victims of sexual abuse by priests in his heart, he said, “I remain overwhelmed with shame that many, entrusted with the care of children, violated them and caused grievous harm. “I am profoundly sorry”, he said – and he made a commitment to listen to all Victims – and deliver justice – and he declared that the guilty will be punished. In 2014 Pope Francis had already committed himself publicly and, in definitive terms, he had showed determination to ensure that Victims were given credence, that their long term suffering would be understood and that full reparation would be made. That reparation included dialogue, understanding and apologies. The Pope apologized then for the failure of Church leaders to give credence to the stories of Victims and he promised that the Clerical Abusers of child sexual abuse would be brought to justice. Yet, some Church leaders were not listening to their God and His Vicar on earth, the Pope, – or perhaps in their arrogance, they decided to ignore totally the both of them. Some members of the Comboni Missionary Order, specifically the outgoing Superior General Father Sanchez, the previous Superior General Father David Kinnear Glenday and the Provincial of the London Province, Father Martin Devinish – and their closest advisors, head the list of those clerics who failed to listen to Victims of child sexual abuse – and their God and their Pope.
“God weeps” and Pope Francis is “profoundly sorry”. The outgoing Superior General of the Comboni Missionary Order, Father Sanchez, and his former henchmen – both those in the highest positions that surrounded him in Italy and those in the London Province neither wept and nor were sorry. They publicly suggested that the Victims – of whom more than twenty were once young seminarians at the Verona Fathers’ Mirfield seminary in Yorkshire, England – were not telling the truth. Denying the accounts of those Victims, they stated publicly that the truth will never be known. Yet – they did know of the abuse. It had been reported to them by the seminarians on numerous occasions at the time of the abuse. Some of the Comboni Missionary priests who were at the Mirfield seminary had even made statements to the effect that they knew of the abuse. Further than that, those statements included names of members of the Order and even the Superior General to whom reports of the abuse had been relayed at the time of the abuse.
Despite all this, the Curia of the Comboni Missionary Order and the Provincial of the London Province, categorically refused to meet with the Victims, to have dialogue, to apologise on behalf of the Comboni Missionary Order for the abuse, the lifelong suffering and disorientated lives of the Victims. They insulted them with the label of “money grabbers” – not just once, but on a number of occasions and they stated that the Victims will never get an apology. “You wait in vain for an apology” one Victim was recently told. These attitudes are not invention – recently both statements from the mouths of priests at the Mother House in Verona were exposed by “La Republica” on television! Worst of all, in shameful callousness and dereliction of Christian and Civil duty, they have witheld from rightful justice a cleric, wanted by the West Yorkshire Police Force of the United Kingdom for questioning in regard to sexual abuse of a minor at the Mirfield Seminary. Their grounds for doing so have been exposed as criminal, dishonest and shameful in full view of the general public.
God will continue to weep and the Pope will continue to be profoundly sorry. The new Curia of the Comboni Missionary Order must also weep and be profoundly sorry and make appropriate reparations by dialogue with the Victims or – like the previous Superior General and his close allies in Italy and those in the London Province – they will be out of step with not just Pope Francis and the will of the Civil populations and Justice jurisdictions of this world – but also with their God. The proceedings of the General Chapter of 2015 must include a statement to this end and the new Superior General and Curia that is appointed must be held to account by Members of the Comboni Missionary Order around the Globe to produce reports of action taken and progress made in these profoundly serious regards. All those who oppose this process and aim within the Comboni Missionary Order must forever be barred from any office within the Comboni Missionary Order – for they have been and will be shamefully complicit, by their inaction and indifference, in the cover up of the sexual abuse perpetrated against innocent boys entrusted historically to the care of the Comboni Missionary Order. “God Weeps”!
The details of the Sexual Abuse of Minors alleged against priests of the Comboni Missionary Order at the Mirfield Seminary can be found in the attached document.
(Brian Mark Hennessy, the author of this message and the document in the attachment, was a Mirfield Seminarian who was a Victim of sexual abuse by a priest of the Comboni Missionary Order. When he made attempts to contact his abuser in 2006, he was told that his abuser was dead. Yet, the Abusing Priest was not dead, but incardinated at an Italian Parish – as the Order well knew. The Victim, Brian Mark Hennessy, is a member of the Group known as the “Mirfield 12”. Information about the group of ex-seminarians, known as the “Mirfield 12 may be found by Googling “Mirfield Memories” or by logging on to the Website “Comboni Missionaries – A Childhood in the hands of the Verona Fathers” (URL: https://veronafathersmirfield.com/ ). Also on Twitter: (URL: https://twitter.comboni_abuse ). All views are welcome. The “Mirfield Memories” site contains other material relating to clerical abuse by Comboni Missionaries past and present. Individual personal stories of abuse by the Victims of abuse are also included. The site is updated on a daily basis. The “Mirfield 12” are not defined by their number – for they are many – but they regard themselves as an earthly Jury waiting for the Truth to be told about crimes – not committed by them – but against them – by Priests of the Comboni Missionary Order at their seminary in Mirfield, Yorkshire, England)