To assist those entwined in this story, I recount the following passages, made by Comboni Missionary spokespersons, from the United Kingdom press for their reflection: –
> “We are concerned and very dismayed to hear of the alleged incidents of sexual and physical abuse”. (Dewsbury Reporter Sep 2013).
> “We have great sadness and regret at the allegations. Given the passage of time of almost half a century, we will never know the truth of what happened”. (Huddersfield Daily Examiner Oct 2014, BBC Leeds and West Yorkshire Oct 2014)
> “There was no evidence of a culture of abuse at the Mirfield seminary”. (Observer Oct 2014)
> “There are priests alive today who were at Mirfield at the time of the alleged abuse, but they have no knowledge of the abuse”. (Observer Oct 2014)
> “The abuse had not been proven”. (BBC Leeds and West Yorkshire Oct 2014)
> “As the allegations related to matters alleged to have occurred around fifty years ago – and the Verona Fathers are unable to identify their insurers from that period – having received legal advice, they decided to explore whether an early negotiated settlement of the claims may be possible in order to keep legal costs to a minimum”. (Greenock Telegraph Nov 2014).
> “We are dismayed by allegations of abuse and have co-operated with Police enquiries – but will not acknowledge that any of the men had been abused despite damages having been awarded”. (Mail On-Line Feb 2015).
> “We know that anyone subjected to abusive behaviour will experience suffering and we are dismayed to think that such suffering may have been caused to youngsters who attended our junior seminary. If that is the case, we are deeply sorry to anyone who has been hurt in this way”. ( The Observer Oct 2014, Mail On-Line Feb 2015)
> “Everything happened an incredibly long time ago and two of the priests who were accused are now deceased. My clients simply don’t know what happened at Mirfield and don’t feel that it can be established now. – There are three other pending cases of alleged sexual abuse of Mirfield pupils by priests”. (The Telegraph, 14th May 2015)
> “It was with great sadness and regret that the Verona Fathers learned that a number of allegations of historical abuse had been made relating to our former junior seminary, St Peter’s, located in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. We condemn unreservedly any action which causes harm or distress to others, particularly children. We know that anyone subjected to abusive behaviour will experience suffering and we are dismayed to think that such suffering may have been caused to youngsters who attended our junior seminary. If that is the case, we are deeply sorry to anyone who was hurt whilst they were in our care at Mirfield and our thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.” ( The Telegraph, 14th May 2015)
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