The Combonis have not reached the stage of needing to address the suffering of the victims of clerical abuse by their priests – they don’t want to, and they believe they don’t need to.

Gerry, It’s true, the dominoes are falling, but only for some.

For some that it falls for, it probably falls because they have realised (or been forced to act) that their failings and their apalling behaviour towards victims and survivors of clerical abuse is catching them up.They, therefore, have to say or do something to protect their image and financial status.

For other priests and orders I believe they want to change and support victims and survivors of clerical abuse and feel guilty at the way the victims have been treated, ignored and suffered for decades.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Combonis have reached that stage of realisation. I doubt if they will. But, we live in hope, for ourselves and for our children and for many vulnerable children in the world.

It was only a couple of years ago that the superior and the vice superior of the most important house the Combonis have said to me: “you and your lot are all money grabbers” and “if you are waiting for an apology you will be waiting a long time and your wait will be in vain.” This is the attitude that many of the victims of cleracil abuse by religious orders are up against. They reach out to the Combonis and ask for dialogue and express their need to be listened to – and they get silence. A silence that revictimises them.

There has not been a rush from the Combonis to engage with the CSG after the recommendations of the recent February summit in Rome. Why is that? They don’t see the need to. And they don’t want to

It would seem, just like it was 25 years ago, we are an inconvenience to them.

The Italian Catholic Church and, hence, the Combonis are so interwovan with Italian politics – past and present – that , the most important and powerful order in Italy, the Combonis, can ignore abuse and all it has to do is remain silent, and use their obedience vow of omerta.

Regards

Mark

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