Ben’s Story

by Ben Berrell

Left with the Feelings of Despondency and Hopelessness

After my time in Mirfield with the Verona Fathers (now rebranded as the Comboni Missionaries) in 1965-67 I gave up all belief there was a God and there was a heaven.

You may ask why? Well I was abused by Father Pinkman.

In my own innocence I went to the Father Provincial (Father Bresciani) who I thought would help me by protecting me and punishing the man who had committed a sexual violation and a crime against me.

That’s the beauty and simplicity of a child’s mind we trust in adults to protect us. Instead of comfort and support which I expected I was greeted with a cold unemotional man who offered no succour for the pain and torment I had experienced.

Instead I was left with the feeling of despondency and hopelessness. It was at this point I no longer believed in God or the Roman catholic church. I no longer took communion or went to confession. How could a church follow the teachings of Christ where children are venerated yet blatantly ignore my suffering.

Comboni Missionaries

So here we have a group of so called devout priests who dedicate their lives to God and the work of the Comboni Missionaries. Through their work they may engender a belief that they will one day meet God and go to heaven as a result of their actions in this life.

However amongst the Comboni Missionaries there are those that were in full knowledge of what happened to me and many others during our time at Mirfield. Given that they knew what occurred with Father John Pinkman, Father Domenico Valmaggia and Father Romano Nardo why would they still believe that they will be joining their maker.

There is no way that if there is a God and there is a heaven that he would allow them to reside with him for eternity. You see God doesn’t like people who tell lies. God doesn’t like people who protect the abuser at the expense of the victim.

Comboni Missionaries Should Repent

However if there is a God and there is a heaven perhaps he is merciful but only if the person involved is willing to repent and change their lives. I believe that the Comboni Missionaries have it within their power to acknowledge that priests under their jurisdiction committed horrendous crimes against young boys who were in their charge.

I leave it to the conscience of the priests who have the knowledge that this abuse occurred. The choice is yours they can continue to follow their misguided support for clericalism, where their lies continue to allow the Comboni Missionaries to present a sham and a façade to the rest of the world.

Or they can return to the day when they took your holy vows as a priest to God (not the Church) and clear your conscience before you finally meet your maker.

Short Time Left

A number of the priests who were at Mirfield are now reaching an age where your time on this earth is now relatively short perhaps you may like to use this time to ask yourselves the following questions: What could I have done to help the young boys who suffered abuse at the hands of Pinkman, Valmaggia and Nardo?

What can I do now to help the young boys who suffered at the hands of Pinkman, Valmaggia and Nardo? If the answer is nothing then there will be no God or heaven awaiting you in the future. If your answer is yes and I can do something then maybe there will be a God and a heaven waiting for you.

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