Comboni Missionaries Snub Pope Francis

No Place for Those Who Abuse Minors

Pope Francis sent out a letter on February 5th which stated that, in the Catholic Church, there is “no place for those who abuse minors”.

This letter appeared on the Comboni Missionaries own website

Yet the Comboni MIssionaries have always had plenty of places for those of their Order who abuse minors.

For Mirfield Infirmarian, Father Domenico Valmaggia, who abused many, many boys at the seminary in Mirfield, there was his home parish in the diocese of Como in Italy. That was one place that the Comboni missionaries found for those who abuse minors.

He was sent there after several boys told Father Robert Hicks that they had been abused by him. Needless to say the UK and Italian police were not told of his crimes and the Comboni Missionaries’ and Catholic Church’s procedures were not followed.

Father Pinkman

Then there was Father Pinkman, who was sent away after being reported by several of the boys at Mirfield. He abused, and ruined, the lives of many of the boys at Mirfield.

Once again the police were not told about his crimes and he was found places at other Comboni Missionary places such as in South Africa and also in the Westminster Diocese. It seems he worked for the Jumbulance.

According to Mark Murray “He was based at 39 Eccleston Square. I remember being told by a Comboni that he worked for the Catholic Bishop’s Conference”.

According to Brian Hennessy “After Westminster he went to Palestine. This was a deal between the Superior General and the then Archbishop of Boston which was arranged at a personal meeting between the two when the Superior General did a tour of the North American Province. From there he went to South Africa. There’s no indication that his Paedophilia was ever discussed with the Boston Archbishop of course”.

When he died, a Mass of Celebration was said, in, of all places, the chapel at the Seminary at Mirfield, just yards from the bedroom where he had perpetrated so many acts of sexual abuse aganst boys as young as 11 years of age. We are told that the homily for this monster was given by Father Robert Hicks.

Catholic Reformation

So, have the Comboni Missionaries reformed? Is this abuse and its cover-up a legacy of the past?

No, it is not!

Despite Pope Francis saying that there was ‘no place for those who abuse minors” as recently as February, the Comboni Missionaries still have at least one place for them as recently as May 2015.

That is in the Comboni Missionaries mother house in Verona in Italy where multi-abuser Father Romano Nardo is hidden out by the Comboni Missionaries.

Romano Nardo

Above is Father Romano Nardo concelebrating Mass with other priests in 2008 – long after he had been diagnosed as mentally unfit to answer police questions.

Sexual Abuse at Mirfield

For many years at Mirfield he sexually abused many boys, including Mark Murray.

When, many years later, in 1997, Mark reported this to the Comboni Missionaries, they immediately brought Father Nardo home from Uganda and told Mark that he would never have access to children again. It seems that he admitted his abuse.

However, once again, the Comboni Missionaries did not report this crime to the police – even though they appeared to act, on it themselves, as though they believed it and Father Nardo appears to have admitted it.

Father Romano Nardo saying Mass in 2008

Father Romano Nardo saying Mass in 2008 in his home town of Pordenone

West Yorkshire Police

Mark reported all this to West Yorkshire Police who have said that they believe that a ‘crime had been committed’. They put in place extradition procedures so that they could bring Father Nardo back to the UK for questioning.

They were refused permission, with the Comboni Missionaries saying his time in Uganda had made him incapable, mentally, of being interviewed.

This is despite the Comboni Missionaries leaving Father Nardo in a position of authority in Uganda for 20 years till 1977 until Mark Murray’s complaint. Surely if he had been affected badly by what had happened in Uganda many years before, they had failed in their duty of care to him by not bringing him home before Mark’s complaint.

Mother House in Verona

Indeed they brought him back to work at the hospital that the mother house in Verona has now become, where he has been till Mark’s recent trip to Verona.. That’s surely not a job for someone who is mentally incapable of answering questions.

Despite Mark’s recent visit to Verona to meet up with Father Nardo, the Comboni Missionaries still snub Pope Francis by providing a place for an abuser of young boys.

Said Pope Francis, in a letter this year which the Comboni Missionaries published, there is “no place for those who abuse minors”.

It appears that the Comboni Missionaries don’t ascribe to that view and continue to snub the Pope’s stated wishes.

Supreme Head of the Catholic Church Snubbed

Are they a schism?

Do the Comboni Missionaries not follow the Supreme Head of the Catholic Church?

If not, then whom do they follow – or are they a law unto themselves, both as regards the laws of the lands where they operate, and, as regards the laws and procedures of the Catholic Church and the stated wishes of its Supreme Head?

To see the letter from the Pope on the Comboni Missionaries own website click on

Comboni Missionaries Defy Pope Francis on Child Abuse

Comboni Missionaries and Pope Francis

Pope Francis, last weekend, said that the aftermath of child abuse is enough to make one “cry out loud”. He was replying to fellow Argentine and anti-paedophile campaigner, Roberto Plazza.

Pope Francis then said that preventing child abuse is the main objective of his special child protection commission.

He has shown that he is serious about tackling child abuse by clerics several times recently. He has defrocked several priests for child abuse. He also had Polish Archbishop, Jozef Wesolowski, arrested in the Vatican for allegedly abusing children. That was the first ever arrest inside the Vatican for alleged child abuse.

It has cost the Catholic Church billions all over the world in the last few years. However, Pope Francis is tackling it head on. He has aplogised for the abuse several times. He has also stiffened punsihments for paedophilia in the Holy See’s laws.

Missionari Comboniani

So, what about the Comboni Missionaries? Are they following Pope Francis’s lead? Are they ruthlessly exposing and hunting down paedophile’s in their midst? Are they having paedophiles arrested?

Not a bit of it!

They are still obfuscating and dragging their feet.

They recently paid out £120,000 to 11 boys who accused Comboni Missionaries’ priests of sexual abuse of minors. However, they were very grudging about it. They said that, as they weren’t insured at the time, this was just the cheapest option. They said that as two of the priests were dead it would never be known what happened 50 years ago at Mirfield.

Father Romano Nardo

Two of those are dead. However, there is one still alive, Father Roman Nardo. When Mark Murray contacted the Comboni Missionaries in 1996 to tell them about the abuse perpertrated on him over 20 years before, the Comboni MIssionaries investigated it.

They decided that Father Romano should be removed immediately from Uganda where he had worked for 26 years. In 1970, just after Mark Murray was seen coming out of Father Nardo’s room in Mirfield at 6am by another priest, Father Nardo was sent immediately to the Missions in Uganda, before the time he was due to be sent there.

Crimes Have Been Committed

West Yorkshire Police have investigated the abuse accusations against Father john Pinkman, Father Domenico Valmaggia and Father Romano Nardo and announced that they believed that crimes had been committed. They would have sought the arrests of Father Valmaggia and Father Pinkman if they were still alive.

They requested that the Comboni Missionaries send Father Romano Nardo to the UK for questioning as regards the abuse accusations from the Comboni Missionaries house in Verona where he is resident.

Father Enrique Sanchez turned that down point blamk saying he was not in a fit mental condition to travel nor answer questions. However, he was mentally fit enought to say mass just a few years ago.


The Comboni Missionaries, despite paying out £120,000 have admitted nothing. They have refused to apologise. They never reported any incidents to the police (like Pope Francis did) even though they were told about it multiple times at the time. They are refusing to hand over a priest for questioning to the UK police.

Not only are they out of step with the times, they are out of step with Pope Francis.

The Superior General of the Comboni Missionaries worldwide is Father Enrique Sanchez, He is refusing to hand Father Nardo over.

Father David Glenday

However, there is an even higher ranked Comboni Missionary in the Catholic Church and that is ex-Superior General, Father David Glenday, who has such a high position in the Vatican that he is in regular touch with Pope Francis. He must know Pope Francis’s thoughts on child abuse.

It’s about time that the Comboni Missionaries came round and adpoted the new Catholic Church policy on child abuse.

2015 would be a good time to start.

Note:- The Comboni Missionaries are known as Missionari Comboniani in Italy, Misioneros Combonianos in Spanish speaking countries, Comboni-Missionare in Germany, Missionaires Comboniens in French speaking countries and Missionarios Combonianos in Portunguese speaking countries.

Comboni Missionaries | Christmas 2014 Appeal

Comboni Missionaries Christmas Appeal

They are known in English-speaking countries as the Comboni MIssionaries (ex-Verona Fathers), in Italy as Missionari Comboniani, in Spanish-speaking countries as Misioneros Combonianos, in German-speaking countries as Comboni-Missionare and in Portuguese-speaking countries as Missionarios Combonianos.

They have, in 2014, paid out £120,000 to 11 men who claimed to have been abused by Comboni Missionaries, Father John Pinkman, Father Domenico Valmaggia and Father Romano Nardo at their seminary in Mirfield in Yorkshire in the Sixties and Seventies.

Misioneros Combonianos

However, whatever the language, the one thing that Missionarios Combonianos have not done is apologise. As even little children know, if you don’t apologise, it means that you don’t think that you have anything to apologise for.

This is despite the current Superior General, Father (Padre) Enrique Sanchez, the boss of the Comboni Missionaries, admitting to Mark Murray that they brought Father Roman Nardo home in 1997, after 27 years in Uganda, after Mark’s accusations of abuse against him. He assured Mark that father Nardo was now under house arrest in a home for the sick in Verona and would be allowed no access to children.

Missionari Comboniani

And, yet, there has been no apology from Padre Enrique Sanchez or previous bosses of Missionari Comboniani like Father (Padre) David Glenday. Indeed, Missionari Comboniani are saying, callously, that paying out 120 grand to those accusing them of abuse, and the cover-up of abuse, was just the cheapest option for them. That really is a kick in the groin to those whose groins were so abused by Comboni Missionaries when they were just 11, 12, 13 and 14  years of age.

The same defence was used by Michael Jackson, and his representatives, when they paid out $20m to the father of a boy who accused Michael Jackson of abuse.


The closest that anyone from Misioneros Combonianos has come to apologising has been Father Martin Devenish, head of the Order in Britain who said  “We know that anyone subjected to abusive behaviour will experience suffering and we are dismayed to think 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.”

However, there are a dozen, or more, men who were at the seminary as youngsters, who believe that the ‘if’ needs to be removed. There was no ‘if’ when they were being abused by Padre John Pinkman, Padre Domenico Valmaggia and Padre Romano Nardo of the Comboni Missionaries.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis has already apologised for the rampant abuse perpertrated on Catholic boys by priests of the Catholic Church. The Franciscans have already apologised to 14 boys abused by priests of their Order, to whom they had already paid out millions of dollars.

By not apologising, Missionarios Combonianos are out of step with the rest of the Catholic Church as far up as its very leader.

Missionarios Combonianos

2014 was the year that the Comboni Missionaries paid out £120,000 to 11 boys who were at their seminary in Mirfield. Despite what they said, those ‘boys’ have taken this as tacit admission that the abuse occurred.

Now, 2015 must be the year when the Comboni Missionaries, finally, apologise not only for the abuse that occurred but for decades of cover-up of the abuse at the very highest levels of the Order.

The longer they delay, the less any apology will be believed as being sincere.

This is the Christmas Appeal of the Mirfield 12 to the Comboni Missionaries on Christmas Day 2014.

Happy Christmas to everyone!

Let’s make it a better 2015!

Let’s make it the year that it is all over!

That would be better for everyone!

Let’s make it the year that everyone moves on!

Comboni Missionaries who were Told about the Sexual Abuse

Comboni Missionaries (Missionari Comboniani)

Many of the priest who were at Mirfield during the abuse scandals of the Sixties and early Seventies were not child abusers. However, some of them were actively involved in the cover-up. Others, still, were not child sexual abusers and were not involved in the cover-up but knew what was happening and failed to report it to the police.

Others, still, simply didn’t know about it at all.

Most of the boys abused didn’t tell anyone about it at the time – even their best friends. There are incidents, now, of best friends only learning that they were abused around the same time at Mirfield by the same Comboni Missionary priests.

However, some boys did report the sexual abuse to various members of the Comboni Missionaries.

So, why would individual Comboni Missionaries cover-up the sexual abuse of boys as young as 11 by predatory priests? Self-preservation of the Order and of their fellow priests would be good answers to this question.

Vow of Obedience

The Vow they took of Obedience is the Ordination Vow most strictly adhered to by Comboni Missionaries and other Orders. It is absolute.

It has been drilled into them from an early age, as it was with we seminarians, that the Laws of God outranked the Laws of Man, that God ia a higher authority and that, therefore, his laws should be obeyed before the Laws of Man.

Somehow, that has got twisted into following the Laws and Dictates of the Order above the Laws of Man. As far as I know they haven’t yet made the Superior General  of the Comboni Missionaries, and other orders, infalible.

However, they may as well be as Comboni Missionaries and other Orders follow their dictats ‘religiously’ (sic).

Let’s not call it abuse. Let’s call it statutory rape of a minor – as that is what it is in many cases. Many Comboni Missionaries have connived to cover-up multiple statutory rapes of young boys as young as 11 by serial rapists.

When the Abuse was Reported and to Whom

Mick Palmer and Ben Berrell

In 1965 or 1966, Ben Berrell, one the Junior Boys, told a friend that Fr Pinkman had abused him. Somehow, and Ben doesn’t remember how, the information came to the attention of Mick Palmer, who was in the Seniors then.

Mick came to talk to Ben and said that they should report it. As luck would have it, the head of the Comboni Missionaries in the UK, Father Bresciani, the Father Provincial, was due to pay a visit to St Peter Claver College seminary in Mifield. They bided their time.

When Father Bresciani came there, Mick Palmer went to see him to tell him of the abuse by Father John Pinkman. When he came back he told Ben Berrell to go and see him now.

Ben went – but it was a complete waste of time. According to Ben, Father Bresciani said nothing at all. He just sat there and stared and said nothing. So Ben, got up and went. “That was a waste of time, wasn’t it” said Mick to Ben when he went back to him. “Yes it was ” said Ben. They were shocked that their stories of abuse were so coldly rejected. It made them very cynical about the church and the Comboni Missionaries afterwards.

It is not known what Fr Besciani did with this information. It is not known if he spoke to the Fr Rector at the time or to his superior, the Superior General in Italy. Whomsoever, he told (if he did) it didn’t matter. No action was taken – and the sexual abuse (let’s call it statutory rape) of young boys as young as 11 continued.

Click on Ben’s Abuse Story

Frank McGinnis

According to Frank “I reported Pinkman abuse to both Hicks & Wade during confession in school year 65-66 ( I can’t narrow it down further than that). I repeated the same to Fulvi in early 66. I informed Fraser as he expelled me on last day of term in July 67  about abuse by both Pinkman & Valmaggia.

“It was in confession I told Fulvi. He was sympathetic where the other two were cold. Hicks delivered a spiel about my mind not being up to seminarian standard for suggesting anything untoward was afoot with Pinkman.

“Wade just squirmed and simply gave me a few Hail-Marys. He didn’t want to know.

“Fulvi promised nothing but encouraged me to continue my (already started) defiance of Pinkman’s instructions to visit his room. I had a bit of faith in him that he would intervene & that remained so until my departure in 67.

“Fraser did his nut, called me a liar and kicked me out of his office”.


Father John Fraser recently told Jim Kirby in a phone call that he didn’t know about Father John Pinkman till many years later.

Click on Frank’s Abuse Story

Note 2:-

Whilst Father Hicks, Father Fulvi and Father Wade were told about the abuse in confession and the secrecy of the Convession Box meant that they could not repeat, or take action, on what they had heard in the Confession Box, for something as serious as this they could have asked Frank if he would like to come and see them outside of the Confession Box to repeat what he had told them there.

Their failure to do this in the 1965/66 school year meant that Father John Pinkman could safely continue his abuse till he went in 1967/68 and Father Valmaggia could continue to abuse young boys as young as 11 till the abuse was reported to Father Robert Hicks in 1969.

Their failure to ask Frank to come and see them and repeat what he said in the Confessional Box meant that many, many young lads’ lives were ruined.

Anthony Smith

Anthony Smith went to see Father Rector, Father Giacomo Ambrogio, in around November 1966, with another boy whose name he forgets, to tell him of his abuse by Father John Pinkman.

Said Anthony, “Basically I told him Pinkman had been getting me alone and touching me up and rubbing himself sexually against me and kissing me. The Rector didn’t say anything at all and certainly didn’t act on it. I knew nothing would happen and I didn’t go to see him again”.

Pinkman continued to abuse boys at St Peter Claver College seminary until late 1967.

Click on Anthony’s Abuse Story

Father Enrico Fulvi – by Jim Kirby and Anthony Summers

In early 1967 some of the Senior Boys (mainly those in 4th year), got together and decided that they didn’t want what happened to them at Father John Pinkman’s hands, in the Juniors, to happen to the current set of Junior boys. Pinkman was a monster who was a serial preyer on young boys as young as 11 (see Abuse Stories). His victims were legion.

It may have been triggered by knowledge of an incident affecting a current junior Boy.

They decided that they would put a stop to it and report it to their current Spiritual Director, Fr Luciano Fulvi, the go-to guy for the boys in matters of the soul. This was a very brave thing to do. Rather than all go (which might have been better as it happens). They decided that two of the senior boys would go to Father Fulvi to report Fr Pinkman. They drew straws and the two guys who drew the shortest straws were Jim Kirby and Anthony Summers.

They went to see Fr Fulvi and told him all about the abuse that happened at the hands of Father Pinkman. They thought that he would take action. They were astonished at what he said to them.

He told them that they must never tell anyone what they had just told him. Indeed they were told never even to speak toeach other about it. He told them that they didn’t know if Father Pinkman had used the sacrament of Confession to absolve himself of his sins.

One doesn’t know if Fr Fulvi ever passed that information on to his superiors, i.e. Fr Rector, Father John Fraser, or told the rest of the priests there.

All we know was that Anthony Summers, one of the boys who reported it, was summarily called into Fr Fraser’s Office at the end of term prior to the Easter holidays and expelled from St Peter Claver College. After being there for 4 years, his vocation was suddenly over.

Father Fulvi was tragically hacked to death many years later in the Missions in Africa, by a group of five boys, incuding his own 18-year-old cook and houseboy. They are now serving long sentences for murder.

Meanwhile serial abuser, Fr John Pinkman, remained on at the seminary at Mirfield in his position of Head of the Junior Boys. The fox remained in charge of the chicken coop.

Click on Jim’s Abuse Story

Martin Millar

Here is Martin’s Tale.

“In 1969, a friend of mine, Eamon Crowe, ran up to me and said that Fr Robert Hicks (or Bob Hicks as he was called) wanted to see me in his room. I went to see him in his room which was just above the main entrance. Father Hicks asked me to tell him what had happened about Father Valmaggia. I told him that Fr Domenico Valmaggia had touched my balls and asked me to cough, when I had flu, in the dormitory.

“I saw the vein in Fr Hicks’ forehead pulsing away in fury and he said something along the lines of “that man interfering with my boys”. I tried to make light of the situation saying “It was a long time ago and it was nothing”. That only seemed to make Fr Hicks even more angry. He talked about “That evil man” like an Old Testament Prophet. The matter of Father Valmaggia interfering with boys at the seminary meant more to him than it did to me because he wanted to take action and called other witnesses.

“Father Hicks ended our meeting saying that he wouldn’t stand for this, telling me that everything was fine and I could go.

“I believe Father Valmaggia was slung out of the seminary that very night, although as we at the seminary know, the Comboni Missionaries look after their own. It was known the next morning that Father Valmaggia was gone. I think the boys who cleaned the Fathers’ rooms had seen Father Valmaggia’s room empty and the prefects in charge of cleaning had probably been told by Father Hicks that Father Valmaggia had gone.

“However, we all knew that Father Valmaggia had gone without any notice and he simply disappeared and nothing was ever said about him again and I never heard anything further of him.

Jim Kirby

Said Jim, “I also, on my own, told Wade about Valmaggia. I didn’t go into description with Wade as he really didn’t want the embarrassment of it hearing it but he understood. He told me to avoid going to Valmaggia. That was almost impossible”.

Jim continued to be abused by Father Domenico Valmaggia.

Brian Hennessy

Brian reported the abuse to Father Troy and a Cardinal.

Further details are awaited.

Click on Brian’s Abuse Story

Joe Colby

Joe Colby reported the abuse to Father Enrico Fulvi, Father Anthony Wade and Father Eric Grace.

Further details are awaited

Mick Palmer

As well as reporting it to the Father Provincial, Father Bresicani, Mick Palmer also reported the abuse to Father John Fraser. Further details are awaited.

Martin Millar

As well as reporting the abuse to Father Robert Hicks, Martin Millar also reported it to Father John Fraser. Further details are awaited.

Eamon Crowe

Eamon Crowe reported the abuse to Father Robert Hicks in 1969.

Abuse Reporting to Comboni Missionaries

The full Reportage List as to who reported the abuse and to whom is as follows:-

V – Valmaggia

P – Pinkman

N – Nardo

>> V2/Hennessy>5 reports>3 family>1Troy>1 Cardinal
>> V3/Kirby> 1 report> 1 Wade
>> P1/Colby> 3 reports> 1 Fulvi> 1Wade> 1 Grace
>> P6/Kirby> 4 reports> 1 Fulvi> 1 Summers> 1 Bickers> 1 Barnes
>> V6/G McLaughlin> 1 report> 1 M McLaughlin
>> V7/Palmer> 5 reports> 1 Bresciani> 1 Mother> 1 Fraser> 1 Burns> 1 O’Neill
>> P7/Palmer> 3 reports> 1 Bresciani> 1 Mother> 1 Fraser
>> P8/Berrell> 2 reports> 1 Bresciani> 1 Father
>> V8/O’Neill> 2 reports> 1 Bresciani> 1 M Palmer
>> V9/Millar> 2 reports> 1 Fraser> 1 Hicks
>> V10/Skullen> 1 report> 1 Mother
>> V11/Millar> 1 report> 1 Hicks
>> V12/Crowe> 2 reports> 1 Hicks> 1 Mother
>> V13/Crowe> 2 reports> 1 Hicks> 1 Mother
>> N1/M McLaughlin> 2 reports> 1 Brother> 1 Mulroy

>>N2/Derek Farrell >1 report

>>N3/Father General>1 Report

>>N4/Verona Bishops x 2> 2 reports