COMBONI MISSIONARY ORDER OF VERONA IN COURT ON CHARGES RELATING TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.
Mark Stephen Murray
Queen’s Bench Division daily cause list Cause list Tuesday, 12 June 2018 Updated: 11 June 2018 16.33 (refresh your browser for the latest version) (link: https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/court-lists/list-queens-bench) justice.gov.uk/courts/court-l…
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On Monday, 7 April 2014, 10:54, “ah.@…
I have been away and just received your e mails.
The position we discussed in our telephone conversation in March
related to my conversation with Fr John Clark is:
was assured that the Order had taken steps to prevent Fr Nardo from
being in a situation where he could abuse children. This is because
he has been removed from active ministry and has been given pastoral
work looking after the sick and dying members of the Community based
at the mother house in Verona.
2. Fr Clark and I did discuss whether a letter might be sent to that
effect but any text would need to be approved by the Provincial before
it was sent. I have never received a copy of a letter from the Order
to yourself, but might not necessarily have expected to receive one.
3. I had and have no objection for that information to be shared with
your legal representative if you so decided. The request from AO
earlier in March was to provide a witness statement. I am not able to
do this as I have no direct first hand knowledge of the people or the
circumstances you were in and it would therefore be inappropriate for
the Diocese to become involved in the legal process.
4. As we discussed in March, the action I took in meeting the
Safeguarding Co-Ordinator for the Verona Fathers was to clarify the
concerns which you had raised with me when we met Fr. ………and I
think I have done what I promised and fed back to you the outcome of
that meeting as I understood it.
I hope this answers the points you raise in your e-mail.
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)