Safeguarding Officers – Comboni Missionaries Didn’t Report Abuse to them

by Brian Hennessy

Safeguarding Officers

Until two years ago, safeguarding for Religious (like the Comboni Missionaries) was undertaken in house.

It was then changed and the responsibility was undertaken by diocesan Safeguarding Officers – who report to the Safeguarding Commission. I have confirmed today that Father John Clark is no longer the Safeguarder for the VFs and the job is now in the hand if Philip Wright at the diocese if Arundel and Brighton for all cases related to the Comboni Missionaries.

All cases of abuse by a Comboni Missionary can be notified to a Safeguarding Officer – even historical abuse – and Nolan insists that historical abuse should be treated in exactly the same was as contemporary abuse of minors.

The Safeguarding Officers hold all this information in confidence in case more abuse by another individual is notified – and so that they can advise other diocesan Safeguarding Officers about Abusers working in their area.

They also advise the Police and Welfare Authorities in the case of minors and will provide assistance to Victims of any age who need it.

Comboni Missionaries Safeguarding Officers

It is clear to me that no Comboni Missionary Safeguarding Officer ever reported an Abuser to anyone as they should have done.

We would have known had they done so because we would have been contacted immediately. This is an issue that will certainly need to be raised at the inquiry and I have documented it.

It occurs to me that we could report it ourselves. It is a critical element of the Nolan Report. it is quite likely that they never reported it because they wanted to keep it under wraps.

As I have most of the information, I am happy to report it on behalf of any of you who agree to it – or of course you could do it yourself and avail yourself of any of their services.

Father John Clark

Of course when we talk of abuse – we mean also physical and psychological abuse – and that would put Father John Clark and Father Robert Hicks in the frame as well.

There are benefits in doing this even in cases of deceased VFs because if any new historic cases are reported – it will assist them in quickly verifying the information.

In respect to those Abusers still alive, it would assist the Safeguarding authority and the police and welfare authorities to manage any new reports about those abusers most effectively.

Naturally, you could elect not to inform the Police or welfare if you wanted – or you would be able to allow the police or welfare to be informed even though you did not wish to receive their services yourself.

Helping Safeguarding Officers

There are two other compelling reasons why we should assist Safeguarding Officers as much as we can.

Firstly, we can advertise it on the blog and make the attached leaflet available on the blog. Guys may read it and get in touch themselves.

Secondly, we can encourage others – like our aching heart Boy X – who grieves me – and I think all of you – every time he writes on the blog – to get help – and the Safeguarding Officer, Philip Wright, will arrange for that.

Building the element of Safeguarding into our site will give it a new and important dimension.

Comboni Missionaries to be Compelled to Appear at Abuse Inquiry

Comboni Missionaries Abuse Enquiry

Religious Orders, where clerical sexual abuse took place, are to be included in the remit of the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse. This is to include the Comboni Missionaries, formerly known as the Verona Fathers. They will be compelled to appear.

There was a worry that, because they don’t report to the Bishop, the Comboni Missionaries could not be forced to appear in front of the committee.

However, that has now been shown to be unfounded. There will be statutory powers to compel all those living in England and Wales to appear before the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse.

International Cooperation Used

This would exclude those living in Scotland and other countries. However, other powers to compel based on European or international cooperation could be used when individuals were outside the inquiry’s jurisdiction.

This would mean that that those that live in England like Father Martin Devenish and Father Robert Hicks could be compelled to appear befor the Inquiry.

I’m sure that Scotland has good enough relations with England to allow Father john Fraser to be compelled to appear.

Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse

As a fellow EU member, I’m sure Italy would have no objections for the Inquiry to compel Father Enrique Sanchex, Father David Glenday and Father Romano Nardo to appear.

The Comboni Missionaries, in the form of Padre Enrique Sanchez, have said that Father Nardo is not mentally fit enough to come to the UK to answer questions from the UK police, who accuse him of abuse.

However, it would be much more difficult for the the Comboni Missionaries to turn down a request for Fr Nardo to appear before the panel. Better proof of his mental state would be needed.

It looks as if the wheel will finally be coming full circle and the Comboni Missionaries are going to be confornted about the sexual abuse of boys as young as eleven by their priests and for the cover up, going to the very highest levels of the order.