YESTERDAY I WATCHED MUCH OF THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE INDEPENDENT INQUIRY INTO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE – DEALING WITH THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.
Yesterday’s evidence came in three parts:
1. Evidence of lady victim RC – A 711 who was a victim of a priest of the Servite Order and her suffering at the hands of Vincent Nichols and his safeguarding team..
2. Evidence read into the record of a deceased victim Frank Mc Ginnis.
3. The personal evidence, on camera of Mark Murray – a victim of the Verona / Comboni Order.
RC A 711
A711 was sexually abused by a Servite priest named as RCF500 whose Servite companion Father Vincent Coyne. f500 was the provincial of the Servites in the British isles.
He was a very charismatic man and in his 30s.
F500 and Father Coyle gave the 15 year old victim alcohol in the priory.
F500 groomed the victim over a two year period that eventually went on to full sexual intercourse and even rape over a 10 year period. These things sometimes happened in going swimming or in squash changing rooms.
As the abuse continued the victim recorded in her diary that gradually “my light went out”. When she went to university he followed her there to abuse her. On one occasion he returned from Rome and rape her.
In October 2016 she reported F500 to his provincial and the bishop of the diocese. The diocesan safeguarding person told her to opt for a church inquiry and not a police one.
The diocesan safeguarding person became ill and her case was referred to Westminster safeguarding – and as she says herself, that when things went terribly wrong.
Westminster blocked her at every step and refused to give her feedback. They called the victim names behind her back.
She got unsatisfactory apologies from the Servites.
“There was a man who used to dress in purple and dine magnificently everyday. At his gate lay victims of child sexual abuse”
Nichols refused to meet with her, even when he was preparing for the Rome abuse conference in February 2019. He had no time in “his busy diary”.
He only agreed to meet her when a newspaper covered her story. Only then did Nichols apologise to her about how his diocese and safeguarding team had treated her.
FRANK MC GINNIS RIP
PETER CLAVER COLLEGE YORKSHIRE
Mr McGinnis died before he could give evidence to the IICSA.
He was from Scotland and his parents had sent him to a state school. A Verona / Comboni priest visited his house and got his parents to send him to a Catholic junior seminary – St Peter Claver in Yorkshire.
He went there when he was 12. He was sexually abused by a priest referred to as RC F338 in the priest’s room. F338 got him to take his clothes off and then the priest examined his penis and testicles with a pencil. He then fondled him until he ejaculated for the first time in his life. Each abuse session lasted 25 minutes and was repeated over 30 times.
Then a priest named F339 who was in charge of the infirmary abused him when he went with a bleeding knee.
He told three Verona priests in confession what had happened to him and no one did anything to help.
He was eventually expelled from the school.
For 20 years he wrote letters to the Verona Fathers and got no replies.
He was eventually given £ 14,000 in compensation with all the others abused being given the same amount.
Frank said: “The abuse destroyed my whole life. I was a very confused and angry young man. I became an electrician but my life deteriorated into unemployment and depression. It affected my relationship with my wife but we did manage to have three children. I became a very protective father”.
MARK MURRAY GIVING EVIDENCE YESTERDAY
Mark Murray gave his evidence to the inquiry in full view of the cameras. I was so impressed by his courage and dignity.
He too went to Peter Claver College run by the Verona / Comboni Fathers.
The minute he arrived he knew he had made a wrong choice but stayed for 5 years.
He was groomed and abused by a FATHER ROMANO NADO.
Father even went home with him at Easter and abused him in his home.
In Peter Claver he was also abused by an older boy referred to as F502.
He was told by the order that Nado had no access to children but on the internet Mark saw Nado working with children and youth groups in Italy.
In April 2015 Mark travelled to the Order’s motherhouse in Verona to try and meet Nado. He had been told by the Order’s provincial in England, Father Devenish, that Nadu was too mentally ill to meet him.
He met Nado and Nado seemed to apologise but left the chapel to find the superior to whom he said “WE HAVE A PROBLEM”.
The Vice Superior of the Verona House said: “You and your lot are all money grabbers”.
The superior later said to Mark: “If you are waiting for an apology you will be waiting a long time”.
The Order brought Mark to court for trespassing, stalking etc but two Italian judges threw the cases out.
Mark wants CHILD SAFEGUARDING taken completely out of the hands of the RC institution.
It was deeply sad listening to and watching victims of RC abuse tell their story.
In fact these people have been abused twice – once by their sexual abuser and secondly by RC bishops and safeguarding teams.
RC safeguarding people are paid huge salaries and expenses by bishops and their real remit is to protect bishops, priests and church money.
All safeguarding should be entrusted to a government appointed commission who have the authority to raid premises and files and to issue massive fines against dioceses and religious orders.
They should work hand in hand with the police and have the power to send bishops and clergy to a long time in jail for covering up abuse.
We will only see real RC change when we see cardinals, archbishops, bishops, clergy and monks and nuns being led away in handcuffs to prison.
These holy scoundrels will not do the right thing in the name of morality or decency.
We need to make them do the right thing out of fear of the personal consequences for themselves.
BISHOP PETER DOYLE
I’m looking forward to hearing Peter Doyle tomorrow.