"Investigation" part 1: sr. Dominga
Обновлено: июнь 29
How can I describe the following events from MCs side after receicving my letter?
This is Circus.
Transcript of Y. (and Anastasia) call with Sr. Dominga
X: Can I help you?
Yana: I am calling on behalf of Anastasia Demidova. She was called by one sister in your house. Can you reconnect us?
X: Sorry, who am I talking to?
Yana: I am calling on behalf of Anasia Demidova from Russia.
X. Wonderful. Can I speak to her? I am the sister who wanted to speak to her.
Yana: Ah, that is you? I am here with her. She is not feeling well as she was travelling for a long time. She wanted me to participate so she understands what is going on. My name is Yana.
X: She did not understand what is going on?
Yana: Yeah, yeah. She didn’t understand because she was asleep. It was quite sad.
Ana: I was travelling for twelve hours in the night.
Yana: It is okay. Can you just repeat slowly what is going on and in which stage is this?
X: Absolutely. If I speak too fast please tell me.
X: Okay. Anastacia has written to Sr. Prema about something very serious.
Yana: Yes, about sexual abuse.
X: So, we are doing what is called a canon 17-17 inquiry. That is we are trying to put together evidence about what happened. So obviously, very important... This evidence has gone to a canon lawyer who is not a member of the congregation.
Yana: When you say we are, you mean the MC congregation.
X: Yes, not a member of the MC conjugation.
Yana: No, no. What I am trying to understand...when you started the process called 17-17 query, this process is about someone external finding out what has actually happened.
X: Yes. Basically, it is someone who is not in the congregation.
Yana: And who is she?
X: She is a religious canon lawyer. She teaches here in London, actually. Obviously everything is highly confidential, so it won’t be that someone’s name will come out.
Yana: Is she experienced in these kinds of cases? Is it possible to know something about her in advance?
X: I can give her name. Her name is Sr. Helen, her last name is Costigane. *Spells the name* So actually I have met her quite a few times. Well, let me just say it: I met her twice. But, I know that she is a very good cannon lawyer. But you want to know more. You want to know her background. She is scottish. I don’t know much more to tell you about that, but with her name you should be able to google up a lot about her cause she is a semi-public figure, really.
Yana: And what is her task exactly? She is a lawyer of whom? Is it your lawyer, her lawyer, a Vatican lawyer?
X: So, half-half. No, she’s not working for the Vatican. She has nothing to do with the Vatican. She has as much to do with the Vatican as I do. Her task is to be an independent lawyer. That is, she is not… It is true that in the secular word you have a defense attorney and you have the prosecution. But this is… Her point is, it is supposed to be completely independent and she wants to interview Anastacia.
Yana: About the facts you mean?
X: Yes. I mean, about her experience of abuse. She wants to interview her. She wants to do it on Facetime. So, that ..
Yana: Where does it go after? It is part of which process exactly? What is going on?
X: because when Anastasia wrote to Sr. Prema, she took it very seriously. We need to find out the truth about this. You and I, we don’t know. We weren’t there. I mean I assume you were not there. We don’t have anything to say about this, because we don’t know anything. But it is important, for us -- the congregation -- to find out the truth. And this is in research of the truth. I don’t think she is going to strongarm Anastasia. She will ask questions. I don’t know what her questions are. I presume it may be about her evidence. She may have other questions to ask. But it is important that Anastasia has a voice and is heard by someone independently.
Yana: But somehow this independent actor is hired by you.
X. No, we are not paying her a single penny.
Yana: And how did you find her?
X: She is someone I knew already. She is not.. Her whole point about her is that she is not supposed to be for the MC, not for Anastasia. She is not supposed to be, you know, what we call partisan. That is not the whole point. She is not a prosecutor attorney. If you go into court, you have a defense attorney and the prosecutor attorney, and the prosecutor's job is to make the defendant … you know, go back to the evidence, show evidence in it. She is not going to do it. The whole point is to give Anastasia a voice to someone independent.
Anastasia may say “I only wrote about this but actually this other thing happened.” So now, Sr Helen would need to get more information on that. Or, Anastasia could say “ well, I wrote that maybe I didn’t mean most of it”, well then....
Yana: And what does she do with the information?
X: She will define what her next step is. So, she will need, let’s say.. I cannot come to that. I don’t know. It obviously will depend. I don’t know what Anastasia is going to say. For instance; Anastasia may say “I only wrote about this but actually this other thing happened.” So now, Sr Helen would need to get more information on that. Or, Anastasia could say “ well, I wrote that maybe I didn’t mean most of it”, well then....
Anastasia: I meant that. And I wrote a very clear letter. It took me many years to gather all the things together in order to pronounce that. I really meant what I wrote. And it is just only part of the information, cause it is very difficult to put together what was going on.
X: Sure, sure, sure, sure. I mean, it was a very hard letter to write, Anastasia. That I understand. That was a very hard letter to write. So, the whole point is that Sr. Helen wants to hear your voice. It is not a question of ?? you. She wants to hear your voice.
Yana: And she has the authority?
X: You could speak to me or to Sr. Prema but we are MC and in that sense we could be considered partisan. So, it’s an effort to give you a voice to someone who is independent.
Yana: What is her authority afterwards?
X: She just has authority but obviously, supposing for instance...but given your evidence and given the interview with you, that it seems very clear that Sr. Vicuna is guilty of what you suggest than that would be put in front of us and we would need to take action. But we cannot take action unless we, obviously you cannot take… this is a serious, serious question, so we would need to interview you.
Yana: And when Anastasia wrote the letter she said there are other victims as well and it would maybe be useful to inquire if someone else wants to complain. Have you made such an inquiry?
X: Yes, we have. Yes, we have. I mean we are taking this very seriously, and the whole point is that I don’t know, Anastasia may want to say things to the lawyer. I don’t know. You know, that is up to her. I am just saying, which is true, that Sr. Helen wants to interview Anastasia. The point is to give a voice to Anastasia, so she has a voice to speak what she needs to say. You know, I cannot foresee what she needs to say or what she decides she needs to say. I appreciate that it is difficult. Sr. Helen has had experience in abuse cases so she is much better prepared than I am. That is the whole point that Sr. Prema is actually travelling. She is, I think, on her way to North Africa. She doesn’t want to just drop it, because she has many demands on her. We are taking this very seriously. Part of this… It is very important, obviously, to interview Anastasia.
Yana: And when Anastasia wrote, I don’t know if you’ve seen her second letter, to Sr. Prema to summarise what they talked about, she also wrote about general measures -- the general measures, not only about this case - which she feels must be taken so it will not happen to other women, maybe with other women -- doesn’t have to be Sr. Vicuna. Just in general, general procedures. Do you know anything about this process, if anything is going on?
X: Yes, I do. I know that we are working on it, cause I am the one working on it.
Yana: Good, excellent. And what is your name again Sister. I didn’t catch it.
X: My name is Sr. Dominga.
Yana: Nice to meet you Sister.
Anastasia: We could not remember it, unfortunately.
X: It’s a Spanish name.
Sure, sure, sure, sure. I mean, it was a very hard letter to write, Anastasia. That I understand. That was a very hard letter to write. So, the whole point is that Sr. Helen wants to hear your voice. It is not a question of ?? you. She wants to hear your voice.
Yana: And she has the authority?
Yana: And are you now in authority on this matter in society?
X: I am Sr. Prema’s delegate in this matter.
Yana: On this specific, Anastasia’s matter or the entire abuse matter.
X: Well, I have been actually working on that as well before all this came up. So, that’s..this is just, I mean yes.
Yana: So it”s nice to meet you.
X: I have been working on that matter generally, but now in this matter, I don’t know why but Sr. Prema has asked me to be her delegate on this matter.
Yana: Wonderful, it’s very nice to meet you. Anastasia has now also worked through all this message within the church so she would be happy to help, if she can do anything?
X: I think that is important. If she is working to do that then it is very important, that even though it is difficult, that she speaks. That’s important, that she has a voice. I mean, she’s free to say… I presume it is understandable. You say, I can’t remember if it was April of May but I do remember that it was a night ...(inaudible)...and I don’t know if this happened or didn’t, but this is what stayed with me…
Yana: Yes, it is regular in abuse investigations. People are a bit confused. It is normal.
X: She is going to… I mean I don’t know what she is going to say “ do you remember anything else”, or “is anything else”. I mean, I don’t know, I can’t do the interview because I am not qualified, and I shouldn’t for various reasons. But I do have a time for the interview now. I was going to call you tomorrow…
Yana: Ah, excellent. Okay. Is it okay with you Anastasia? To set the time?
X: The time, it would be quite early in the morning. It would be Saturday. Here it would be 10 in the morning. What is your time, where you are?
Yana: I think it’s plus 10, Novosibirsk.
X: So, that would be 8 o’clock in the evening on Saturday for you.
Yana: Yes, we will check it out. Who will be present besides Sr. Helen?
X: Oh, nobody. She is going to do it on Facetime.
Yana: So, it will be one on one.
X: I don’t know anything about it actually. I guess I will hear about it afterwards. But no, only Sr. Helen. I don’t know what Facetime is but I understand it is Skype for a phone or something.
Anastasia: Facetime on iPhone, I have it. This is a program on the iPhone.
X: So I gave Sr. Helen Anastasia’s number so she would be calling at 8 o’clock in the evening your time on Saturday.
Yana: Thank you Sister.
X: If you still have any other questions that I might help with please give me a call
Yana: Thank you, bye bye.
sr. Helen Costigane