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WAS PURCELL TRANSFER DONE TO PROTECT REPUTATION OF ROSCREA COLLEGE?

Before Richard Purcell was elected Abbot of Mount Mellary he was abbot of Roscrea – where the Cistercians have a very prominent and wealthy college.

WHEN FRA MET DICK

We know from Abbot General Eamon Fitzgerald that there was at least one homosexual incident involving Richard Purcell in Roscrea. The incident we know about was sex with a Killaloe priest in Roscrea kitchen.

Now, if that got out I imagine the parents of the school might have a problem with their school patron – Richard Purcell – being their patron.

It might also affect school enrollment and as such, school income / turnover.

Was there a very great interest in the Cistercians having Purcell moved on?

Generally, a monastery chooses one of their own monks to be abbot.

There are occasional exceptions.

But we ask if there was a special reason to move Purcell from Roscrea to Mount Mellary?

Were the bishops of Killaloe and Waterford consulted in these matters?

This is just one of the many questions dogging the Purcell case at present.

Does Purcell have too much stuff on others – priests, bishops or Cistercians?

To use Diarmuid Martin’s words – ” strange goings on”.

CONTACT

Robert Hourigan

robert.h.k@outlook.com

PAT

bishopbuckley1@outlook.com

07488 374364

96 replies on “WAS PURCELL TRANSFER DONE TO PROTECT REPUTATION OF ROSCREA COLLEGE?”

Constitution 56, Paragraph 3, of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance outlines the “formula of profession” as follows:
“I, Brother N…, promise my stability, my fidelity to the monastic way of life, and obedience until death in accordance with the Rule of Saint Benedict, Abbot. I do this before God and all his saints, in this monastery of N… of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance, constructed in honour of the Blessed and ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and in the presence of Dom N…, abbot of this monastery”.
In recent days, several conversations have taken place with a great number of people concerning the allegations pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, the current Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey. Unfortunately, what has emerged is a pattern of sustained duplicitous behaviour by Dom Richard that is completely at variance with his publicly professed monastic vows.
It is clear and will be attested to within an affidavit that the current Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald was aware of an allegation that can be described as consensual homosexual behaviour on the part of Dom Richard Purcell. However, it is clear, that Dom Eamon is definitely NOT aware of the totality of the actions of Dom Purcell over a conspicuous period of time. It would appear that Dom Eamon was/is giving Dom Richard, the benefit of the doubt. But, for how long will that continue?
Again, let me be clear nobody wishes to traduce the good name of any individual; but, the behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell was/is an “open secret” in the Diocese of Killaloe. Was the behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell at that time known to Kieran O’Reilly, a religious, and the then Bishop of Killaloe?
It is noteworthy to observe that the current Prior of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Dom Malachy Thompson, OCSO is listed a member of the Board of Management of the Cistercian College, Roscrea.
It is known that the Cistercian College in Roscrea was in financial difficulty in the past. The efforts of people to save the college — was and continues to be noteworthy and laudable. However, using any yardstick — if it became known that the then Abbot of Roscrea [Purcell] was leading a life that was completely at variance with his publicly professed monastic vows that would not be conducive to fundraising.
Let us be clear, if the event that occurred in the monastic guesthouse at Roscrea (consensually) came into the public domain it would have been devastating to the College and its precarious finances at that time. The said event involved Dom Richard Purcell and another individual, whose name is known to me. At the time of writing; I will not name him; but, his name has been repeatedly confirmed, and the event was as previously stated an “open secret” in the diocese of Killaloe.
As the allegation was so widely known in the Diocese of Killaloe, it is not unreasonable to speculate that a fresh start for Dom Richard was seen as the best solution to ameliorate difficulties that might have unfolded. At the time, after a period of instability, the monks of Mount Melleray Abbey were keen to elect a new Abbot. It is permissible for the monks of a founding house to elect as Ordinary — a monk in solemn vows from a daughter house. So, who suggested to the monks of Mount Melleray that they elect Dom Richard Purcell? Was it done so by the current Abbot General?
But, this raises questions for the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald? When did he first become aware of the behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell? Was he aware of said behaviour when he confirmed the election of Dom Richard Purcell as Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey?
It is important to note that bishops have no jurisdiction in monasteries of Pontifical Rite; but, it is convention and good practice for monks and abbots of monasteries to receive priestly faculties from the bishops in his canonical territory a monastery is located.
Did Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan grant faculties to Dom Richard Purcell to minister in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore? If so, was he alerted to the allegation(s) that had surrounded Dom Richard Purcell at Mount St. Joseph Abbey, and that were “known” in the Diocese of Killaloe?
Looking at the photographs of the Mass to invoke God’s Blessing on the abbatial ministry of Dom Richard Purcell, Archbishop O’Reilly, Bishop Fintan Monahan, and Bishop Willie Walsh can be seen at said mass. Were these bishops aware of Purcell’s behaviour? Did any of them make it known to Bishop Cullinan? Was Bishop Cullinan alerted that there were “issues” surrounding Dom Richard Purcell, by Dom Eamon Fitzgerald that might impact his leadership of Mount Melleray Abbey, and by extension the reputation of the diocese of Waterford & Lismore? Was the whole thing covered-up? In any event, Bishop Cullinan, will be receiving communication over the next few days that will make him aware of these issues. He will have no choice but to remove the faculties of Dom Richard Purcell by a Decree.
Of course, if Dom Richard Purcell had any integrity; he would resign immediately as Abbot, but what will unfold over the next fortnight will be ugly. And, it will expose “the filth of the church”, exposing it to the legitimate charge of institutional hypocrisy.

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It seems strange, Bp Pat, less than two of months ago (11/9/2020) you were tipping him for Dublin, e.g., “If he becomes a great archbishop which he could, the sacrifice would be justified.” You got quite carried away with the prospect.

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9.21: And you, Pat, are now cheerleading for a public humiliation and flogging of all who do not live up to your “ideals”. There is a Hitlerite gene in your psyche…The gospel of Jesus is the ideal for all Christians but particularly for priests and religious because they make a solemn, holy vow to uphold and live by these values and the moral teachings of the church. All these issues being discussed challenge all of us within the church. I certainly feel challenged by them: thus I must purify, cleanse and renew my own life daily. Do we have the authority to act as judge, jury and executioner? While there is no evidence of child safeguarding issues, it is subliminally suggested in some comments. This is unacceptable. If anyone has evidence of such, the civil authorities must be informed and if public indecent acts have been committed, likewise civil authorities must be informed.

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Bishop Pat, I find it very distasteful that you seem to be spending your time obsessed with what gay Priests, Monks and Abbotts are getting upto sexually. As long as they aren’t doing anything illegal, it’s their own business.
Would have like a gossip blog writing about your sexual past, etc.

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I am somewhat bewildered that this matter of Abbot Purcell has not been taken up by the mainstream media. Is it that there is a sense of ennui in the media about sexual predilections and peccadillos amongst the clergy ? Is it that they are wary of material that has come through + Pat ? Given the lack of traction that this matter seems to be gaining at present, the religious superiors (OCSO and diocesan) feel that they are able to ignore what is being alleged and to do nothing, probably in the hope that it will all blow over One avenue to give a little supercharging to this matter in the hope of gaining the attention of the church authorities could be the Roscrea school connection that is mentioned in + Pat’s post today. I wonder if some of those parents began to ask questions about what happened with Abbot Purcell during his time at Roscrea, and about his activities there, and particularly given that his behaviour and presence took place in close proximity to the school and the students, then on the grounds of safeguarding alone very serious questions could be asked. Then the church authorities might sit up and take some notice. I think the media would take some interest as well. My interest is not so much in causing the maximum amount of trouble for Purcell and the OCSO; I would prefer this matter to be dealt with expeditiously and transparently by the church authorities, but in the absence of that (which is indicative of an arrogant distain and dismissal of our legitimate concerns by the church authorities), then I think a more hardball approach needs to be taken, and the school / Roscrea / Purcell / safeguarding angle is one which should achieve the desired results.

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09.17. Once again you bring up the issue of safeguarding. That is a scandalous line to pursue. There was and is no issue of any underage involvement. Are you equally loose about linking all adult consensual sex outside of marriage with pedophilia? Does your own adult consensual sexual activity lend itself to an association with safeguarding?

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The Roscrea campus contains a children’s school. The abbot is the patron of that school. If the abbot who is a publicly professed celibate and chastitute. is flaunting his vows then it raises questions about his suitability to be patron of the school.

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11.37
Pat, to be consistent, you would need to argue that adult consensual sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage (i.e. technical adultery or formication) engaged in by any person working with children is a safeguarding issue.

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It might be if the person was a principal or teacher and the activity was happening on the school campus..

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12.35
Are you suggesting that teachers are having adult consensual sex only with their heterosexual spouses?

If the location of alleged sexual activity is your primary argument for introducing the safeguarding issue, logically you would need to argue that married live-in boarding school staff are equally a safeguarding issue.,

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As far as I know Richard Purcell is not married to a woman?

Good character is surely a preresquite for working with children?

Is someone with a public profession of chastity who flaunts that profession to be regarded as being of good character?

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2.03
No. But are you seriously saying that teachers are not having adult consensual sex with someone of the opposite sex to whom they are not married?

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There is an inherent flaw. If there was a SG issue, why move him to a location where he would gain access to scouts? Who are even more vulnerable as they are both younger and passing through on their visits to Mellerey.
I have the highest respect for this Order. But I am surprised by their allowing any monk to rise so fast to Abbot status. Us men have very little formation before we are 50ish.

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Most clerical abuse victims are adolescent males. Roscrea College has adolescent males as its pupils. Extra vigilance is required to keep them safe.

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There are so many allegations, much innuendo and truths/half truths flying around on this blog that it is time for accusers to conclusively validate all they are printing. I do not think it is right to continue making allegations unless they can be justly corroborated. Also we don’t need the lecturing of Mr. Hourigan. He’s close to organising a lynch mob protest at Mt. Mellary and publicly stoning the monk!!

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The solution is very clear – the church authorities have to come clean, be transparent and honest, and answer the allegations. If there is nothing to hide, then they have nothing to fear. If there is something they want to hide, then we should know about it. The ball is in their court.

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@10:05
I utterly reject your characterisation. Merely, I am just highlighting the entrenched duplicity and institutional pharisaism of Richard Purcell — aided by certain bishops. Your reference to stoning is a crude and intellectually indolent characterisation of these events. Are you willing to defend personal and institutional hypocrisy of Purcell? I asseverate that the behaviour of Purcell was/is well-known in Killaloe? Moreover, I am happy to accept any papers issued by Fr. Richard Purcell under the Defamation Act of 2009. I would be happy to subpoena Pucell and the ex-priest, (N XX), and the ex-seminarian, and have them subjected to cross-examination by leading counsel.
Purcell needs to resign, IMMEDIATELY. However, his resignation is unlikely to be forthcoming for a number of reasons; but, I could be surprised. In due course, he will have no choice.
Thereafter, Purcell, needs to decide if he wishes to remain a monk, however, he should take time out before making such a decision. In light of what has been uncovered; he should never again exercise public priestly ministry, but, he might be welcome in the Anglican Diocese of Chichester!
If, Purcell, wishes to spend time in the Boilerhouse and/or house of ill-repute (provided he has the requisite funds to pay the admission fee); then, good luck to him; but, he should not do so as a monk, priest or abbot.
Of course, it is a legitimate question, were the financial resources of both monasteries, utilised to pay the admission fee to the Boilerhouse?
So, so, so many questions…

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I think in the future we will see a lot of dominos fall and it won’t be covered by the press because it will be about double lives not crime.

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I have got to the point where I just assume that every cleric is compromised to one degree or another. I assume these days that the life they project of themselves is only the tip of the iceberg, and that there is a whole world of murky stuff going on below which is contrary to their public profession. Usually this involves sexual matters, relationship matters, abuse and misuse of power and authority, financial shenanigans, and just plain oddness of character, personality and behaviour. I feel sad that it has come to this stage, but when I read about the avoidance and coverup that goes on in such things as the Purcell case, I am simply not able to trust church authorities or individual clerics anymore. They have brought this sad state of affairs on themselves.

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Yes, you’re right. Even the so-called ‘good’ ones are involved because they have to make huge efforts to pretend this isn’t going on.
There is no uncompromised cleric.

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Yes absolutely, we should just all shut up and let clergy carry on as they please. That way child abusers would still be shuffled from parish to parish.
Fool.

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Roman Catholic clergy, either directly or indirectly, are responsible for what has happened in the RC Church. Even those who have done nothing wrong directly are still complicit in some degree, because they continue to support a hierarchical organisation that is master at coverup, denial, collusion, lying, and duplicity. By their continuing association with such things, even implicitly, these clergy are complicit. I am reminded of what is happening in the Muslim world at the moment where there appears to be a conspicuous silence from the leaders of that faith about the violence of militant islam. I have not heard anything from anyone of any standing in the Muslim world condemning the awful murder of the French teacher or today people in a church in Nice. What is is about beheading somebody because you want to stand up for your religion that is not to condemn ? Perhaps they fear that they too will be subject to violence if they call it out ? So, they chose their own safety and security over honesty and truth. A bit like RC clergy men who are afraid of what will happen to them if they openly condemn their brother clergy – namely, they will lose their comfortably living and position. So, they chose to be complicit. That is why we should condemn them and have no respect for them. They chose safety and comfort over truth and honesty.

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An excellent post at 1.32.

The evil vow or promise of obedience taken by ordinands has opened the door to moral degeneration, not just in the Church, but in the very men who make this vow or promise.

Jesus did not intend a priesthood; that is a fact. The historical corruption in the Romanist priesthood bears this out.

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@1:32: I agree with your comment that fault in the clerical fraternity goes wider than only those who personally offend. So generally speaking I too have little respect for them.
While I articulate that here, I don’t go out of my way to disrespect or insult any individual cleric I encounter. I acknowledge that there are some clerics who are sincere in their beliefs and who generally behave with integrity, albeit in relation to those I do meet, I consider these to most often be naive and, ……well just not particularly bright, insightful, or questioning…….indoctrinated apparatchiks of the RCC system if you like.
I just keep them well at arms length. For most of them, I find their patronising ingratiating sanctimonious bullshit totally cringeworthy. That’s on an interpersonal basis, and is additional to my complete rejection of their being any truthful reality in the religious garbage they promote………..for their own benefit.
MMM

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There are cover ups happening all over. Look at Scotland and the chaos there over the past few months. Total cover up and turning a blind eye to promiscuous homosexuality!

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Is anyone else suspicious that MC is back here posting ad nauseam five or six long posts each day albeit without descending to his earlier vulgar and vitriolic depths?

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2.05: Stop playing games Pat!! You know who Hourigan is – very definitely. I think you are being very mischievous and disingenuous.

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Robert Hourigan is a devout Catholic, who had relatives as Mellary monks and who had plans to help with finances. He is a senior executive on the world of finance. He lives in Kerry.

Who are you claiming Robert Hourigan is?

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2.32: So, after a few days, you now tell us you know Hourigan. Interesting. And now you are refusing to print legitimate comnents and questions about your behaviour alongside his. All very strange. Does the star of Hourigan’s perfection and holiness blind you? You both conveniently forget the gospel of JESUS – the invitation to mercy, understanding, charity, while reprimanding the sinner. You leave out the essence of the gospel challenge. Who are either of you to judge so definitively?

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2.32: I know many devout Catholics and some of them are quite remarkably andcsincerely holy; others wear a pretence of “holiness”.. We have to be very discerning around some devout people.

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2.32: I wonder if Mr. Hourigan were to discover strange things about his Cistercian relatives would he be so mighty? Just wondering.

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2.32: Devout – a very questionable attribute to give Mr. Hourigan if you don’t really know him outside your conversations..we can each present holy in a phone call…can’t we?

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2.32: I have no knowledge whatsoever about Mr. Hourigan. None. You have clarified that you know who he is. That clarifies my curiosity. You know him or know of him.

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I used to visit Mt Melleray on and off when I get the chance until deceased healing priest died. Have a link to Mt Melleray cos one of our relatives got married there in the old church of Mt Melleray many decades ago. Its confirmed by a monk in Mt Melleray when I found out they married there. Its a spiritual powerhouse. Now to a different tack, it’s highly probable and high likelihood that Purcell was moved bec Roscrea needed the money. Itsa no surprise that big wigs in rcc were obsessed with money as its like any other business but with a religious perspective. I could see that Roscrea abbot’s were concerned re Purcell sexual activities if the parents found out re Purcell as their income stream would collapse hugely cos parents are far more aware re abuses. Coming from an abused background, I understand completely parents concerns re Purcell with what if’s. They will take no chances with their sons re Purcell. They will pull out no question cos of massive consequences of the effects of sexual abuse, which was lifelong psychological and mental. Its no joke having a PTSD or mental turmoil or heightened alertness of what come may. One of my regret that my late parents didn’t pull me out when I reported all sort of abuses to them. That CB was caught eventually after some 20 years and was tried in court but the judge was lenient towards him. This was where I lost the faith in the courts and the judiciary itself and FFG govt as well.

I have nothing against Purcell but his nocturnal activities warranted it cos it clashed with his main responsibility as a top abbott which is to be above reproach and also moral one as well. He has to be throughly professional in his dealings which his abbot duties require him to do so.

This is the very reason that Roscrea Abbey moved Purcell out to protect their valuable income stream. This is the only reason that I could think of cos its plausible and credible as well.

Cos once any parent hear or smell any whiff of any abbot involved in sexual activity in roscrea school, then they will demand that monk off personal grata near their sons. If not, they will remove their sons and move it elsewhere.

Thus it represents a huge loss of income stream now and in future. But the abuse problem remains or the mud still sticks with roscrea school re certain monk etc. It will undoubtedly increase the loss of confidence in the head abbot from Roscrea school from any prospective parents now and in future. Hence the removal of Purcell to protect their income stream.

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I am based on the Cork-Kerry border. I work for a large asset manager in a senior leadership role. My background is asset-based finance. Yes, I did have relatives, who were monks of Mount Melleray Abbey and Glenstal Abbey. All of them are enjoying (I hope) the fullness of the beatific vision. Fortunately, the Melleray/Glenstal-based relatives were dead before the likes of Richard Purcell and Gregory Collins joined the respective communities. Coincidentally, the senior counsel who will be reviewing the affidavits also has an indirect familial connection to Mount Melleray Abbey; he is less than charitable about Richard Purcell. Fortunately, he has experience in defamation proceedings, so he is happy to pro bono in this matter.

I would not class myself as a “devout Catholic”, but I would be more comfortable with the papacy of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI then I would be with the papacy of Pope Francis. To those who take a conspiratorial view, Microsoft have reported there are over 400 million “outlook” users.

Yes, it is true I have spoken to Pat Buckley on various occasions recently. Until recently, I perhaps would have shared the late Cardinal Daly’s view of Buckley; he is somebody who should be denied the oxygen of publicity, but, I have found him to be sincere and credible, who only makes evidenced-based allegation via the auspices of his blog. Importantly, he has retained his sense of humour, and in some strange and bizarre way, this seems to be his vocation; but, we would not see eye-to-eye on everything.

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Don’t you think that Daly was a an old woman, a repressed, resentful, angry and embittered closet homosexual ? Also sounded and looked like that to me.

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6.16: I think it’s probably time to leave Cardinal Daly out of discussions. At this stage Pat must surely believe in forgiveness. Let the Cardinal rest in peace. If we believe in a God of justice and mercy, leave him to this God.

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Scouts centre in Mellerary
is closed for the past number of years; since the scandals in scouting association broke.

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Pat, For your information St. John’s Seminary, Wonersh Many of you will have heard
that St John’s Seminary in Wonersh is to close in its present
form. The Seminary has served the Church for 130 years and
there is great sadness that formation must now end at the
site. Unfortunately there was no new intake this September.
With the seminarian body numbering just 17 the community
is small, with the building and staffing costs too high to
sustain. Arrangements have been made for the remaining
seminarians to join the community at Allen Hall, Chelsea in
September 2021. Archbishop John Wilson and Bishop
Richard are committed to providing priestly formation that
will serve the people of our Dioceses and parishes into the
future. St John’s will remain a legal entity so that
consideration can be given to the ways in which the tradition
of priestly formation established at Wonersh in 1891 will
continue. The Trustees of St John’s are extremely grateful to
rectors, staff and seminarians, past and present, and to all
those who have supported the Seminary over the years. We
ask our Diocesan church family to pray for vocations to the
priesthood, keeping our seminarians in their thoughts and
prayers over the coming months

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Well, no surprise that young men are reluctant to join the clergy and submit themselves to a very strange and odd life which will result in unhappiness in their lives. From my experience and observation those who do go to seminary these days are of two categories. Firstly, those who are going to use the priesthood as something to bolster their own inadequacies, and see it as a way of gaining preside and status and comfort for life. The next group are those who rather like the traditionalist, orthodox certainty and associated fripperies. Show me a seminarian who doesn’t fit in to those two categories !

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So this means the fancy brass sign “NO ACCESS FOR SEMINARIANS” we saw a picture of on the blog a while ago comes handy and will be put up on the front door when they close!?!

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6.53: Thus is the kind of comment Magna used to make!! I think it’s unfortunate that the morally superior commenters are using very threatening and intimidating language. On the supposed serious issues (not child safeguarding) for debating such language has no place and moral when couched in legalese!! Very threatening and totally unacceptable. What if there was a “court” hearing against named people, would the judgments being made be very prejudicial?

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Robert, if you look up the blog back to 15 September you will see that it was a serving Killaloe priest who made Pat aware of the alleged incident in Roscrea. Not the Abbot General, as he keeps repeating. Why would you want to subpoena an ex-priest and ex-seminarian, both laymen, but not the serving priest who made these allegations??

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On the 13th September the Abbot General confirmed the Killaloe story to me during an 18 minute and 39 seconds phone call from Mount Melkary.

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2.03: Good character is a prequusite for working with children, so you say Pat. Why have you no “youth outreach” at the oratory? All of us who act as chairperson of chaplains are thoroughly vetted, as are ALL personnel who work in schools. The abuse of children by any individual us a heinous crime. You are making declarations which may suggest abusive behaviour by people you mention on your blog. Is that fair?

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