I sent you an e-mail about very serious allegations pertaining to Richard Purcell. I asked you for an acknowledgement. You have ignored same with alarming alacrity. Your grave lack of courtesy is simultaneously surprising and disrespectful. Obviously, in the person of the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore — it is axiomatic that the Catholic Church in Ireland has learned nothing from its failure to deal with recidivist priests that have blighted the church. Your insouciance is all the more shocking in light of your public moral crusading.
As you will have seen issues concerning Richard Purcell are becoming ever more complex, and they need to be urgently addressed by you as the Bishop of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore working contiguously with the former Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO.
By the present, you are advised that a Rotal Advocate will be formally instructed towards the end of this week to begin canonical proceedings against Richard Purcell. We have been informally advised that the information in our possession would beget grounds for the laicisation of Purcell. This is a course of action that nobody wishes to follow, however, funds have been raised, and mandates are in the process of being signed..
To that extent, I respectfully suggest that you in the morning as a matter of urgency have a conversation with Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, in his capacity as Abbot General of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Therein, I further respectfully suggest you demand the immediate resignation of Richard Purcell as the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey. It might-be adventitious to discuss the matter also with the Apostolic Nuncio.
*****Phonsie has replied assuring that all the proper procedures will be followed.
This whole crisis originated in Mount Melleray and with Abbot Richard Purcell.
Purcell’s involvement as a “visitor” to Silverstream, along with Brendan Coffey brought Glenstal into the crisis.
Basically Purcell and Coffey made a balls of the Silverstream visition – by siding with guilty Kirby and making a scape goat of the innocent monk whistle-blower.
They were of course weilding the knife on behalf of Tom “The Divil” Deenihan.
Now, instead of having one monastery in different we have three – Silverstream, Melleray and Glenstal.
And Purcell and Coffey are under investigation.
They also have this blog and the Kerry Resolver on their heels.
Someone in Phonsie’s office has assured Robert Hourigan thT the proper procedures will take place.
Over the past two-weeks, certain allegations pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, the current Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey have been brought to my attention. These allegations will be addressed in the second part of this correspondence.
In the first part of the present, however, I wish to address the behaviour of a former monk of Glenstal Abbey, Fr. Gregory Collins, OSB, who is now a vicar in the Anglican Diocese of Chichester. The said Gregory Collins, now known as the Rev’d Earl Collins, holds a two-fold appointment in the aforementioned diocese: a) Continual Ministerial Development Officer; and, b) priest-in-charge of St John’s, Palmeira, Square, Hove.
The objectively immoral behaviour of Gregory Collins, while he was a monk of Glenstal Abbey in Rome was at variance in the starkest possible manner to his publicly professed solemn monastic vows as a Benedictine monk of the Congregation of the Annunciation. A Benedictine monk who is Rome-based has shared a sworn affidavit and other documentation that attests to the involvement of Gregory Collins on the gay scene the Eternal City. It is not unreasonable to infer that Collins’ behaviour was known about and ignored with alacrity by certain persons in Sant’ Anselmo. It is my understanding Collins’ behaviour while as an abbot in Jerusalem was brought to the attention of your predecessor in office, Fr. Mark Hederman, OSB.
Was Collins’ behaviour known about and ignored by the abbots of Glenstal Abbey over a number of years? And, before your election as abbot, did you have any knowledge about his active involvement in the “gay scene” in Rome and/or in Jerusalem?
In an affidavit that I have reviewed, reference is made to the known homosexual orientation of Gregory Collins when he was joining the community at Glenstal, and this was viewed as something positive by the then novice master, Fr. Henry O’Shea, OSB. These are observations made by Gregory Collins, himself, in Rome. It is not the unfounded supposition by the scripter of the present; but, information attested to — in a sworn statement.
Does the abovesaid sworn statement indicate that there is something negatively systemic in the formation of novices, juniors, and in the on-going formation of monks at Glenstal Abbey? Since, becoming the Abbot of Glenstal — what steps have you taken to ensure that unsuitable persons are not accepted, and more importantly NOT advanced to solemn monastic profession and ordination the priesthood at Glenstal Abbey?
As the elected office-holder i.e., the Abbot and Ordinary of Glenstal Abbey — did you provide the now Rev’d Collins with any letter(s) of recommendation to the Anglican Diocese of Chichester? And, prior to your election as abbot, did you provide any letter of recommendation in a personal capacity?
Did the previous the elected office-holder i.e., the Abbot and Ordinary of Glenstal Abbey, Fr. Mark Patrick Hederman, OSB — provide the now Rev’d Collins with any letter(s) of recommendation to the Anglican Diocese of Chichester? And, did Fr. Hederman, OSB provide any letter(s) of recommendation in a personal capacity to the Diocese of Chichester?
Did any members of the monastic council at Glenstal Abbey provide letters of recommendation to the Diocese of Chichester about Gregory Collins? Are any of these said members of your monastic council regulated by the Teaching Council of Ireland? Can you imagine the former superiors of Glenstal, eg. Dom Placid Murray, Dom Bernard O’Dea, writing similar letters in support of Gregory Collins?
Were you aware that the Holy See took the view that the behaviour of Gregory Collins in Jerusalem (when it was brought to their attention) was so serious — it potentially brought the reputation of the Holy See into serious disrepute with the state of Israel — should the matter have proceeded to a Canonical Tribunal; Collins, ran the risk of immediate laicisation upon its conclusion? In light of the allegations before the Holy See — would you and the monks in solemn vows with stability at Glenstal have supported Collins’ dismissal from the monastic/clerical states by a Decree of the Holy See?
If the behaviour of Gregory Collins was known about and overlooked at Glenstal Abbey — was it covered-up; if that is indeed the case — objectively, do you consider this raises serious questions about the monastic culture within Glenstal Abbey? In light of what will follow about Richard Purcell, I invite you to think very carefully about this question of a cover-up.
In light of the fact that Glenstal Abbey runs a prestigious school, if past concerns about Gregory Collins were presently highlighted to certain authorities in West Sussex — and all the paperwork (was solicited from the Anglican Diocese of Chichester) pertaining to Gregory Collins was brought into the public domain — do you consider that Glenstal Abbey and its school would emerge in a positive light? Would there be anything contained therein that might have to be referred to Tulsa and/or the Teaching Council of Ireland?
In light of the above, do you consider it unreasonable to suggest that some monks of Glenstal Abbey are morally compromised? This is an entirely legitimate question (although I appreciate you will find it offensive); but it is a suggestion that could be put to you by leading counsel should any of these matters come before the Irish courts) in light of Collins’ behaviour over the years? Have you considered how you might respond to such a question?
Thus, in light of question five (5), does this culture of cover-up/tolerance of morally questionable behaviour potentially now inform the ethos of Glenstal Abbey School?
If donors were aware of the matters surrounding the outrageous behaviour of Gregory Collins – do you consider they would be less likely to make donations to the Glenstal Abbey fundraising initiative imaginatively referred to as “Radiating Peace”? Do you think potential donors should be informed about Collins?
Silverstream Priory/Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO.
Abbot Brendan, please do not be churlish and deny any knowledge about the known sexual activities of Richard Purcell. I have been informed a number of priests in the Diocese of Meath; that you requested from the whistle-blower at Silverstream Priory — a written statement that was exculpatory of Richard Purcell. I KNOW this to be true. This information been further independently confirmed by a second priest; one, with intimate knowledge of the situation at Silverstream and the wider Diocese of Meath.
For this purpose of this e-mail, let me remind you of the allegations. It is alleged that while as the Abbot and the Ordinary of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, the said Dom Richard Purcell, had consensual anal sex with a priest — the then Fr. Xxxx xxxxxx who at that time was incardinated in the Diocese of Killaloe. This priest was considering a vocation to the Cistercian way of life at Roscrea. The said sexual act took place in the monastery guesthouse.
The said Fr.xxxxxx voluntarily spoke about what occurred at the monastery to certain individuals in the Diocese of Killaloe. The act has never been denied; but, it can be legitimately suggested the known behaviour of Richard Purcell was and continues to be covered-up by the previous Bishop of Killaloe, the current Bishop of Killaloe, along with the Bishop of Waterford, and the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO.
The nature of Dom Richard Purcell’s sexual activity can be legitimately characterised as an abuse of abbatial authority. And, that is a very serious matter. Do you agree with this characterisation? If not, why not?
Would you be happy for this allegation/assertion to be put to the whistle-blower by the Charities Regulator? Shall I ask the Regulator to put the question to the whistle-blower? And, are you content for the whistle-blower to give a truthful answer under oath in light of what is addressed within this e-mail? Would the Bishop of Meath; the current Bishop of Waterford; the current Bishop of Killaloe; the current Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, the current Abbot of Mount Melleray, and the current Abbot General of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance be happy with the answer given by the whistle-blower? If not, why not?
Therefore, all my further questions pertaining to the behaviour of Richard Purcell – are directed to you as the Abbot of Glenstal — in light of the fact that you HAD knowledge of the allegations of Purcell’s behaviour. Remember, I did ask you about a culture of cover-up in Glenstal with good reason.
When did you become the useful idiot and patsy of those individuals who wish to keep Purcell’s behaviour, occult? Do you consider that you have brought the office of Abbot of Glenstal Abbey into significant and legitimate disrepute by your behaviour, i.e., soliciting a statement/affidavit that was exculpatory of Purcell? Have you considered resigning? If not, why not? In light of the present correspondence — do you now consider your position to be untenable?
When did you first become aware of the allegations surrounding Purcell? Where you aware of any ecclesiastical concerns about Purcell — while you were a seminarian for the Diocese of Killaloe, and/or as a monk and priest; prior to your election as Abbot and Ordinary of Glenstal Abbey?
Before he left the priesthood, was Fr. Xxxx xxxxxx known to you during your time in the seminary and/or during your time of priestly ministry in the Diocese of Killaloe? You would accept that his character as a priest and as a person is unblemished, and without reproach?
You would further accept without question that Fr. Xxxx xxxxxx was a well-liked priest in the Diocese of Killaloe, who served its people with great pastoral integrity.
Were you aware that Richard Purcell was a frequent visitor to “The Boilerhouse” in Dublin? Are you further aware that an ex-seminarian had consensual anal sex with Richard Purcell in the aforementioned institution? And, the ex-seminarian recognised him from a retreat he had been given by Purcell when he was a student at Maynooth — were you aware of this allegation?
I have established that the allegations surrounding Richard Purcell were known to the previous Bishop of Killaloe, Kieran O’Reilly SMA, who is now the Archbishop and Ordinary of Cashel and Emily; I need not remind you that you are the abbot of a monastery located in the territory that has been assigned to his pastoral governance.
While as the Bishop of Killaloe and now as the Archbishop of Cashel and Emily, did Kieran O’Reilly mention any concerns he might have had about Richard Purcell to you either formally/informally with you as a monk, and as subsequently as the Abbot of Glenstal?
In your judgement, is there any substance to the suggestion that the allegations concerning Richard Purcell are known to the current Bishop of Killaloe, Fintan Monaghan, and he is keen to keep them suppressed, because he believes it might damage his possibility of becoming the next Archbishop of Tuam? If, he is aware of the allegations, do you consider his behaviour (keeping the allegation suppressed) unacceptable? Would you like to proffer any observation about how long the allegations surrounding Richard Purcell have been known to Bishop Monaghan?
Question Twenty one
If you were asking for a statement of exculpation for Richard Purcell — did you make the allegations pertaining to Purcell, known to the Bishop of Waterford, Alphonsus Cullinan and the Abbot General of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, formerly — the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey? If not, why not?
Question Twenty two
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, you attended a Mass at Mount Melleray Abbey to invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot (Richard Purcell) and his abbatial ministry at Mount Melleray Abbey. This is evidenced by the photographs of the event. The principal celebrant was the Bishop of Waterford. When you concelebrated at this Mass — at that time — did you have personal knowledge of any allegation of past homosexual activity by Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO?
Question Twenty three
The photographs November 4, 2017 at Mount Melleray Abbey evidence that the Mass was attended by the now Archbishop of Cashel, Kieran O’Reilly SMA, previously the Bishop of Killaloe; the current Bishop of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan, and the bishop emeritus of the diocese, Bishop William Walsh. Did any of these three (3) bishops formally/informally make you aware of any allegation pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO on that day and/or any time subsequently?
Question Twenty four
In light of this e-mail, do you now consider that you should write to the Bishop of Waterford, Bishop Alphonsus Cullinan as the Abbot of Glenstal respectfully suggesting to the Ordinary of that Diocese that he needs to preventively suspend the priestly faculties (if they have been previously granted) and/or prohibit by a Decree (and publish same), the said Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, from ministering/functioning as a priest anywhere in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore? And, as the Bishop of Waterford, he should immediately refer these allegations to the competence of the Dicastery that has oversight for Religious in Rome? Do you agree this would be a reasonable, prudent, and proportionate action?
Do you consider that Richard Purcell should resign as the Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey for the greater good of the church and the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance?
Do you consider your own behaviour and that of Richard Purcell to be a source of legitimate scandal for the church in Ireland, and that both of you should consider your position before God, and resign?
Personally, I think you should resign, because, you, Abbot Brendan, have been gravely and knowingly complicit in a cover-up by attempting to solicit from the whistle-blower at Silverstream Priory — a statement/affidavit of exculpation for Richard Purcell. Do you deny that allegation? Think very carefully about your reply, because I can prove the contrary.
A search of the website of the Charities Regulator reveals the following charities associated with Glenstal: a) Glenstal Abbey Operations (20144586); b) Glenstal Abbey School (20084516), and, c) The Glenstal Abbey Trust (20005283). In light of the present, do you now wish to defend your behaviour — being active and complicit in an on-going cover-up to the Regulator?
Thus, I respectfully suggest that your position as the Abbot of Glenstal Abbey is now untenable particularly in light of the fact it oversees a school. Therefore, I respectfully suggest you resign, immediately.
Obviously, I deeply regret having to write this e-mail, however, not to do so would be to complicit in behaviour that is gravely and morally wrong. This e-mail is been copied to the Bishop of Meath, the Bishop Waterford, the Bishop of Killaloe, the Archbishop of Cashel and Emily, the contact addresses for Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, and the Apostolic Nuncio in Dublin, and to the private e-mail address of the Irish Times journalist, Patsy McGarry.
I am also copying this e-mail to Pat Buckley, who will publish (with my consent) it on his blog. I disagree with Pat Buckley on many issues, however, but we share the view that Mount Melleray Abbey is a holy place sanctified by the prayers of generations of monks, and Richard Purcell should not be the Abbot and Ordinary.
I entirely accept that Pat Buckley is an extremely controversial figure, but many priests are reading his blog, and they are providing information that is shocking; but informative. They are scandalised, and so are many faithful Catholics by the egregious insouciance and callous indifference to Purcell’s behaviour.
Because, Purcell wears a ring, a mitre along with a pectoral cross; is it the view he must-be protected at all costs? And, if Purcell was a monk and/or a priest in the diocese; he would now be suspended facing the ultimate sanction of dismissal from the clerical state – is this a fair summation?
I do not wish to bring these matters formally to the attention of the Charities Regulator; nor do I wish to have to involve other regulatory authorities; however, the on-going inaction and cover-up of Purcell’s behaviour, and your involvement with Glenstal School means a formal referral becomes, sadly, an inevitability.
Respectfully, I remain,
This is a devastating series of questions for Brebdan Coffey.
Coffey, not the brightest of men, has been used by Deenihan, Purcell etc all and he is now left holding the baby.
It has baffled doctors and scientists for centuries, and research continues on the engineering marvel that is the human body.
It has baffled doctors and scientists for centuries, and research continues on the engineering marvel that is the human body.
Not only is man (and by ‘man’ we mean both the male and female of the species) a stunning artistic creation, but the way he is wired; the functionality of every organ in his body; the simple yet sophisticated operations of every muscle, every joint make him Creation’s best output yet.
However, your lifestyle choices could affect the functionality of the engineering wonder you haul around, bringing to spot the adage “you are what you eat… and drink”.
From the strand of your hair to the tip of your toenail, DN2 brings you intriguing science facts about your body that you may have taken for granted. Read on.
Men lose about 40 hairs a day, women about 70. Your hair grows at 4 nanometres per second (0.000000004 m/s).Hair on the head grows for between two and six years before being replaced.
In the case of baldness, the dormant hair was not replaced with new hair. It is found exclusively in mammals, and human body hair is barely visible as it is thinner, shorter, and more translucent than the hair of other mammals
The human heart has a mass of between 250 and 350 grammes and is about the size of a fist Your heart beats 101,000 times a day.
During your lifetime it will beat about 3,000,000,000,000 times and pump about 400,000,000 litres of blood.
Monday is the day of the week when the risk of heart attack is greatest Even though your heart is inside you, there is a cool way to Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s Heart.
You have about 3,000 taste buds on your tongue, which is also the strongest muscle in the human body. Not all our taste buds are on our tongue; about 10 per cent are on the palette and the cheeks.
Your nose can remember 50,000 different scents. Human beings have a very weak sense of smell, and it doesn’t always work well. However, humans can discriminate between thousands of different odorant molecules, each with its own structure.
As mammals, our DNA contains about a thousand genes that code for different odour receptors. But as humans, only 40 per cent of these are functional, which may explain why dogs are better at detecting odours than we are.
Your mouth produces 1 litre of saliva a day.The muscle of the human jaw exerts a force of over 219 kgs. You’ll drink about 75,000 litres of water in your lifetime At least one in two people yawn within 5 minutes of seeing someone else yawn·
If your mouth was completely dry, you would not be able to distinguish the taste of anything.
The human head contains 22 bones· A newborn baby’s head accounts for one-quarter of its weight The face consists of 14 bones, including the maxilla (upper jaw) and mandible (lower jaw).
The human brain consists of more than 100,000,000,000 neurons (nerve cells) through which the brain’s commands are sent in the form of electric pulses These pulses travel at more than 400 km/h (250 mph), creating enough electricity to power a light bulb!
Blood accounts for 8 per cent of the human body weight The average adult has a blood volume of roughly 5 litres, composed of plasma and several kinds of cells.
About 55 per cent of the whole blood is blood plasma, a fluid that is the blood’s liquid medium, which by itself is straw-yellow in colour.
The first human-to-human blood transfusion was done in 1818 by James Blundell, a British obstetrician who transfused four ounces of blood from a man to his wife.
The brain is a pinkish-gray mass that is composed of about 10,000,000,000,000 nerve cells The adult human brain weighs on average about 1.5 kg with a size (volume) of around 1,130 cubic centimetres (cm3) in women and 1,260 cm3 in men, although there is substantial individual variation.
The brain operates on the same amount of power as a 10-watt light bulb!
Eighty per cent of the brain is water. One-quarter of the brain is used to control the eye. We actually see with our brains, with the eyes basically being cameras.
The left side of your brain controls the right side of your body and the right side of your brain controls the left side of your body.
The entire brain is enveloped in three protective sheets known as the meninges, continuations of the membranes that wrap the spinal cord.
Your brain will stop growing in size when you are about 15 years old.
The approximate field of view of a human eye is 95° out, 75° down, 60° in, 60° up The human eye can distinguish about 17,000 different colours.
On average, you blink 15,000 times a day. Women blink twice as much as men The retina contains about 125 million rods and 7 million cones.
The rods pick up shades of gray and help us see in dim light. The cones work best in bright light to pick up colours. Our eyes are always the same size from birth. Babies are always born with blue eyes.·
The first cornea transplant was in 1905, when a day labourer who had been blinded by accidentally burning his eyes with caustic lime got cornea from an 11-year-old boy.
The large intestine (or “large bowel”) is the second-to-last part of the digestive system. It is about 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) long, which is about one-fifth of the whole length of the intestinal canal.
The large intestine takes about 16 hours to finish up the remaining processes of the digestive system, and houses over 700 species of bacteria that perform a variety of functions.
The small intestine in an adult human measures, on average, six meters in length The surface of the small intestine is increased by its special structure, and it is about 200-250 meters. The small intestine is the site where most of the nutrients from ingested food are absorbed.
Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toe nails Your middle fingernail grows the fastest
In a lifetime, these seemingly feeble things will carry you the equivalent of the length of five times around the equator. That’s about 200,000 kilometres, or 400 one-way trips from Nairobi to Mombasa!
The sperm is the smallest cell in the human body·
A diet high in saturated and monounsaturated fats, such as those found in bacon, processed meats, sausages, ham and butter, can lead to poor sperm health.
When a baby is born, tit has 300 bones in its body. But by the time it reaches adulthood, it is left with only 206 bones. This is because the smaller bones eventually join together to form stronger single bones.
The bones in your body are not white — they range in colour from beige to light brown. The bones you see in museums are white because they have been boiled and cleaned.
The first documented successful bone transplant was in 1668, using bone from a dog’s skull to repair a defect in a Russian soldier’s skull.
The prostate gland is a walnut-sized gland and is only present in The mean weight of the “normal” prostate in adult males is about 11 grammes, usually ranging between seven and 16 grammes.
Men who eat at least 1.5 cups a week of cruciferous veggies, such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower, can cut their risk of prostate cancer by more than 40 per cent.
The main function of the prostate gland is to store and produce seminal fluid, a milky liquid that nourishes sperm To work properly, the prostate needs male hormones (androgens), which are responsible for male sex characteristics.
In adult humans, the stomach has a relaxed, near empty volume of about 45 ml Because it is a distensible organ, it normally expands to hold about 1 litre of food, but can hold as much as 2-3 litres.
The stomach of a newborn human baby will only be able to retain about 30ml.
The acid in your stomach (hydrochloric acid) is strong enough to dissolve razor blades. You get a new stomach lining every three to four days.
Upon birth, a baby will not have a conventional knee cap, but a growth formed of cartilage. In females this turns to a normal bone knee cap by the age of three, in males the age of five.
In sports that place great pressure on the knees, especially with twisting forces, it is common to tear one or more ligaments or cartilages Doctors performed the first successful transplant of an entire knee joint in 1908.
The joint came from a cadaver. The ligaments surrounding the knee joint offer stability by limiting movements Knee pain is caused by trauma, misalignment, degeneration as well as by conditions like arthritis. Age also contributes to disorders of the knee.
I have learned more about Glenstal through the Silverstream scandal and Brendan’s Coffey’s involvement that I ever knew before.
I have watched Brendan Coffey’s handling of Silverstream and have been shocked by his character and his actions!
In hindsight Bishop Michael Smith of Meath, should have never allowed Kirby into his diocese.
Kirby is a dangerous narcissist who has never come to terms with his homosexuality and has handled the donations given to Silverstream with a shocking recklessness.
Kirby has also portrayed himself as a mystic who daily hears Jesus talking to him from the Tabernacle. Jesus does not talk daily with people who abuse their position and their power over others.
The “whistleblowing” monk gave Kirby and Silverstream ten years of his young life. There are no allegations of any kind of misbehavior on the part of this monk. After the fact they are trying to accuse him of having mental health issues. That is only black propaganda on the part of those forces trying to hide Kirby and his sexual and financial wrongdoing.
It was right to send Kirby away. It was seriously crazy to bring him back under the pretense that he will only be an ordinary monk. The unwell and now exposed Kirby will continue to undermine Silverstream to the point where it will have to be suppressed.
When Kirby was away Tom Deenihan of Meath brought two abbots and a monsignor in, to investigate, and appointed Brendan Coffey of Glenstal as the interim superior.
Brendan Coffey, it became clear, turned out not to be very wise or very competent. He is a very weak man – unable to take any pressure and indeed paranoid.
When the pressure piled on and Glenstal started to be investigated Coffey panicked, withdrew from Silverstream and appointed a young, non-ordained, inexperienced and bullying type as the new prior – a certain Elijah.
The same Elijah had been the one overseeing the money in Kirby’s time.
Now the Irish Charities Regulator is conducting at least two investigations into those finances.
Meanwhile – let us turn to Glenstal:
Glenstal houses an elderly monk who had an earlier history of problems with children.
There is the former presence of Dom Gregory Collins who caused massive homosexuality problems in Jerusalem.
Incidentally, Collins described Glenstal as “a gay community”.
In 2014 ten abuse allegations were made against six Glenstal monks.
I imagine that Coffey has plenty of problems in Glenstal without getting involved with Kirby.
And of course, Richard Purcell of Mount Melleray was the other abbot investigating Kirby. Kettle. Pot etc.
It is clear to me that Irish monasteries and religious orders are in a bad state – an even worse state that the diocesan priesthood.
Last evening, I received communication from a religious sister in the United States, who supplied information about Fr. Mark Kirby, the previous Prior (religious superior) of Silverstream. In light of this information supported by other correspondence that I have received in recent days; serious concerns now emerge about Silverstream Priory. And, it also raises questions about what has masqueraded as a so-called “visitation” conducted under your auspices as the Ordinary (bishop) of the Diocese of Meath.
In 1995, Fr. Mark Kirby was not resident in his monastic environment for some unknown/arcane “personal reasons”. Last evening, I was informed that in the United States; in 2006, the Virginia-based, Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond, had such concerns about Kirby; he was not welcome in its canonical territory, although, I have yet to ascertain whether his entry was prohibited by a canonical Decree.
You may/may not be aware that Fr. Kirby was associated with the infamous/notorious Santa Croce Abbey that had become a byword for financial impropriety and sexual immorality in Rome. The said religious community was formally suppressed during the pontificate of Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, in 2011. The scriptor of the present is aware of other unsavoury aspects of Kirby’s past behaviour, however, I will not make reference to same because I will compromise the integrity of my sources. But, it is my understanding that some of this information would be found in the archives of the Diocese of Meath.
Bishop Michael Smith, was known to be among the more traditional/orthodox of the Irish bishops, when he was Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath.
In light of the above, is it reasonable to presume that your predecessor in office, Bishop Michael Smith, did absolutely no due diligence on Fr. Mark Kirby? If so, why was due diligence not conducted?
With respect to the whistle-blower at Silverstream, prior to the receipt of his complaint — were concerns about the Priory brought to your attention in the past?
Where is the whistle-blower located at the moment? Is he located in the jurisdiction of the Republic of Ireland?
Has the whistle-blower been formally interviewed by the Charities Regulator?
Can you confirm if the whistle-blower (a priest) has been bound by Pontifical Secret? If so, did you authorise this Ecclesiastical Act? And, who was the administrator of the said Ecclesiastical Act? This is a legitimate question, because it is normative, (I understand from a Rome-based Rotal Advocate) for the Pontifical Secret to be invoked in this kind of matter. Therefore, the whistle-blower is not really in a position to co-operate with the Regulator, due to a fear of ecclesiastical reprisal. Would you agree with this assessment?
If the whistle-blower is currently subjected to the so-called Pontifical Secret, would you be willing to give a written undertaking to the whistle-blower copied to the Charities Regulator that the whistle-blower is free to speak to any investigator without any fear of ecclesiastical reprisal, now and/or at any time in the future?
By this I mean — you give a written undertaking as the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath (witnessed by the Diocesan Chancellor, ipso jure, an ecclesiastical notary) to the whistle-blower that no ecclesiastical sanction will be imposed on him for any evidence he may give to the investigator by virtue of its investigation into Silverstream. By ecclesiastical sanction — I refer to any of the range of options that can be imposed upon a priest by virtue of the Code of Canon Law. And, this undertaking would be supported by a communication from the Apostolic Nunciature on behalf of the Holy See signed by H.E. Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo.
Did you personally approve the appointment of Elijah Carroll as the superior of a Silverstream Priory? In light of the fact, he was the bursar (financial officer) during the tenure of Fr. Kirby, is this not an act of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse? This is a legitimate question in light of the fact that Br. Carroll was compliant with the alleged reckless profligacy of Kirby? The website of “Silverstream” makes reference to the fact that the Holy See was consulted, and are you in a position to confirm to the Regulator that the competent Dicastery, received a recommendation from you, and more importantly approved same?
In light of the very strong influence of Fr. Kirby in the community and in light of the fact that Br. Carroll has not been ordained to the priesthood the latter can be legitimately described as no more than the patsy of the former — do you agree with that assessment?
During the “visitation” a number of allegations emerged about one (1) of the “visitors”, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, the current Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey in Co. Waterford. These allegations included that Richard Purcell had consensual anal sex with a visiting priest in the monastic guesthouse of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea and had attended, “The Boilerhouse” in Dublin — a well-known gay sauna, where it is alleged he had consensual sex with an ex-seminarian.
In light of these allegations, and the involvement of Richard Purcell in same, do you consider the investigation to have been compromised by Purcell’s known immorality?
Abbot Brendan Coffey, OSB of Glenstal Abbey was also part of the visitation team. He, too, presides over a monastery where there are a number of deeply compromised individuals. Perhaps the best-known is the former Dom Gregory Collins, OSB, whose activities in Israel were so notorious, he was forced to resign as Abbot. A lawyer has access to screenshots of his Grindr (a gay dating website).
Thus, it is legitimate to ask was/is the investigation compromised by the involvement of Abbot Brendan Coffey, OSB?
Is there any truth in the allegation that the visitation was brought to an abrupt end because certain ecclesiastical authorities in Ireland, were so keen to avoid further damaging leaks to the dissident priest/bishop, Pat Buckley, and to avoid these revelations to appear on Buckley’s Blog?
Over the years, the Irish church seems to have failed the lessons that transparency is always the best course of action. Thus, I am copying this e-mail to the Charities Regulator, and to the e-mail address of the Apostolic Nunciature in Dublin.
You will, of course, as the Bishop of Meath, provide answers to these questions and further co-operate with the Charities Regulator, if, so requested in light of the present.
Tom, can I add a few questions of my own please?
1. What has happened to the near € 5,000.000 that Silverstream collected between 2024vand 2019?
2. Why has Elijah been appointed prior since he was the man who looked after the money during Kirby’svreign?
3. Did Kirby receive an attorney’s letter telling him to stop asking a USA women with dementia for money?
4. Canon law strictly forbids a priest to be a vagus or wanderer. Why are you not taking responsibility for the whistle blower monk?
5. Did you.personally tell the monk to leave the monastery for “his own safety”?
Below for your consideration is an e-mail sent to the Abbot General of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Within the e-mail, I make a number of allegations against the current Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO.
Within the present correspondence, I asseverate those allegations in light of conversations that have taken place over the weekend. Again for the avoidance of doubt, I wish to make it unequivocally clear, the sexual act — consensual anal penetration between Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO and the ex-priest of the Diocese of Killaloe, was consensual. The said sexual act took place in the guesthouse of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, which is located in the Diocese of Killaloe. The nature of Dom Richard Purcell’s sexual activity can be legitimately characterised as an abuse of abbatial authority. And, that is a very serious matter.
As will be asserted in a sworn affidavit, the current Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, confirmed in a conversation that the conduct of Dom Richard was known to him, and it was hoped it was a one-off. Nonetheless, in recent days, further evidence has emerged that Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, has been active on the gay scene for a considerable period of time. Sadly, this is a grave violation of his monastic vows; the promises he made at his diaconal and priestly ordinations, and contrary to the behaviour expected of any Cistercian Abbot.
In light of a number of conversations from people who could be classed as whistle-blowers, it has emerged that the behaviour of Richard Purcell was “known” in the diocese of Killaloe.
When, Dom Richard Purcell, was elected Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, a monastery that is canonically located within your jurisdiction — was his past behaviour brought to your attention either formally/informally?
If the allegations concerning Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, was known to the Abbot General, do you consider it unacceptable for Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO to have “confirmed” his election as the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey in accordance to the Constitutions of that Congregation?
On Saturday, November 4, 2017, you were the principal celebrant at a Mass to invoke God’s Blessing on the New Abbot and his abbatial ministry at Mount Melleray Abbey. When you presided at this mass — at that time — did you have personal knowledge of any allegation of past homosexual activity by Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO?
The photographs November 4, 2017 at Mount Melleray Abbey evidence that the Mass was attended by the now Archbishop of Cashel, Kieran O’Reilly SMA, previously the Bishop of Killaloe; the current Bishop of Killaloe, Fintan Monahan, and the bishop emeritus of the diocese, Bishop William Walsh. Did any of these three (3) bishops formally/informally make you aware of any allegation pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO?
It is my understanding that Dom Purcell’s behaviour was known in the Chancery of the Diocese of Killaloe. It is my further understanding that this created a lot of angst in the Diocese, and pressure was put on certain persons to remain silent. But, the ex-priest spoke about what happened in the monastery guesthouse, i.e., Mount St. Joseph Abbey to a number of priests in the Diocese of Killaloe, so these assertions about Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO are not unfounded hearsay. And, it is a complex matter that is still unfolding.
In any event, it raises further questions about the conduct of Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO that need to be addressed by this diocese of Waterford & Lismore. I am aware that canonically you have no jurisdiction over Mount Melleray Abbey, however, you do have responsibility for the pastoral governance of your diocese in which the abbey is located.
Have you granted by a Decree, priestly faculties to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, to minister in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore?
Will you upon the presentation of a sworn affidavit attesting to the behaviour of Richard Purcell, preventively suspend the priestly faculties (if they have been previously granted) and/or prohibit by a Decree (and publish same), the said Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, from ministering/functioning as a priest anywhere in the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore?
It will be established in an affidavit that the allegations against Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO have been known by the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, since at least the 13th of September, 2020, and he has ignored same with alacrity.
Will you now write to the competent Dicastery, the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life to invite said Dicastery to begin an Apostolic Visitation of Mount Melleray Abbey, because the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO, appears to have abrogated his responsibility?
In light of the fact that so many people appear to know about Purcell’s behaviour, the fact, that he is ministering in your diocese with impunity — is it unreasonable to suggest there has been a cover-up of his behaviour in the Diocese of Killaloe?
Has anybody previously brought the allegations pertaining to Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, to your attention? If so, who? And, why have you done nothing about the situation?
In conclusion, it gives me no pleasure to write this e-mail, however, now that you have been formally notified of the accusations; there is no excuse for inaction by the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore and/or the Abbot General. But, if there is anything that is untrue in the allegations, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, can rely on the present to commence proceedings against me under the provisions of the Defamation Act, 2009.
I would be grateful for an acknowledgement of the present correspondence, and a considered reply to by 5 p.m., tomorrow the 3rd of November, 2020.
PHONSIE’S RESPONSE – NOT.
FURTHER MESSAGE FROM ROBERT HOURIGAN TO PHONSIE
Phonsie us a hypocrite.
He wants to control the bodies and sex lives of men and women.
But he is silent on the alleged sexual misbehaviour of an abbot in his own diocese.
Phonsie says “Do what we tell you but don’t do what we do”.
He even brings his diocesans for Family Day at Mount Mellerary!
If I was him I’d keep a close eye on the young husbands he brings there.
They might be offered an in depth tour of the cloister !
With deep regret, I write the following e-mail. However, not to do so would be an act of the gravest omission. It is my understanding that you are aware of some of the “issues” outlined, hereinafter. These pertain to the behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, the current Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Waterford, Waterford.
It is alleged that while as the Abbot and the Ordinary of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, the said Dom Richard Purcell, had consensual anal sex with a priest, who at that time was incardinated in the Diocese of Killaloe. This priest was considering a vocation to the Cistercian way of life at Roscrea. The said sexual act took place in the monastery guesthouse. As the Abbot General of the Order of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance; you do not need me to elucidate that the alleged behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell is gravely at variance with to his solemn religious monastic profession; his priesthood, and the behaviour expected of any Cistercian Abbot.
The name of the ex-priest is known to the scriptor of the present. He has since left the priesthood; however, he did speak about the incident to another priest (in good standing) of the Diocese of Killaloe. The alleged incident is also known to Fr. Aelred Magee of Mount St. Joseph Abbey, and another ex-employee of the Abbey.
It is further alleged that Dom Richard Purcell, has consensual anal sex at so-called “The Boilerhouse”, which refers to itself in its promotional material as “Dublin’s most popular gay bar/club”. This sexual act was with an ex-seminarian, who was studying for the priesthood at Maynooth, who recognised Purcell at the “Abbot” who gave him a retreat while he was a student in Maynooth.
It is my understanding that you have been aware of some of these allegations since the 13th of September. But, it is clear to me you are not aware of the “totality of Purcell’s behaviour”, otherwise, you, as the Abbot General would not have confirmed him as the Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey following his election by the community.
You are advised that a number of affidavits are currently being prepared that will outline the behaviour of Dom Richard Purcell. These affidavits will be reviewed by a senior counsel in Dublin, who is married to a woman whose cousin was a monk and priest of Mount Melleray Abbey. He is scandalised Purcell’s behaviour; so much so he is acting pro bono in this matter. He has given very clear advice about what steps need to be taken should legal proceedings be issued. He has also advised that this is a matter that needs to be referred to the civil authorities — should you as the Abbot General continue to be passive and permit Dom Richard Purcell to remain as Abbot of Mount Melleray. Nobody wishes to follow his advice. Nobody wishes to bring reputational harm to Mount Melleray Abbey and/or Mount St. Joseph Abbey with its College.
By these presents, I ask that you ring Mount Melleray Abbey and request/demand the immediate resignation of Dom Richard Purcell as Abbot and Ordinary of Mount Melleray Abbey. I request that you discuss these matters with the Father Immediate of Mount Melleray and ensure that an interim superior is appointed by no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon the 3rd of November. In the event that Dom Richard Purcell refuses to resign, I have been advised by an advocate of the Roman Rota – that you should immediately approach the competent Dicastery, the “Congregation for Religious”, and request an immediate Decree removing Purcell as Abbot having consulted your council.
In conclusion, I do not know Dom Richard Purcell; I have never met him; I have no animus towards him. In fact, in recent days, it has become clear to me that Dom Richard Purcell needs professional help; but under no circumstances can he be permitted to remain as the superior at the house of your monastic profession.
Respectfully, I remain,
Mr Hourigan has given the Abbot General and the Bishop of Waterford every opportunity to sort thir matter out internally.
They have failed to do that – for suspect reasons.
Why is Kilkaloe, Cashel and Waterford trying to protect Dickie Purse?
Why is Glenstal and Silverstream trying to protect him?
Is rhe wheel protecting an important cog that should it fail the wheel might cause a disaster?
The mind boggles!
We must now take the issue out of house.
I imagine Robert Hourigan will have something to add.