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SILVERSTREAM WHISTLEBLOWER SPEAKS TO IRISH INDEPENDENT.

Father Benedict

Monk calls for better protections for church whistleblowers after being ostracised from Co Meath monastery

Sarah Mac Donald Irish Independent
September 15 2021

A monk who raised concerns over financial governance and inappropriate behaviour at a Co Meath monastery has called for new protections for whistleblowers in the Catholic Church.

Fr Benedict Andersen, who was formerly second in command at Silverstream Priory near Stamullen, Co Meath, told the Irish Independent that he now finds himself out of ministry, with no income and living in America.

“It might be a good time for some new protections for those who become whistleblowers in the church,” he said.

Fr Andersen is calling for an “impartial investigation” of his claims. “What has happened at Silverstream Priory is a textbook example of how a religious community should not be governed,” he said.

Silverstream monastery was founded in 2012 by charismatic US-born Benedictine monk Fr Mark Daniel Kirby, who was prior until 2020.

The Co Meath community promotes the Latin liturgy and a conservative form of Catholicism.

In May 2020, Bishop Tom Deenihan of Meath ordered a canonical visitation or investigation of Silverstream monastery.

A five-page report which followed the visitation, seen by the Irish Independent, enumerated concerns about its financial management as well as the structure and governance of the monastery’s ­community life.

The church investigation came about following complaints made to the Bishop of Meath and the Papal Nuncio in April 2020 by Fr Andersen.

He says they were “the ­culmination of years of deep concern”.

He also alleges “a culture of habitual boundary-crossing in almost every area of community life: spiritual, emotional, physical, and material/ ­financial”.

Fr Andersen’s complaints range from lack of financial oversight to inappropriate behaviour to “egregious breaches of confidentiality” in relation to medical and spiritual matters.

According to Fr Andersen, monks at the monastery were not usually allowed go to the doctor and be examined without another member of the community with them.

In their report, the visitation team recognised that serious breaches of medical data protection and spiritual confidentiality (what they termed the “internal forum”) were occurring.

The visitation team was led by the Abbot of Glenstal, Brendan Coffey, who was assisted by the Abbot of Mount Melleray, Richard Purcell, and Monsignor Gearoid Dullea of the Diocese of Cork and Ross.

For many years since its foundation, Silverstream Priory was lauded as an example of a flourishing conservative community which had attracted many vocations.

Silverstream was in the headlines in 2017 when the former Bishop of Meath, Dr Michael Smith, presided at a ceremony which formally recognised it as a monastic institute of consecrated life, making it the first new monastery established in the diocese of Meath since Reformation times.

The community grew from two monks to 15, attracting vocations, such as an Australian former surfer and others from the US and Denmark.

As the community grew, an ambitious plan for the reconstruction of the monastery’s buildings got under way. But in order to carry these out, a lot of money had to be raised.

The visitation report noted that during the years 2016-2019, the community invested over €2.5m in purchasing the property and renovating it, even though the monastery’s income in 2019 dropped by 50pc of what it was in each of the three previous years. At the same time, expenses were increasing by 20pc each year.

One of Fr Andersen’s major concerns was the monastery’s failure to keep records, plan its budget, or record specific donations.

The Visitation Report warned the community that the civil legal structure of Silverstream Priory needed attention to make it compliant with civil law, the Revenue Commissioners, the Charity Governance Code and Data Protection legislation.

“We have concerns in these areas,” the report stated.

Other concerns focused on the monastery’s failure to present annual accounts to Silverstream’s chapter for approval.

Furthermore, Fr Andersen felt that Fr Kirby’s revelation to him that he had filled dozens of prayer journals with prayers and reflections about him, along with his hugs, his caressing of Fr Andersen’s head, as well as graphic disclosures of sexual abuse, overstepped boundaries.

Fr Andersen first spoke to Bishop Deenihan of Meath about his concerns in February 2020, as he was at that point thinking of leaving Silverstream. He then wrote to the bishop on April 30, outlining his concerns and expressing the view that Fr Kirby could not remain as the community’s superior.

On May 20, Bishop Deenihan announced a visitation. Due to the pandemic, the process was delayed, and the visitation team arrived at the monastery on June 9, 2020, and spent three days interviewing the monks.

On 25 June, Silverstream received a copy of the visitors’ five-page report, which praised the monastery as a “place of prayer, a place that is a centre of peace and retreat”, which was clearly at odds with the allegations made by Fr Andersen.

Asked to respond to Fr Andersen’s allegations, a spokesman for Bishop Deenihan explained that Silverstream was established as a Diocesan Institute of Consecrated Life in 2017 by the former Bishop of Meath, Bishop Michael Smith.

Martin Long of the Catholic Communications office told the Irish Independent : “As Silverstream had not long been established as a Diocesan Institute of Consecrated Life, it was timely that it underwent a visitation which is now concluded. This is a normal part of church life, and the purpose of its report is to assist the good governance of the monastery and is not for publication.”

He also highlighted that there had been “personalised and serious charges published online concerning the monastic community and its members and, in justice, the diocese cannot respond as there are ongoing investigations by canonical and civil authorities”.

A spokesperson for the Garda confirmed to the Irish Independent that there is an investigation relating to a monastery in Stamullen, Co Meath. The Irish Independent also requested a response from Silverstream community and was told: “This matter is still subject to a Garda investigation, and we will not make any further comment until this is complete.”

Since he aired his concerns about Silverstream, Fr Andersen claims he has been ostracised by the community, accused of indirectly violating the confessional seal, left without a ministry, and a home.

He says however that he does not know who accused him of the canonical crime of breaking the seal of confession and reporting him to the Vatican.

“My canonical advocate in Rome has, thus far, been unable to learn anything about these charges. We have not even been able to learn if there is an associated ‘protocol number’, which would be proof that there is a complaint against me in the files of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” he said.

He added: “Of course, I will defend myself vigorously: no such violation has ever occurred. It has been suggested to me by my advocate that it is a way of undermining my credibility in the civil forum.”

His advocate has also failed to get any response from Bishop Deenihan about the complaint.

PAT SAY:

Father Benedict has been treated atrociously by his monastery and Tom Deenihan the Roman Catholic incumbent of Meath.

He was subjected to serious sexual harassment by the prior – that nut job Kirby.

Tom Deenihan has been most unkind and unChristian to him.

Benedict is a kind, sincere and very prayerful monk.

What is it about the RCC – the more of a bastard you the better you are treated.

I’m sure the Good Lord will bring Benedict to a place that deserves him and respects him.

REPLY FROM DENIS AN COILEACH NULTY.

Peter, the man with the info on the Gay / Satanic group and the child abuse will follow that up on Monday.

124 replies on “SILVERSTREAM WHISTLEBLOWER SPEAKS TO IRISH INDEPENDENT.”

Pat, this is the article I brought to your attention recently. I pray and hope Fr. Benedict finds a suitable monastery. It is outrageous that he is treated this way but I’m not surprised. God bless him. Pat, I am horrified at you using the word “coileach” about Bishop Nulty. There are a few meanings of the word but I think you are using it in a pejorative, sneering, unnecessary offensive way. Is there a need to debase everyone you dislike? It doesn’t add to a respect for you. I also think the response was appropriate from the Safeguarding Liaison Officer, Kathleen. The advice given is the correct procedure: state agencies should be contacted first and where and when relevant the Bishop responds. All concerns must be brought to Tusla and Gardai, then to Kathleen. She too must report to authorities. Not to report issues of child safeguarding matters is a total dereliction of civic and moral responsibilities. So, I suggest if any person on here with names and information about satanic/gay sexual rituals, they should go to authorities immediately. Imnediately.

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11.02pm If I may say so, this is an excellent contribution. It is knowledgeable, to the point, courteous and accurate. Thank you. I wish others (the majority, I fear) who comment on this blog would take you as an example.

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So we have an institute of diocesan right which is noncompliant with ‘civil law, the Revenue Commissioners, the Charity Governance Code and Data Protection legislation.’ … supposedly because nobody could be bothered to do a visitation?
Shouldn’t charity accounts have been submitted?
This is a monumental failure of governance in all sorts of ways. So much for the clown who used to comment here that no misuse of funds could happen in Ireland because everything is audited.
It has just happened under the eyes of a diocese.
The other major failing is the internal/external forum thing – anyone who has been in any formation recognises these boundaries and it is evident that Kirby has not been doing something incredibly basic, even though he is a monk of many years standing.
What is not apparent from the article is how this visitation differs from visitations in Benedictine monasteries in congregations, which are purely to ascertain that the rule is being followed and will rarely venture into governance. This is not a routine visitation by any stretch of the imagination but something much more.

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Consideration should be given to an open letter through local media when it comes to strange goings-on. If this idea is a non-runner, it’s a non-runner.
The cost of the open letter should be crowd funded e.g. us the blog readers through anonymous donations.
An open letter through the local media of the respective dioceses of Waterford, Meath and Kildare will be a reasonable shot across the bows of those obsessed with minimising scandal and inaction.

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Following on from yesterday, I have a request @ Magna’s Mumsy – stop stalking my posts!
Thank you in advance.

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8.32: Get used to it Betty. Many contributors evoke responses of a silly, nasty kind. If you are upset, get used to being targeted. Perhaps if you wrote more meaningful, relevant comments, attitudes might change. But, this blog can be quite provocative to the point that you’d clobber the nasties if you were close by them. You have to be thick skinned on this blog. Sensitivity is non existent.

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12:25am anniversary mass today for my late wife. We all have lives to lead. I have been getting on with it.

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I believe that Dom Mark was previously a monk at the Cistercian monastery of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome, which was so bad it was suppressed by decree of the Holy See. We’ve seen what goes on in monasteries that aren’t suppressed and I shudder to think what would happen in a monastery they did actually close.

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Anon at 9.33am

Just asking out of curiosity, I know nothing about Dom Mark’s history, my question to you, was he in any other cisterican monasteries apart from the one in santa Groce. If so, were any other cisterican monasteries that he was in, closed down or not.🤔

Think he might have some form in that although I could be wrong there or open to correction.

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There was a sinister element regarding the visitation was to out Fr Benedict and push him out in order to keep the omerta code of silence of what brewing inside. Thus, they were accusing Fr benedict of breaking the confessional seal. Its unlikely as far as I could glean from this. All he did was to whistle blow the whole thing that is not tantamount to breaking of the confessional seal. All he did was to protect or defend himself and the whole of monastery itself as well from the wiles of Kirby and their absurd rule of age 35.
There was no proper thought out process as regards to the set up of that monastery which broke nearly every rule book in civil law, data protection with gdpr, protection of the whistle-blower, protection of the sexually abused(he claims it to be which led to this visitation). There was a huge momentual failure as regards to corporate governance code. In other words, they failed to tick all necessary boxes.
That previous Bishop or present Bishop didn’t check in the first place when it was set up to ensure that everything was still in place.
You might be wondering how come there was no proper planning, no proper structures laid out from the outset, all were done at ad hoc basis. Not a very good sign re their governance.
I read somewhere that silverstream visitation isn’t closed as its still wide open. It means they as 3 amigos could return again to silvestream. Hence no protocol number was given to Fr Benedict. All very ad hoc as they could change it again as they go along.
What was more shocking and sinister that Bishop of Meath outed him by proxy via new York diocese website as a perv (if I could recall correctly). That’s defamatory at least.
Bishop deenihan treatment of Fr Benedict was despicable and quite appalling. It tells us more about that Bishop. He couldn’t be seen as good Bishop, quite the opposite by the virtue of his actions towards Fr Benedict. That action demonstrated that some bishops out there aren’t good. What they revel hugely in retaliation. The only way for fr benedict is to fight back and clear his mame.it doesn’t look good on bishop deenihan re outing of Fr benedict without any due process. It just leaves a bad taste.
Finally, there is a whistle blower law or code of conduct nearly in every industry but not all of them though. What was more obvious and glaring absent in Catholic Church, no whistle blower protection laws, no form of any redress if vindicated. All is heavily stacked towards the bad egg ie Bishop or abuser in favour or the Bishop of diocese in question even they were wrong in the first place.
I believe there were 3 strand of investigation
One was data protection, 2nd was safeguarding re abused and 3rd one was financial irregularities.

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A lot of valid comments being culled by you today Pat you are presenting a one sided naritave. Before you start crying, yes I know it is your blog.

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I’m not going to allow anonymous comment makers, with an agenda, to bite at Fr Benedict. He has suffered enough.

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Patsy, you’re being very partial, this mad monk needs investigated himself. If he gives out about others, he has to prepared to take it back, a very strange character indeed.

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LOL the cathbots demonstrating the exact point your post makes.
If he had actually been mad he wouldn’t have been subprior.
Sorry girls, your hate offensive has failed. you should consider acting with adult responsibility and Christian charity.

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11.21: Do you know Fr. Benedict? Have you, Pat, spoken with him? It’s a pity you don’t take a similar “rare charitable” attitude to others whom you pummel into the ground.

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I have never met Fr Benedict. We have communicated through one of his principal advisors

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The proof was given to the Gardai several years ago. It will be given to Nulty on Monday.

There is another bigger aspect to the story that I will publish very soon.

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12:34 Plenty of proof. What was published here is only a small portion.

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So many of the places that appear on this blog appear to be places of dysfunction with undercurrents of lack of integrity, transparency and faithfulness to their original intention. I do wonder at the wisdom, or desirability, of encouraging young men to enter these places. Indeed, the same could be said for the Catholic priesthood in general. I think a case could be made to say that these institutions are leading young men in to a life that is damaging for them and for those around them. We all know the legion stories of the antics and abusive behaviours that take place within the clerical culture and its institutions – diocese, monasteries etc. How, in all honesty, can we expect these to be places where you men can be safe, happy and flourish ? I rather suspect that they are places that are dangerous to these young men, and I think in future that the whole business of the clerical culture, the clerical lifestyle, clerical institutions, and clerical formation will be subjects of safeguarding investigations on the basis that they are seen to do damage to people. Those who are encouraging this clerical life and its dysfunction could be judged to be leading young men in to danger. Would you encourage a young man to enter the seminary or a monastery? I most certainly would not. I would try to encourage him to go and do good in other walks of life and find fulfilment there. He would only be damaged by contact with these clerics and their institutions.

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5.44: You are right. Same old story from this commenter all too frequently. He has only ONE view…very impoverished intellectually.

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The fact you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Incidentally you are a repeat commenter here and always call any opinion you don’t like ‘impoverished intellectually’.
You are clearly incapable of respecting or even listening to what other people have to say. Anyone would think you were used to a captive audience on Sundays.

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I have foor children and two grandchildren, I’m a cradle Catholic, but there is no way that I would encourage them to even consider the Catholic priesthood as a vocation.
I agree completely that any contact with the clerical culture is courting danger of many kinds.
Experts in humanity they are not.
Human flourishing no way.

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Catholic priesthood needs to be normalised. Rather than thinking of themselves and living as if they are exceptional to the rest of humanity, with added avoidance of any accountability, they should live in a life and culture that sees them grounded in relationships, responsibilities and accountability. Marriage provides those very things. Yes, some will not be of the marrying kind, perhaps with alternative sexuality, but they too could find the grounding necessary for human flourishing in same sex relationships. Some will be called to celibacy as a special charism, and if that is good for them and not damaging, then fine. The current clerical culture is not fit for purpose, and is damaging to individuals and the Church and the faithful. I think bishops and priests know this themselves, but are so heavily invested in their present culture that they cannot bring themselves to move out of it and on, or to find an alternative and healthy way of being for clergy. Everything about the clergy lifestyle and culture screams dysfunction, oddity and damage. We all know this. But, we are expected to live with something that is clearly damaging. Why ?

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@ 12.58 pm anonymous

I think the answer lies in power. Those who have power and control don’t give it up. It has to be taken from them.

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12:58
‘Catholic priesthood needs to be normalised.’
Totally, however they aren’t able or willing to see that. We see it most commonly here when at the slightest hint of reasonable criticism they start ranting about other churches or make out that real people are as dysfunctional as them. They have actually reached the point where they see the cesspit as normal and can’t conceive that ordinary people outside their cult have better morals than them.

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Purcell as part of a visitation is both hilarious and tragic.
Poacher and Gamekeeper springs to mind!!
Whiistleblowing is a joke – it’s simple and it works like this – Kathleen will be on a significant salary and therefore is compromised by the Master v Slave relationship intrinsic to every employment contract.
Of course, lip service is given to process and civil authority but the playbook is to protect the institution at every and any cost!!
The game plan is to wear the whistleblower down and robbing him of income or a range of deprivations helps this process.
It’s the way of all totalitarian institutions and the RCC is just that.

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The R Catholic priesthood is a by word for:
Homosexuality
Sexual Abuse
Abuse of Power
Old Queens
Young effete Queens
Financial Abuse
Cover Up
Crime

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I couldn’t agree more! This is all rife in Belfast, a lot brewing in the north of the city. We all know what will be released shortly, these things take time! #daisychainNI

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How come the Irish charity regulator and the Garda are taking so long with their investigations? Are they in the pocket of Tom Deenihan, the Roman Catholic incumbent of Meath.

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Catholicism upholds as a badge of honour the dignity of the human person.
But the under belly and privately behind the walls of every presbytery the clergy trample on this God given and sacred dignity.
Fr Benedict is a hero and I hope he knows it.
They trampled on St John of the Cross too.
His so called brothers imprisoned him and tortured him for wanting to reform their order.
They insisted he serve them their food on his knees – I think he was naked.
When the dust eventually settled he was made a Doctor of the Church.

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10.33: You make valid points and while it pains me as a priest that this is so true within the Church to which I have given my life and will continue to do so, it is a very challenging time to be a priest. For many, many years I have seen my ministry within the context of the parish community to which I belong: this for me is the “true” community of God’s people” who unite and gather in Christ. Together as the local Christian community, we seek to live the gospel and Eucharistic calling to be like Christ in all things. We build our local Church community to be a caring, welcoming, inclusive and compassionate place. In this I am inspired by what I witness every day. For me, the concept of belonging to worldwide Catholic family is important and that we have a supreme leader/shepherd, Pope Francis and that we have a common tradition of sacraments, liturgy, prayer, mysticism, beauty in art, music, literature, poetry, philosophy, theology, and architecture – Christian inspired – I believe the monolith of the big institutional bureaucracy in Rome is proving more and more to be unworkable in establishing what Jesus intended: a simple, prayerful, spiritual and caring Church from the Pope down. Perhaps if our bishops had more local freedom and autonomy to administer their Diocese in a less bureaucratic way, while still retaining the beautiful essence of the gospel truths and our Catholic beliefs, they might be more visionary, imaginative and creative, bringing about necessary renewal and change. In the absence of such inspiration, those of us in parishes must respond with imagination where we minister. We have endless opportunities in this approach. Wherever large institutions are present, absolute vigilance is required for transparency, truth, justice and responsibility for procedures ensuring the protection of all, especially children, young people and those who are vulnerable. As of now I would very reluctantly encourage any man to enter seminary or monastery unless they had some years of working and living in the big real world!

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You have been told repeatedly here that what you are doing is a coping strategy for the disconnect you correctly identify, however it is one where you avoid facing the reality in any substantive way and can have your pastoral fantasy while leaving the criminal setting unchallenged. It is also a dishonest fantasy as long as you console yourself that it isn’t your problem while actively propping up the criminal fraternity with the funds the parish gives to the diocese.
‘But my Nazi Stormtroopers unit has never killed anyone!’

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2.44: What is wrong with finding coping mechanisms? Irrespective of scandals and crises in whatever institution, we all must find coping mechanisms. While I take my ministry of priesthood seriously and have done my utmost in changing the system with my voice and protest and continue to do so. I have to also take care of the many responsibilities given to me. I believe, that, despite the crisis in the Church, I am well capable of living the essence of the gospel of Christ. I never said the scandals are not my problem. I simply stated, much to your dismay, that I have developed coping mechanisms for the good and betterment of the parish where I work. As cynical and incredulous as you choose to be, I will keep living the commitment I made in and to Christ at ordination. Thank God, fantasy worlds were never my domain. My parents instilled a hard work ethic, honesty and integrity in all of us. My family, friends and parishioners ensure that my feet are firmly on the ground. Incidentally, my astute antennae compelled me in the past to report child Safeguarding issues in the late 70’s early 80’s (which were correct ending in prison sentences) at a time when such issues weren’t even spoken of and my astuteness led me to uncover a huge financial mismanagement in a school and two parishes. Fantasy worlds – no.

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This is a genuine question. Can you give us examples of how you challenged and protested.

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There is nothing wrong with finding coping mechanisms as long as they don’t allow you to live peacefully with a criminal organization, like yours do.

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2:44
You perhaps don’t see the sheer contradiction found in your own words:
‘I believe the monolith of the big institutional bureaucracy in Rome is proving more and more to be unworkable in establishing what Jesus intended’
And
‘As cynical and incredulous as you choose to be, I will keep living the commitment I made in and to Christ at ordination.’
You can’t have it both ways. As it happens you also let out what is really happening here:
‘Incidentally, my astute antennae compelled me in the past to report child Safeguarding issues in the late 70’s early 80’s (which were correct ending in prison sentences) at a time when such issues weren’t even spoken of and my astuteness led me to uncover a huge financial mismanagement in a school and two parishes.’
My astuteness, my commitment, etc. You are stoking your own ego.
You really should think about changing spiritual director, because it is evident the one you have got isn’t challenging the ego-driven dead end you are driving into.

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The Bishop of Meath emerges from this saga as being negligent, incompetent, and utterly incapable of making a decision.
Moreover, in best traditions of Irish Catholicism, Bishop Deenihan has decided to penalise the whistle-blower, and give the perpetrator (Kirby) a free pass. Then, he appears to weaponise the structures of Canon Law to undermine Dom Andersen. #classicbishopbehaviour
Dom Kirby needs to leave Silverstream, forthwith. An external superior needs to be appointed to give it any chance Failing that the place needs to be suppressed as a matter of considerable urgency, and suitable “homes” found for those who joined the community in good faith.
Deenihan can sell the property and this saga can be brought to a closure. It would be the best possible outcome. The priests of the Meath will welcome the closure of Silverstream; I can attest to that reality.
We are told that Deenihan holds a doctorate in education. One does wonder in light of his handling of Silverstream, was the PhD awarded by an American degree mill?

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3.48: How did I protest and act against the wrongdoing and abuse uncovrred: by going to Gardai with parents: by alerting my PP and Diocese. Re: financial mismanagement: by compiling documents and evidence over time and alerting relevant authorities to my concerns. All were acted upon resulting in resignations and new procedures put in place. At innumerable gatherings and seminars, my opinions, voice and protest were well expressed. At the end of the day, we each have to act with absolute truth and responsibility.

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Bishop Michael Smith cared more for improving his golf handicap than the pastoral care of his clergy or people.
Pity he didn’t work on the greater handicap of his penchant of the triumph of administration over being a humble shepherd.
It’s true isn’t it – a bishop pr priest can lack every conceivable pastoral skill but if he’s a good administrator a multitude of sins are covered!!

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12:51, it’s really quite unsettling that an expert in religious education, who now has power over dozens of schools, has also shown himself to be the indefatigable protector of a predatory religious superior, to the point of personally destroying a whistleblower among his own clergy!

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12:33, not only would Fr Benedict not have been appointed sub-prior (a major superior under canon law), but he would not have been solemnly professed and ordained! Moreover he’s apparently spoken at a few academic conferences, as well. Funny how he becomes crazy and a liar only after he has something to say!

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God help diocesan or religious whistleblowers.

Their first point of contact will be a snake in the grass – feigning care and dutifully taking notes only to stab them in the back.

Salaried staff are compromised because they won’t bite the hand that feeds them and if a member of the clergy their first loyalty is to the institution every time without question.

The best way to blow the whistle is the public domain and media or Bishop Pat it seems to me.

But God help you if you don’t have independent means or aren’t behovrn to them – if you are then the jackals and crows circle.

Whistleblowers should know some protection under the law – but that’s the problem the RCC thinks it’s above the law.

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I am following the media dispatch s concerning the ceremony in Armagh with her Majesty in the coming days. Archbishop Eamonn Martin has today commented on The President of Ireland and his decision. The President has a prudence and nobility about him sadly lacking in Roman Catholic leadership on this island. Bergoglio said as much in Rome today…. Calling him a wise man. Eamonn Martin would not be the first from that seat in his cathedral to politicise prayer for his own ends. His public utterances are becoming tiresome. The wisdom of The President is commendable.

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Ah Bileen what a wonderful picture you paint. Like a Turner watercolour it should see daylight in mid-winter

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You could switch to “ il conto” 3.44 if you are trying intelligent/ mischievous/ affectionate or whatever…

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P.S.
I am a lifelong admirer of the Queen and how she exercises herself in all her realms. A good human being… and of her time. God save King William in his time.. a great and good name.

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….., and somebody should remind John Bruton of the plenipotentiary capacity extended by De Valera which caused the disaster.

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2.01: The church has a problem with accepting whistleblowers. Totally immoral not to listen to evidence of sexual abuse, financial mismanagement, theft and unacceptable behaviours. We have also seen this problem in politics, an Gardai, the army, banks, teaching profession, health services and charities. What is it about the Irish psyche that truth can only be extracted through commissions and tribunals? The church should, of course, be the exemplar. Sadly, it too is brought to its knees in shame by silencing whiltleblowers.

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I hate the hypocrisy and Machiavellian games associated with Whisteblowing.
Whether it’s the police, NHS or the RCC the truth is the one who speaks out is publicly applauded but privately despised especially by the Catholic hierarchy.
This includes victims of child abuse.
IICSA exposed this in Westminster and Birmingham.
Emails were made public where VG and Safeguarding just pour out their spleen and utter contempt for victim – but publicly giving it large on child protection and the courage it takes to speak out etc. Utterly contemptible and unforgivable. Yes unforgivable!!
In my opinion, Bishop Marcus Stock in Leeds is a classic example.
He is lauded for the depth and sincerity of his apology but I suspect privately this isn’t what he thinks by a country mile.
They just master the dark arts of pressing the right buttons and saying the right things whilst simultaneously planning how they can avoid paying compensation and stitching a complainant up like a kipper.
Elsie is very adept at this and so is Pope Francis.
The daughter of Lord Devlin who was sexually abused by him said that she complained to Cardinal Heenan (a family friend) but Heenan told her to drop it as no one would believe it (that old chestnut) but remained her confidant but in reality did absolutely nothing to stop the sexual abuse.
It’s a pattern repeated time and time again – captured by this spine idea.
Keep your mouth shut, leave it alone, never complain, never explain.
God help us all!!
And God save us from corrupt clergy and prelates.

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Francis needs to seriously consider making vast changes or the Catholic religion will be wiped out in the next few centuries. Priests should be allowed to marry – a man or a woman. Times have changed but the RC rhetoric has not.

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@3.51 pm – Ryan
You have hit the hammer on the nail.
Correct!
Abolish celibacy – it has been abused by many! The laity are sick of lies and cover ups.
Whether a priest is heterosexual or homosexual, he should be allowed to marry. Many do not care if a couple are husband and wife/husband and husband or wife and wife. No one cares, it is irrelevant in society today!

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Yes and we need to be more inclusive and open to the idea of female priests also. If priests were historically female only – then half of all this nonsense would not have happened.

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Many church suppliers in Europe are realistic about being out of business in twenty years. It won’t take centuries!
What happens in developing countries will depend on what happens with scandals there.
It is not impossible that the church could continue as a smaller, poorer church (the Methodist church in the UK is the fastest declining denomination but has embraced that and found it a blessing) but I don’t think the RC church is ready to accept that future. Far too used to always thinking everyone else is wrong and feeling they’re owed obeisances.

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Ryan, how do you explain the catastrophic collapse of Anglicanism, which has made the vast changes you seek? It didn’t help their decline and probably accelerated it.

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Focus on procreating as the ultimate reason for sexual encounters should be done away with. Sex between 2 people should be pleasurable in any form they enjoy. The world has enough people in it already and we do not need more! RC and the world coming to an end! I’m no Nostradameus but it’s clear and evident.

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I would like to ask comment makers to publish English translations alongside comments in other languages.

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5.02: Pat, just don’t print them. The contributors are googling for translations. Rather silly. Don’t print them. Simple as.

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“The monks bought the property from nuns. The bishop of that diocese has no authority to sell it”.
Seamus,
If, Silverstream is suppressed by a Decree normally rendered by the so-called “Congregation for Religious” in this situation; the assets will vest with the Holy See. But for practical purposes this is the local Ordinary, ie, Bishop Deenihan.
Thus, if that Decree comes – Bishop Tom will have great joy in selling the place.

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4.10: You just don’t want to believe that many priests do actually have a conscience and a commendable moral compass. Despite your sneering attempts to condescend spiritually, pastorally and morally and ignorantly dismiss my careful and thoughtful commentary, I merely state again that in the midst of scandals and crisis of whatever nature, we still can and must act morally and spiritually responsible. Tough luck if you don’t share my truth. I don’t share your misreading of this truth. Irrespective of church crises, I choose to stay faithful to Christ and his gospel. My sharing of my experiences is a demonstration of my moral integrity in very challenging situations, not shared by way of seeing to be more noble than others, but to debunk your false narratives that “we” are all the same.
We are not. I don’t apologise for my beliefs. Never will. Somehow, you, sir, are in the fantasy world.

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Thank you for admitting that I am right….by immediately descending to personal insults in response to my constructive comments.
If you really want people to think that many priests have a conscience and commendable moral compass you aren’t going the right way about it.
As I said, get some effective spiritual direction which will equip you for effective ministry, instead of the ‘i’m so wonderful’ trip you are currently on.

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Anon @ 4.41: your comment is a little arrogant towards another anonymous who merely states his experiences. There’s no need for your disdain and contempt. It may be that you need to readjust your spiritual genes, if they exist at all. Just sayin’..

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LOL someone calls out a priest and the cathbots immediately swoop. You’d clean up the forensic evidence if you came across a priest raping a boy, then insist on the boy going to confession.

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Magna’s Mumby at 7.40pm.
When will your son MC be back 😉😉😜🤪
Anon at 7.35pm
Didnt know that 👉’Bruno was selling encylopedias door to door while the less honourable Brady was promoted to the very top of the pyramid. Says it all.’
👆This I find it very sad and sobering re Bruno. I sincerely hope that Bruno finds peace with his maker- God. Its v difficult to act as a whistle-blower as I know it from my experience. I have been called all sort of names under the sun.
At one stage, my mobile was bugged after I had given my final testimony with evidence. It does take a lot out of myself as it took months to recover from it. Its mental and physical long slog.

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LOL someone calls out a derogatory person like you and you swoop in with the xxxxbots derogatory word. You were beaten all end up in a conversation what is right and enjoy a lovely weekend! 😉

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To anyone wanting change in the church I would repeat the strategy I have mentioned before: starving them out works on literally anyone.

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Sorry to diverge from the subject but thinking about evidence for child abuse I think it should be stressed that the standard advice from police is that suspicions should immediately be referred to them and anyone else should NOT attempt to investigate. Convictions have been lost because of other people trying to do this.

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Is there any news on the gin-soaked Dames of Glastonbury? Have they found their forever home yet?

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@ 6.35 pm. Anonymous
Who knows! My guess is Buckfast Abbey. No one is going to give them a monastery of their own.
Gin soaked? Ooh! Really! Do tell.
Forever home? That did make me laugh.

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9.07 sense of entitlement alert. For hundreds of years catholics didn’t need any priests or sacraments, and don’t now in lots of countries. Stop whingeing and no need to blame someone whose fault it isn’t. If they want to walk off let them. I suppose you would rather they be blackmailed into staying, like you or your fairweather friends were, wherever that was. They are not “priests forever”, I agree it’s always been tempting fate to habitually tell ordinands that, when it isn’t in Scripture.

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4.41: We’ll agree to disagree as you are entrenched in a nasty, unkind narrative. There are many people on this blog who speak about their commitment to their responsibilities, including Pat. What actually is wrong with sharing our experiences? Sir, I suspect you have your own personal agenda and having respect for priests isn’t on the list. Your problem, not mine. May I respectfully suggest that you look honestly to your own heart and conscience. Finally, the reality of failures, wrongs, sinfulness, the need for daily renewal and imperfections – from which much has been learned – greet me at the beginning and end of each day! And, when appropriate, gratitude to God for any accomplishment is always comnendable. God is kind, merciful and full of compassion. I wish you well.

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Your kind words are very welcome and I am glad to see that you are admitting that a respectful concern for your welfare and a suggestion about spiritual direction are seen by you as nasty and unkind.
To reiterate: it is very evident that the spiritual direction you are getting is not challenging you enough.

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8.35: What are you on about, seriously? Spiritual direction? Please, spare me your fake empathy. You obviously haven’t a breeze re: spirituality. Why such an awkward disgruntlement? You are poor at discernment. Good night. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏..

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Glad you ended that with praying hands because praying may help you gain some insight.

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It beggars belief how the noble, the virtuous, the vulnerable can be so ignominiously crushed into the dirt by the clerical leadership. Does seminary training dehumanise a man so much that in later ministry he can bully others if he thinks he can get away with it? Indeed it seems the more of a bastard you are, the better you will be treated. Many a good, honourable and decent priest was treated badly down the years, in some cases driven out of ministry altogether,while psychopathic bastards could almost intimidate their bishop into turning a blind eye and be mean, abusive,vicious and horrible to parishioners, sometimes even acting criminally. Cunning and deception seem to trump honour, decency and integrity. Think of all the Jack the lad types who live double lives, often with the knowledge of their bishops. They hide behind the collar and enjoy a very comfortable life.
Whistleblowers have been treated appallingly. Fr Bruno Mulvihill, Brendan Smyth whistleblower, ended up out of ministry selling encylopedias door to door while the less honourable Brady was promoted to the very top of the pyramid. Says it all.

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‘Does seminary training dehumanise a man so much that in later ministry he can bully others if he thinks he can get away with it?’
Yes. And they know they can get away with it.

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For all the visitations, investigations, and reports I doubt they will recover any of the missing donations. Common thieves, that’s all they are.

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Why go to such a sham that celebrates the carving up of Ireland and endure having to look at Amy Martin, a bunch of layman dressed up as pretend clerics watched over by Betty the Queen of England.

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There is a very good article in The Pillar about this situation. What a sick, twisted and toxic culture.

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Reading the exchange above it strikes me that in the church of the future priests will find it difficult getting feedback.
Do priests have appraisals or any objective performance criteria?
In many workplaces you now get 360° feedback so comments from literally anyone go in your appraisal.

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Anon at 8.35: You are bullish in your criticism of another anonymous. You have suggested that he seek new spiritual direction. If your comments are revealing about your disposition, they definitely point to someone who is clueless about spiritual integrity. Your comments are rather insulting and vacuous. Perhaps a time on retreat might help you see your own impoverished spirit.

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11.32: You’re an idiot. A silly protagonist. YOU first referenced “spiritual direction” by questioning my integrity. I rest my case. You’re lying to yourself.

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Fascinating that none of the usual traddie venues (e.g. OnePeterFive, Rorate Caeli, Father Z) are defending Silverstream Priory. They are saying absolutely nothing, and that at a time when trads are up against the wall and becoming more obnoxious than ever. This is all is quite telling.

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As to other more dignified Benedictine matters… Has anyone seen the new office books from the Abbey of Praglia? I’m curious as to the changes they made in the hymns and the chant. Mind you, this is not the Trentish rite but the Nouus Ordo and I should think that they use the Noua Ulgata for the scriptures. They issued a lovely Liturgia delle Ore which I gave to a friend when I was joining the Orthodox Church with which that poor wretch was once associated. (Oh dear! I’m even more of a poor wretch. Eheu!)
So, there are good Benedictines around.

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Oh I could tell you things about Praglia….
I have heard nothing bad about the office books though.

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