I will let you know what I know about Caldey Abbey.
I used to have a friend living on the Island and visited her there up until about 8 years ago when she had to leave due to ill health, so over a period of 18 years.
Some of this information she told me – she is now dead – and some I heard from a lady who had been the guest house keeper with the Carmelites at Presteigne in Wales – they had a sister who made an extended retreat at Caldey and was basically persuaded/coerced into a sexual liaison with the former Abbot Robert O’Brien, who is now dead.
But he features as someone who knew all about Kotik and his abuse and whose response was to ask him to stay within the abbey grounds.
No report went to the police.
The lady who told me this had been told by the sister concerned, whose name was Imelda.
As Presteigne is now closed I have no idea where Imelda might have gone or even if she is still a nun, but I can’t imagine that she was the first person he did that too.
He was abbot when I first visited my friend there and so I met him a few times but kept my distance.
My friend told me about Fr Desiree (aptly named) who also had inappropriate relationships with young women as at his funeral a woman tried to attend who he had clearly been intimate with when she was young, and Daniel didn’t want her to be there.
This lady and her husband had worked in the guesthouse on Caldey and had been sacked by Daniel and took their case to court for unfair dismissal and won.
My friend told me Daniel and she had an out and out argument about Sally’s attendance at the funeral and he nearly booted her off the island.
Not surprisingly she had a stroke not long after!
So my impression of Daniel is not good. I found him an arrogant man who was full of himself and thought himself better than his community.
I also knew a monk called brother Benedict who had a serious alcohol problem which was not helped by the islanders giving him access to booze.
He made final profession but then was sent off to MSB where he couldn’t cope, basically disappeared and was found dead in a ditch somewhere in the North of England.
There was also in my time a Brother Sean who was there a good while and then who left under strange circumstances and was working as a nurse somewhere near Tenby.
I hate seeing all the above written out on one level but it shows just the tip of the iceberg as to what has gone on there just with a few people whose lives have been wrecked by a serious abuse of power.
So I can’t believe Daniel when he says he had no clue about Kotik as there were letters that Robert wrote about him and Robert was very much alive when Daniel first went to Caldey from an abbey in the Netherlands, and to have 3 or 4 known paedophiles given housing there and playing a part in island life says that Caldey must have been well known in those circles.
You may have heard similar things from other people which may or may not corroborate what I am saying.Just for info.
I am an experienced mental health practitioner so am careful to weigh up what I hear and see to be sure that I am not reading more into things than is there.
I didn’t know the stuff about Purcell till I read your blog but then what happened with Pat seemed to make a lot more sense if there had been goings on at MSJ guesthouse.
I ised to think that Cistercian monks were the holiest of the holiest.
I even believed something that up until the last few years.
But now I see the rottenness is all through them as well.
You have Purcell.
You have the Portglenone monk convicted of child abuse in the abbey.
You have the monk who worked in Derry in a parish, abused kids and was later appointed novice master in Mount Melleray.
The former abboy of Mellifont, Enda Ducey told me he had had 18 sexual partners in Mellifont, both men and women.
I personally had to escape Enda’s wandering hands as a newly ordained priest.
You have the situation mentioned above in Caldey.
You have Roscrea with Purcell, Malachy Thompson and the suspicious death of Pat.
You have the abbot general, Eamon Fitzgerald, covering up for Purcell and everything else.