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BREAKING NEWS – CISTERCIAN ABBOT GENERAL RESIGNS!

EAMON FITZGERALD

24 hours after the resignation of Richard Purcell as Abbot of Mount Melleray the Abbot General of the OCSO Cistercians has resigned on “health grounds”

Fitzgerald himself is a former Abbot of Mount Melleray.

He is also the man who told me on the telephone of the incident in Roscrea kitchen involving Purcell and a Killaloe priest.

The Cistercians have brought forward their General Chapted from September 2023 to February 2022 to elect a new Abbot General.

In my opinion the Richard Purcell Affair has caused not only his own resignation but has been responsible for the fall of the Abbot General.

Only those on the inside know the whole story

In any event, the cat is very much among the Cistercian pigeons as we speak.

Could more heads roll over the Purcell Affair?

Inside and outside the order.

Why has the Bishop of Waterford and Lismore not issued a statement on Mount Melleray.

209 replies on “BREAKING NEWS – CISTERCIAN ABBOT GENERAL RESIGNS!”

There could be various reasons for this:

1. He could be genuinely ill and not able to continue. If so, his illness could have been brought on or exacerbated by the stress and pressure he has been under over the Purcell affair.

2. It could be that he has felt obliged to resign or been forced to resign because he has been compromised / undermined by the Purcell affair, his connection to it, his handling of it, or something to do with it.

3. Whatever reasons, its proximity to the resignation of Purcell yesterday indicates that the AG’s resignation has something materially to do with the Purcell affair.

4. I would expect that there will be further ripples out because of the Purcell affair. The matter is far from closed. Keep an eye on + Cullinane. There may well be developments there !

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It is highly likely that he is resigning and returning to Melleray to take up the role once more as Abbot of Melleray. Another announcement imminent on the amalgamation of some daughter houses and their return to Melleray.

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Perhaps his serious health problem is either insanity or syphilis. That would explain it 😂

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Whatever the reason for his resignation, it doesn’t look good in light of recent events.

And that last comment by the first poster – the one about Cullinane – sounds like a comment from someone with an ‘inside’ view.

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I was not expecting the abbot general to be so open and honest with me.

Not only did he confirm the Roscrea incident but he also told me that he was having Purcell’s file recording the incident sent to him electronically from Rome as we spoke.

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Did the superior of Roscrea ever reply to your emails? Or did tight trousers in the school reply to the mail you sent him? Who will be the new abbot of Melleray?

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No replies from any of them. But the paper trail was created.

Mellerary may not have an Abbot for some time.

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Pat, congratulations to you and your assistants. The Roman thing sounded weird with Rotas and special letters to nuncios et al. It’s a slow process but it was bloody worth all the hard work and frightened the bejaysus out of those who mattered.

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“So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” Luke 17:10

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Great results, Your Grace. Our Church must be place of openness and transparency; a place of light and hope for all lost and abandoned.
Evil flourishes in the darkness, but; we know that the light casts out all darkness — and that which is evil is cast out with it..
I wish these clerics all the best and sincerely hope they grow in their love for the Lord, and others for others.

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Pat, your blog has precipitated the recent resignations of the Abbot and Abbot General. The persistent questioning and focus given to the events could not but end as we have witnessed. It is sad when any human being is humiliated through personal behaviour which was/is so contrary to the office entrusted to that person. We see it in politics, business, charities and institutions: wrongdoing, duplicitous, dishonourable behaviour, irresponsible decisions causing harm and damage, abuse, sexual or financial, eventually entrap people and expose hypocrisy and corruption. While the truth is absolute and necessary for true change and renewal, we must also pray for all who are affected by these events that even greater TRUTH will prevail and that more appropriate decisions are made to regain trust. I certainly will not engage in cutting anyone with shards of glass judgments but will pray God’s mercy for all and pray too that all of us will seek God’s mercy as we begin the Advent Season. We can be blinded to our own failings when consumed by the moral and spiritual failings and sins of others. In all experiences if the downfall of others, my reaction often is “there but for the grace of God go I..”. These events cause much soul searching about many issues for the Church, celibacy, ministry and priesthood. Watershed moments perhaps!!

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Thank God for mobile phone recording technology. Dick and Eamon would likely still be in office if it weren’t for it.

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Indeed, thank goodness for modern technology… It was modern technology which proved my innocence; and in doing so: exposed those who told evil and outright lies. X

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth, Lord.” John 17:17

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Big MIck lomamasey
That’s where the truth was exposed by modern technology.
Others have falsely claimed to be proven indecent. But there not there as guilty as the former pp of killdorery

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I hope Br. John Dineen Monk of Mt. Melleray Abbey ordination to the
priesthood is acknowledged at some point on the ocso.org website.
Congratulations, Br. John.

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+Pat, this is an extraordinary development. It is a possibility that the General Chapter was being brought forward to facilitate the election of a new Abbot General due to the health condition of the incumbent. But your mass emailing to all the abbots and abbesses of the Cistercians may have been a catalyst for this announcement. Of course, we will never know but we can draw strong inferences.

In my view whoever was involved in the drafting of the correspondence to the Archbishop of Sydney knew they were deliberately poking a bear! And, they were aware of the consequences. They knew that by asking awkward questions about Abourjaily and his connection to Cardinal Pell; it would attract attention. And, coming from you Buckley, it was the ultimate insult. Take that as a compliment.

Your writer has an insight into the thinking of the Roman Curia. Subtly, he suggested that Purcell and Coffey of Glenstal traduced the reputation of Cardinal Pell by giving Silverstream Priory and the presence of Abourjaily at the Priory a clean bill of health.

If you mess with a cardinal, you are going to get a powerful reaction. And, somebody of the stature of Cardinal Pell who is resident within the Holy See still retains sufficient authority to put pressure on the Cistercians or the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Religious to move decisively again somebody is inconsequential and as controversial as Richard Purcell. Both Purcell and Coffey lacked the insight and experience to recognise the implications of their decision-making at Silverstream. This will have implications for Bishop Deenihan that will play out in the future, as again, you Buckley are broadcasting about it to the whole world on your blog.

In a perverse sort of way that whistleblowing of Dom Benedict Andersen has led to the demise of Richard Purcell and, perhaps by extension the Abbot General of the Cistercians.

I am of the view that Richard Purcell was told to resign immediately by somebody with real authority. And, and he was told if he did not resign, he would be removed, and, I suspect a Decree of Removal had already been signed…

The fact that the Abbot General is “going” sooner rather than later on the grounds of ill-health is textbook Roman Curia…

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Anon at 4.35pm

Interesting 👆. I would tend to concur as it sounded ra reasonable explanation to me by the way.

I can say wow re AG resignation which I didn’t expect to come so quickly straight after RP. something is afoot here really.

I have no desire nor gloat over AG resignation. I thought he was decent but he backtracked it the whole thing, which in my view sickening cos he allowed it to tar or blacken Mt Melleray reputation and their name as well.

I would like to see him return to Mt Melleray where he was a previous abbot there.

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4:35,
“… by giving Silverstream Priory and the presence of Abourjaily at the Priory a clean bill of health”
The diocese have taken ownership of the Visitation Report and the ball is in the diocese’s court:
“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.”
… “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”.
When the ongoing investigations by canonical and civil authorities are complete, the diocese must respond.
It is a very tenuous link to suggest the Visitation Report of the Priory has led to the resignations of recent days. Cistercian resignations are for Cistercian matters.

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Hopefully Phonsie is next to Resign but his head is so far up his arse, I doubt he will. Self righteous prick.

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Billy’s wife at 4.43pm
Firstly, phonsie is a member of opus dei whom I would regard it as a cult based on my experience with them in St Stephen Green many years ago.
Secondly, Phonsie has some neck to let RP carry on usual even inviting him to some well known ecclesiastical events.
Thirdly he doesn’t seems to understand the implications of letting RP run amok or on the ramp. Which suggests to ourselves that he might have done it out of spite OR he doesn’t think through re his consequences of his actions based on RP.
4th, who picked him as a Bishop after due diligence and vetting so forth?? Was Vatican due diligence and vetting process flawed??
5th, based on his previous actions and his form, to ourselves and the public, he sounded like a brass neck, he won’t quit nor resign over RP cos he thrives on unchecked power with no accountability (a hallmark of opus dei).
Its like as if you kick or slap a stubborn donkey, who won’t move. 😉

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Eamon was born in 1945 so would be unlikely to be the next abbot!
My own suspicion would be that Mount Melleray won’t have another abbot. I think it may have a time under a superior ad nutum and will then be closed to merge with Mount St Joseph, and act on what was already planned. Even though it was planned there will be an element of anger that outsiders interfered and an element of making out that Pat Buckley has closed the monastery.

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Roscrea will be the one closing to return to Melleray. Roscrea is without an Abbot for a few years since their last Abbot left them for promotion to Mount Melleray. It was mentioned here that talks are afoot and announcement imminent. It makes sense as the community in Roscrea could be put in a minibus and driven down to Melleray which is the main Cistercian house in the republic. The school in Roscrea is a separate entity and there is no monk on its board.

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The school is not a separate entity. The monks appoint 4/8 of the board and appoints the chairperson. The owner of the school is the abbot who is on the same site. Of course the monks control everything in the school. They own the school and as such control the finances.

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Bishop Pat, recent blogs have been fascinating and I’ve been retuning to view more comments intermittently throughout the day – I’ve noticed that the blog about Bishop ‘Bobby’ Byrne and Fr Tim Gardiner (has he been laicised?) has been removed – is the a permanent removal or this a topic that might be revisited after the dust has settled on the Purcell resignation (hip hip, hurrah).

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Doubting his integrity is a terrible insult, Bp Pat, which I hope he will refute with a complete and detailed response to your email. But he is an old man, mind, and unable to control the concupiscence, and gymnophallic practises of the former abbot of Melleray.

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It is an example of what happens when one screws up.
It is an example to all religious superiors: the higher the office, the more is expected.
The current Dominican provincial, Rev. FR. John M Harris OP has two predecessors in his province who have never been publically censured for hiding violent sexually abusers of children: nay they have been protected themselves.
It’s time for Rev. Fr Harris to final remove from public ministry and publishing Tom Jordan and larry collins: if they say they did not know child rape was wrong, then they are too morally corrupted to be in the clerical state.

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From the Irish Times:
Priest guilty of sex act in toilet
Wed, Feb 21, 1996, 00:00
LIFE had come apart at the seams for a Catholic priest who was caught in a sex act with another man, a Belfast court was told yesterday.
Father Gerard Anthony Massey (48), who recently resigned from the Dominican Order, pleaded guilty to indecent behaviour in public toilets in Belfast.
A prosecution lawyer told the city’s Magistrates’ Court the RUC was keeping watch on the toilets following complaints about men hanging about. Father Massey, whose address was given as c/o Fortwilliam Park, Belfast, was seen with another man and they were later arrested. During interview, Father, Massey agreed that he had touched the other man on the penis and bottom.
The prosecution lawyer added the charge had been reduced by agreement from one of gross indecency.
A similar charge against Mr Gary O’Loan (22) from white hall Gardens, Belfast, was adjourned. His solicitor said he would be pleading not guilty.
Father Massey’s solicitor said no court penalty could outweigh the priest’s suffering and shame. “This was a momentary lapse in an otherwise exemplary character,” said Mr Denis Maloney. “His life, in many ways, has come apart at the seams.
Pleading “for leniency, Mr Maloney said the whole affair had taken a very heavy toll on his client. “He has paid dearly medically, emotionally and spiritually.”
As Father Massey was leaving the dock, the magistrate warned “If you re offend this matter will be re opened.”

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One of two things has happened here.
Either Dom. Eamon has ill health and resigned, or
Dom. Eamon has accepted some responsibility for the affirmation of allegations to you, which was subsequently published.
*
It is my honest belief that he spoke freely because he mistook you for another Bishop Buckley. This would mean he has led his life focused within his monastery and contemplative life because he did not know of you. He may just be a simple monk who was overwhelmed by the allegations. How would a truly good monk get his mind around the possibility of a monk having bareback sex in a gay sauna?
*
Either way, go easy. There is nothing to be gained by persecuting a man who has already stepped down.

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‘He may just be a simple monk who was overwhelmed by the allegations. How would a truly good monk get his mind around the possibility of a monk having bareback sex in a gay sauna?’
You don’t know monasteries, I can tell.

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5.38: But Pat and his band of lynch mobbers are only happy when their heads on a plate are further humiliated and buried into the ground mercilessly. Yes, we have truth but what about the TRUTH OF GOD’S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS and not a continuation of harsh judgment or complete denigration. Pat deserves credit for his pursuance of this matter but surely we must now allow all at the centre of this drama make their own personal decisions. Is it right to crush even more those who have fallen so publicly?

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Nobody is stopping them making decisions, you fool, and the fact you don’t like it is encouragement to continue.
Remember ‘father’, nobody in the church reads this blog. 😜

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Both mercy and forgiveness require a wrongful action, or actions, to have taken place.
How can one extend true mercy and forgiveness without first bringing to light that which requires these restorative qualities?
We have a duty, as Christians; if not as moral persons at the very least, to create an environment where true mercy and forgiveness can flourish unbounded.

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Kitty: Stop worrying Eamon, just because you resigned the day after Big Dick Purcell doesn’t mean it’s related and nobody can prove it.
Eamon: You don’t think the faithful will be stupid enough just to forget it and we can carry on as usual when it’s all blown over?
Kitty: [leering] What was that about blowing, nudge nudge wink wink.
Eamon: Jesus, Kitty, you’re dirty minded enough to be a Cistercian!
Kitty: You forget I was one, and we really did it with style. We had dancing girls and the guest house was a hotel. Mind you, it was the liturgical abuses that upset Benedict enough to suppress us. See, everyone’s forgotten about that and I even went on to start my own show!

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“ it was the liturgical abuses that upset Benedict enough to suppress us.”
Nonsense. It was a den of homosexuality. Kirby no doubt felt right at home.

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It sounds like something out of Father Ted: a renowned monastery in Rome where monks staged concerts featuring a lap-dancer-turned-nun and opened a hotel with a 24-hour limousine service has been shut down by the pope.
As part of Benedict XVI’s crackdown on “loose living” within the Catholic church, 20 or so Cistercian monks are now being evicted from the monastery at the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, which hosts some of the church’s holiest relics.
“An inquiry found evidence of liturgical and financial irregularities as well as lifestyles that were probably not in keeping with that of a monk,” said Father Ciro Benedettini, a Vatican spokesman. “The church remains open but the monks are awaiting transfer.”
Reports saying the monks amassed large debts have also emerged, but Benedettini declined to give further details of the Vatican report, which was signed off in March.
The monks’ days have been numbered since 2009, when the Vatican sacked their flamboyant abbot, Father Simone Fioraso, a former fashion designer who built up a cult following among Rome’s fashionable aristocratic crowd as well as show business worshippers such as Madonna, who prayed at the church in 2008.
In 2009 Anna Nobili, a nightclub dancer who became a nun, was invited to perform her “holy dance” before an audience including archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, head of the Vatican’s cultural department. For her performance Nobili, who says she uses dance as a form of prayer, lies spread-eagled in front of the altar clutching a crucifix or twists and turns as in pole-dancing routines.
Dating back to the 4th century, Santa Croce in Gerusalemme was built to house relics brought back from the Holy Land by the mother of Emperor Constantine.
They include items described as nails and splinters from the cross, thorns from Jesus’s crown, and a bone from the finger St Thomas pushed into the wounds of Christ.
The monks living there now had opened a shop selling organic produce from their kitchen garden, but this was shut down in 2009 amid accusations of their having secretly stocked the shelves from a neighbourhood grocery.
The Italian newspaper La Stampa said that VIP guests were also encouraged to stay at a hotel opened at the Santa Croce monastery which offered a 24-hour limousine airport service.
In 2008 Fioraso hosted a week-long, televised, reading of the bible with religious figures, politicians and celebrities reading tracts, starting with Pope Benedict himself. But a year later Fioraso was ousted, despite protests from parishioners who defended his “patience, dedication, sacrifice and passion”.
The Vatican’s removal of the monks to other monasteries, ending their 500-year presence at the basilica, follows Benedict’s hard line with other wayward orders, including the Legionaries of Christ, run by the Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, who fathered numerous children, was disciplined over sexual abuse allegations and was banished to a life of penitence.
The basilica was supported by the Friends of Santa Croce, a who’s who of Roman society run by a Italian claiming descent from Charlemagne.
Italian press reports have speculated that the inspectors from the Vatican suspected homosexual relations between monks at the monastery.
https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2011/may/25/pope-ousts-loose-monks-rome

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Santa Croce was Dom Kirby of Silverstream’s last stop before duping the Bishop of Tulsa into letting him establish a small trad monastery in his diocese, the same community which was transplanted to the Diocese of Meath under Bishop Michael Smith.
No one seems to have cared or asked any questions, either about Kirby’s removal from his original monastery in Canada (Rougement), his long time of exile in Connecticut, his time at the utterly corrupt and doomed Santa Croce, or the circumstances of his departure from Tulsa.
Keep up the cover-up, Bishop Deenihan! 😂 🥂

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The Cistercians have been in turmoil for quite a while. Since a monk was moved out of Mount St Joseph to the North because of his knowledge of Purcell, Fitzgerald’s decision to ignore the concerns at this time and Roscrea’s decision to make Malachy the superior all indicate an order in decline.

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Anon at 6. 54pm

There was no mention of young deaf man in the link (rte). Where did you hear the news on deaf young man 🤷‍♂️?

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He emigrated to America. He was not abused by Tom Brady but by another priest in Renmore in the 70s. He is involved with the SNAP organization for those abused by priests. Renmore also had the notorious Brothers of Charity special school.

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Roscrea Abbey will close and the remaining monks will transfer to Mount Mellary. The vacant buildings can be used by the school. Also keeps a viable male community going in close proximity to the Cistercian sisters at Glencairn. It also paves the way for a more strategic decision on the future viability of Portglenone. Get ready for Abbot Aelred.

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The monks tried to close the school a few years ago and parents fundraised to keep it open. The funds and reserves will have to be colossal otherwise Glenstal will have to pick up the slack of anyone wanting a monastic education.

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Aelred is not eligible to be elected Abbot. Best to know what you are talking about before you commit your random thoughts to a blog.

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Yes he is. Fr Purcell was not a monk of Mt Mellery. If the communities wish they can elect someone from South Africa or France with a special dispensation

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Yes he is. Fr Purcell was not a monk of Mt Mellery. If the communities wish they can elect someone from South Africa or France with a special dispensation: this is because MSJ was established by Mount Melleray, they are the mother house. Purcell was eligible because of this.

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Anon at 11.16pm

Thanks for your clarification. Yes you are correct there.

Yeah I heard about notorious Brothers of charity school from his brother. We keep in touch from time to time.

He said the priest from Renmore parish in 70s also abused 3 or 4 kids so far as his brother’s case was statue barred as it came from dpp itself.

Hes back in Ireland at the mo I think re Galway court case which had nothing to do with him. The priest from renmore in 70s, who abused him at age of 9, now laicased and retired as well.

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The English translation of the CNA German report:
After accusations and visits: Resignation of the Abbot of Mount Melleray
From CNA German newsroom
DUBLIN, November 25, 2021 / 9:05 AM ( CNA German ).
After allegations against him, the abbot of an Irish Trappist monastery resigned as of Thursday, although a visit found that the allegations were unproven.
As the order announced, allegations were made last year against Dom Richard Purcell, Abbot of Mount Melleray Monastery (Ireland).
For this reason, the Abbot General asked for a regular visit, the main aim of which was to determine whether there was anything to the allegations against the 45-year-old monk.
The visitation was carried out by Dom Bernardus Peeters, Abbot of Tilburg (Netherlands), and M. Pascale Fourmentin, Abbess of Arnhem (Netherlands).
The investigation found the allegations were unfounded, the Order added. However, the abbot offered to resign “for personal reasons.” With the approval of his council, the Abbot General accepted the resignation, which will come into force on November 25, 2021.
The monastery, founded in 1832, is located in the Diocese of Waterford, in the south of Ireland.
According to the monastery, Dom Richard Purcell was the abbot of Mount Melleray since August 2017. Six years earlier, the Irish monk made headlines when he at the age of 33 years as abbot of the monastery Mount Joseph was chosen . Usually this is not possible until the age of 35.

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OCSO will elect a French monk as Abbot General. He will come to Ireland next summer and meet with Monks. Return to Rome. Carry out a process of discernment. Announce that MSJ will pack up their belongings and move to Mount Melleray. The College will be closed. Roscrea buildings and land sold to an upmarket hotel group. Give it 12 months. The order need the money.

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Without the scandals the order would have to make hard decisions. The current scandals allow a new abbot general to make these decisions with the current backdrop. OCSO make decisions in Rome & France. Fitzgerald resigning is as a result of his handling of the Purcell scandal. Pressure would have been applied by French monks. They want one of their own to sort out Mount Melleray and Roscrea. They will need their assets liquidated. The Trappists are experts at commercial activity. The new Abbot General will be a hard nosed money man.

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Anon at 8.02pm
Which Mt Melleray are you referring to?
1/2 million euros spent on WHAT??👀 🤷‍♂️

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Back in 2010, the Irish OCSOs were resistant to merger, saying that it was better to have a number of small presences in Ireland rather than one big one, that each house should be allowed to die out, and the problem was that each house wanted all the others to close and come to them. Some thought that admitting aspirants from overseas might help, though others queried the motives of those who would come to Ireland when there were Cistercian monasteries in their own countries.

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Yes my money would be on a French abbot general. If they close the school pre-emptively they’ll regret it if they don’t get a decent deal for the building.
Whatever they do now, the message is loud and clear that they’re aiming for death and not working with each other.
It is sooo depressing.
Who knows, an African Trappist monastery could end up making a foundation here then all the racists on here will be moaning 😂

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@ 8;02pm
You;re right, they call it ‘reordering’! and have destroyed beautiful Sanctuary’s throughout Ireland and the world to suit their new ‘liturgy’.

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@9:16pm

The Abbey Church they spent 1/2 million euros ripping out the original Altar and replacing it with a lump of concrete and a garden trellis check photo’s on google and see for yourself.

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DUBLIN, November 25, 2021 / 9:05 AM ( CNA German ).
After allegations against him, the abbot of an Irish Trappist monastery resigned as of Thursday, although a visit found that the allegations were unproven.
As the order announced , allegations were made last year against Dom Richard Purcell, Abbot of Mount Melleray Monastery (Ireland).

For this reason, the Abbot General asked for a regular visit, the main aim of which was to determine whether there was anything to the allegations against the 45-year-old monk.

The visitation was carried out by Dom Bernardus Peeters, Abbot of Tilburg (Netherlands), and M. Pascale Fourmentin, Abbess of Arnhem (Netherlands).

The investigation found the allegations were unfounded, the Order added. However, the abbot offered to resign “for personal reasons.” With the approval of his council, the Abbot General accepted the resignation, which will come into force on November 25, 2021.

The monastery, founded in 1832, is located in the Diocese of Waterford, in the south of Ireland.

According to the monastery, Dom Richard Purcell was the abbot of Mount Melleray since August 2017. Six years earlier, the Irish monk made headlines when he at the age of 33 years as abbot of the monastery Mount Joseph was chosen . Usually this is not possible until the age of 35.

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Will any journalist care to look deeper into this story and find the Kirby, Coffey, and Deenihan antecedents?

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Recently the chair of the board of governors of Cistercian College Roscrea was replaced. He had been put in place by Richard Purcell. Apparently he wanted to stay on but Br Malachy said no. Perhaps he was suspicious of his links with Purcell. I wonder if the new guy knew what he was facing.

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‘ Out of this place will flow rivers of living water.’
Fr. Athanasius: ‘New life’.

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This is a worrying development for Cistercians in Ireland. He didn’t even pretend by leaving a gap of a few weeks. Pressure was applied from his French friends. Things are fraying at the edges. Does not bode well for the lot of them. There must be serious tension internationally and utter dismay at the antics of the OCSO in Ireland. Changes are afoot.

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There must have been a terrible row, Bp Pat, resulting in both resignations. Who will be next to receive a ghostwritten email? I wonder.

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Dear Lord, thank you for your gift of the priest.
On the day of his holy and sacred ordination he promised be a serve your people; a promise to be a servant of love and mercy with a perfect and pure heart.
Lord Jesus Christ, you are the Good Shepherd: and the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.
May the priest, with a glad heart, follow in your perfect and holy example of love, and may he be happily sacrifice his own wants and desires for the benefit of others; and for the coming of the Kingdom of God.
May his undying love and willingness to put others first, at all costs, be a guiding light of love and hope for more vocations to the Holy and sacred priesthood of God. Amen!

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May those who love us, love us;
And for those who don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn’t turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.

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Any money in school accounts in Cistercian college Roscrea belongs to the Cistercian order. This includes money donated by parents and past pupils. The operations of a school’s board is clear on this. Education act states that a patron (MSJ Roscrea) are the owners of all assets. Boards cannot create bank accounts that do not have the school’s name in the account name. The fundraising in Roscrea was done under the auspices of the school. If the order again announces the school is to close, there will be an almighty row with the past pupils about money raised. The new chair of the board will be in a very difficult position. Would could guess that the previous chair who raised the money was removed to avoid the potential conflict that is about to blow up. Things are heating up for the OCSO. I think the school are about to discover where the real decisions are made. With a new AG in place all bets are off. The Irish branch of the Cistercians are about to be a cork afloat in the ocean. They will need our prayers.

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Big game hunting indeed Pat. Mr Hourigan and your good self have bagged two big beasts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, my uncle can stop spinning in his grave.

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The vast amounts of money raised to save CCR is now an important part of the Trappist jigsaw. I am not convinced the parents and pastmen fully understood how school ownership structures operate. The mix of Irish law with Canon law is relevant. Unlike some other patron bodies, the OCSO never established a limited company. Therefore the abbot has considerable control. Reading the comments above this may become a massive problem. With a new Abbot General, decisions will be made in the eternal city. The Cistercians and Vatican City Will decide how the Irish franchise is dealt with. Given the mess they have created here, patience will be thin on the ground in Italy.

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Under Shirley Bassey’s Tweet about RP’s resignation being a sad day, a Cathbot (a GP, no less) said there was no need to look into the reasons why RP resigned. That’s the kind of cover up attitude that has destroyed the reputation of the RCC in Ireland and it’s amazing that it prevails to this day.

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This story is not going away. 1. The role of Bishop Phonsie requires examination 2. The accounts of the order and Cistercian school need to be analysed. In my experience there is always a money problem where there is a sexual issue within the RCC. Deviant priests must fund their habits outside the normal structures in which they operate. Addicts can be very devious but the financial irregularities always come to light. Two resignations in as many days is s crisis for the Trappists. This is only the start of their problems. The can of worms has been well and truly opened. Phonsie is likely to find his life getting more difficult. We all know the Curia works in mysterious ways. The RCC is trying to get their house in order. The dysfunctional nature of the OCSO in Ireland is at last becoming evident. The Papal Nuncio will have been given instructions from the head office. It is going to be brutal.

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MOUNT MELLERAY SUNDAY MASS
No sign of Purcell or Phonsie at today’s Mass from Melleray. I thought Phonsie might have shown up to encourage the old monks?

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This whole saga of Purcell and then the AG raises serious questions of the Diocese of Meath and the authority (or lack thereof) of the visitation report on Silverstream. I major component of the issue there was inappropriate relationships, so I doubt Purcell could be a neutral visitator, and that lack of neutrality must render the findings at least questionable if not invalid.

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If I was a parent of a student in Cistercian college I would not be too pleased. Is this what monastic life is now all about? What is the college’s fee income funding?

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This is not true in Roscrea. The money raised was to fund the deficit in the school and to pay of loans given to the school to fund the deficit prior to 2016. The monks indicated they were not willing to fund a deficit from 2016. It is a legitimate question to ask how money raised has been spent, on what, why and by whom. The money is controlled by the abbey. It is possible the school is funding the abbey and not the other way around. It is common practice that fee paying schools in Ireland pay a grant to the patron for use of the buildings and Property. The model you put forward May be common practice in UK but most certainly not in Ireland. Any money given to the school when they had a deficit would have been loaned. This would also have to be repaid. All fee paying schools in Ireland pay a % of fee income to the owner of the schools: the religious order who set school up.

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And the money donated by past pupils and parents to save the College. Given what we have seen emerge in how they manage their affairs I dread to think of where that money has gone. We are entitled to answers about this. I hope Fr Malachy will be forthcoming and instruct the board of the school to invite the charities regulator to conduct a review.

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I agree with Anon at 10.49 re Bishop Cullinan.
In some ways he is in a similar situation to Bishop John McAreavey in Dromore who allowed the miscreant abuser Malachy Finnegan to concelebrate mass with him.
Although there is no suggestion that Purcell did anything criminal there was sufficient talk, innuendo, rumour among priests and laity and speculation on this blog that Bishop Phonsie would have known something was not right with the abbot’s personal behaviour. Even though there was no definite proof that he had failed to keep his vows the prudent course of action for Bishop Cullinan would have been to talk with Purcell and say that in light of all the talk it would be better that he ‘lay low’ for a bit until the truth or otherwise was established.
However by being on the sanctuary with RP and even photographed with Purcell exposes the bishop to the allegations that he showed a serious lack of prudent judgement at best or serious bloody mindedness at worst.
Either way his authority as bishop has been diminished and like the aforementioned Former bishop of Dromore I think he should consider his position.

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I honestly don’t see why Fonzie would respond in the way you suggest. Isn’t it clear by now that the hierarchy don’t give a damn about broken vows, the sacredness of the Eucharist or scandalizing the faithful? They used not to be bothered even if what the cleric was doing was criminal, but I think even they can see they’re living on borrowed time on covering up crime.

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It is worth remembering that the principal of the school in Mount St Joseph is a very good pal of Richard Purcell. The photo of him beside Purcell has been published here on at least 2 occasions. At the mass installing Fr Purcell as abbot in Mount Melleray as well as in photos from the school. Roscrea abbey are in this up to their necks. Purcell hanging on may have been shielding both Roscrea and Bishop Phonsie.

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Tight trousered Ger and don’t forget the other rotund side-kick. Changes already as new president announced few weeks ago so now there’s a man with a private education running a private school at last.

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As has been alluded to by previous contributors above this thing isn’t going to finish just yet Pat.
I indicated before that Rome wasn’t a bit happy. Not everyone here takes the ostrich in the sand approach, so beloved by those regularly appearing on this blog. You can rest assured that there’ll be further consequences for Phonsie and Tom unless they act extremely quickly.

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All this carnage for the very disturbed Kitty Kirby and Bishop Smith who gave him a blank cheque!

The idiocy of Deenihan and Coffey in the sham visitation of Silverstream is becoming the stuff of legends.

Rome cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the cancer that is growing in Stamullin.

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There are far fewer/almost no trolls now, Pat, and the blog is all the better for it. Not sure if they’ve given up or if you are being stricter. Either way, I much prefer it this way.

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Pat. This whole business gives a big boost to the credibility of your blog. I know that many other items were also true, despite all the denials from the great and the good.
If I were an errant cleric and featured here I’d put my hands up quick.
Trying to duck and dive and obfuscate will only bring more opprobrium on your head.
Daisy chain members take note. Armagh clergy take note. D&C naughty boys watch out.
Pat and his informants are bang on the money.

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A priest of the diocese of Meath introduced Fr Kirby to Bishop Michael Smith. That introduction has led to:
1. Diocese of Meath being exposed as the Wild West vis regulation.
2. Resignation of Cistercian Abbot
3. Resignation of Cistercian Abbot General

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No, that was the fault of the Cistercians of the Common Observance (O.Cist), Kirby’s previous order. But Smith seems not to have done any due diligence in looking into Kirby’s very unstable career.

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Not a peep about this from the ludicrous ‘Irish Catholic’. You’d think they’d find newsworthy the sudden resignations of the Abbot of Melleray and the Irishman AG of the OCSO.

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“Duckworthandco” is an anti-vaccine Kirby groupie named Nugent. He is on his fourth or fifth Twitter account (previous ones keep getting banned). He seems to be changing his tune all the sudden. 😂

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Lol, the Duckworthandco account no longer exists. Must have been booted off Twitter again.

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I suspect that this whole Irish OCSO / Cullinane business eventually registered in Rome, whether by means of the Pell channel or some other route, and swift action was initiated because it was realised how serious this matter was – not just the original commission of sin / behaviour by Purcell, but also the handling of it by the various superiors. I would think also that the nuncio will have been messaging the seriousness of the situation, and eventually that registered. I also think that this is but the first and second step in an ongoing process, and that there is more to follow, not just within the OCSOs in Ireland, but also in respect of Cullinane who has not figured very well in all of this. There will be more announcements and happenings. Watch this space.

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That is O.Cist, not the OCSO. There is a considerable difference. Like comparing FF with FG or UUP with DUP.

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The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, has offered his resignation to Pope Francis due to his “ambiguous behaviour” with a woman, his diocese announced on Friday.
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Aupetit wrote to the pope this week offering to step down following an investigation by Le Point magazine earlier this month, a diocese spokeswoman said.

“He had ambiguous behaviour with a person he was very close to,” the spokeswoman said, adding that it was “not a loving relationship”, nor sexual.

The offer to resign was “not a confession of guilt, but a humble gesture, an offer of dialogue,” she added.

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He has offered to resign and therefore the Pope will decide his future.
The Cistercians could have refused the abbot’s resignation. They didn’t. That tells you everything you need to know.

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Has the Catholic Communications Office anything to say about the resignations?
No bishop wishing them well in retirement? No statements? Sad

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The silence of the CCO and the “Irish Catholic” is another clear indication that this OCSO matter means deep doo-doo for their Lordships of Waterford and Meath, not to mention the Lord Abbot of Glenstal.

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“Dear Abbot General,
I wanted to pass on to you the information I have received from a priest .. diocese.
I wish to make a formal complaint against .. and ask for a formal investigation to be undertaken and to be informed of the outcome.
+ Pat Buckley”
6:37,
+Pat rightly sent this information to the AG in September 2020. The AG had to deal with that complaint as it was a Cistercians matter. The bishop in the Royal County will have to deal with the Priory as it is a diocesan matter.

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Archbishop Eugene Martin Nugent. Apostolic Nuncio to Kuwait and Qatar. A priest of Killaloe Diocese originally. I wonder does he maintain an interest in these home matters?

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Seams Horgan is sailing on the very high Papal sees in Washington DC, also a priest of Killaloe; he must be appalled !!

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Pat, it is truly unbelievable that the bishop of Waterford & Lismore has not wished the two abbots well in their retirement publicly. We usually read bishops statements on the Catholic Communications Office website. Also, the bishop of Killaloe should be wishing Fr Richard Purcell well in retirement as he spent a considerable amount of time administering in his diocese while in Roscrea.

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But bishops are supposed to be shepherds; are you suggesting they drop their priests, like hot potatoes, when the truth comes out?
I thought shepherds where supposed to protect the sheep, thereby setting by example of love and care?
Have I missed something… or are most Roman and Anglican bishops just corporate managers masquerading as shepherds?

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7.07: For God’s sake, Pat, what would you expect the Bishops to say publicly? After this long drawn out saga, you’d hardly expect them to shout from the rooftops or to give a public statement to the press! No. How do we know that they have/haven’t emailed or spoken privately with Fr. Purcell or the Abbot General? You are merely speculating unnecessarily. Pat, having achieved the desired effect of the resignations of 2 Cistercians and caused a rippling effect aming the monks and hierarchy and having allowed multifaceted commentary, mostly negative and harshly judgmental, is it time now to allow these humiliated men have some privacy to ponder other decisions? I believe it is. Que sera, sera. “I say to you, do not judge and you will not be judged yourselves, do not condemn and you will not be condemned yourselves: be compassionate as your heavenly Father is.” Sometimes in a drama of blame, counterblame, judgment and condemnation, intrigue, deception, gleefully rejoicing over the fall of others, we tend to forget that the words of Jesus (if we profess his name) are addressed foremost to each of us. Now that much has been brought to the light, many individuals will engage in much soul searching. If Pat’s efforts inspire self anslysis of the rigour and depth done against others, he will have achieved much.

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@7:43
You miss the point. Bishops yell off the rooftops when there’s an ordination but when it all goes pearshaped they hide their light under a bushel. Christianity is about being at the foot of the cross and seeing to be at it. The cock (unfortunate phrase given most of this is about cock) has been crowing more than 3 times and all the bishops have publicly forsaken the two abbots. Shame on them.

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Abbot Richard was in the procession for the installation of Tom Deenihan. Wouldn’t you think he’d pop up a post on the diocesan Facebook page wishing him well.

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If only Richard had kept to the confines of his monastic enclosure, instead of constantly gadding about, much of this unpleasantness could have been avoided.
I hope Richard’s successor is more humble and doesn’t see being abbot as turning him into a public figure who goes to RE conferences in LA and to every opening of an envelope in Ireland. As is often the case, pride comes before a fall.

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Apparently Richard was invited to the RE conference in LA by a US randomer who happened to hear him preach at a Mass in Melleray. A more modest monk than Richard would have laughed off the idea and said that his place was in the choir of the abbey church and not jetting off to America, where they have plenty of local monks and plenty of teachers well able to speak at the conference. Richard wasn’t even a teacher at the time.

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7.43
You sound like Pope Francis. He likes to parade his virtue in public and moralise about judgment, like you. Pope Francis excommunicated an Australian priest not so long ago , a Father Greg Reynolds. “ Who am I to judge?” Don’t use biblical passages to indulge your hypocrisy.

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Oh. So the Irish Times are only a few days behind with the news as those investitures happened earlier in the week. That means they’ll have the resignations later in week

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I’d say Patsies arm could be twisted if it was inferred that there had been a recording device in that magnificent kitchen in Drumcondra where Frisky liked to entertain. Especially the Irish Times, my brother and all.

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When these things happen in the Vatican, you can be “ promoted” Lol Lol. Ettore Balestrero did a purcel, he was dispatched as Apostolic Nuncio to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was replaced in the Secretariat of State by Antoine Camilleri, now in deep Africa as an Nuncio also !!! He has Irish study interests also….. a wee gra for the gaylick. Perhaps he knows of Cistercian Retreats.

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One of the best kept secrets in the Irish Church is who was It that was patron to the present incumbent in Meath. Who ? How ? No such thing as a secret if someone has been told.

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Ordained Deacon [of Cork and Ross] by:
Bishop Michael Smith
Coadjutor Bishop of Meath
Ordained Priest by:
Bishop Michael Murphy †
Bishop of Cork and Ross
Principal Consecrator:
Archbishop Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh
Principal Co-Consecrators:
Bishop Michael Smith
Bishop Emeritus of Meath
Bishop John Buckley
Bishop of Cork and Ross
(Ack. to David Cheney)

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He’s very involved with the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, as is Cardinal Brady who was part of his installation. Could that be the connection?

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Peter Sutherland was a Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Gregory also !!! But not conferred by Bishop Deenihan.

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Any word from the trendy priest brigade? Has the Catholic Association of Priests anything to say? These are two priests who have given many years service

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No. Hop along Mal will avoid the publicity. PR Hennessy will have been at the typewriter frantically lashing out false narratives. Mal will ignore Hennessy’s texts and calls. They are a contemporary odd couple. Bless them.

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Please do not tell me Hennessy is still involved in MSJ? Is it any wonder they are where they are ?

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They will not wish to offend. The minibus will be loaded up and the lot of them will be landed up near Phonsie.

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Me thinks they will be fretting about the potential impact on the school. The school board is very compliant and will not want to upset fr Malachy. I have it on good authority that Malachy rings the Principal at 8.30pm every night and gives his instructions. The monastery authorises all cheques and payments. All decisions in MSJ are made by the Abbot. He’s a tough place for anyone to work.

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For Richard Purcell to have resigned there must have been considerable pressure put on him. Anyone who knows Richard would recognise that he is proud and stubborn. He lived for the Abbot’s position and status. There is a massive insecurity and the need to impress was shielded by his status as an abbot. Richard demonstrated little loyalty to friends and colleagues. He is fiercely ambitious and rootless. For him to surrender his status would have required intervention from the very top. The AG would have been ignored. The papal nuncio would have been strung along. My guess is a cardinal in the Vatican intervened when they had enough. Richard’s arrogance has been his downfall. It’s a regret he pissed on people on his way up. He will have little friends on his way down. It gives me no satisfaction to say this. I am sorry he is going through this. But, he is the author of his own misfortune. Time will heal.

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Anon at 8.47pm

Good Post.

Think he wasnt comfortable with himself as pressure was showing it re photo in previous blogs. Photo re him and phonsie etc.

Onus is on Phonsie. Have no sympathy for him whatsoever due to his lack of action or decisions on RP.

Watched Bart Erhman videos as it was interesting cos he mentions women played a major role in early church with no buildings. It took place in their homes et al. Then rcc leaves women out of it in later years circa 11th century re their claims to property or assets etc. Women were treated very badly in that respect.

Cos i didn’t want to have anything with catholic bishops. It become a byword for corruption, cover ups, misappropriation of our money via parish funds, encouraged priests with problems to fester linger on.

In previous blogs that I read as I realised pat was right re bishops here cos they were rarely seen inside any church to pray cos we never saw them, stayed at their palace, never visited poor, the down trodden ones, the marginalised people such as people with disabilities,people with severe medical illness, single mothers ,misogynistic attitudes, et al.

Thats my 2 cents. 😉

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Apart at the seams. Should it not be apart at the fly. Why don’t all the be collared species do what’s civilly legal up front and tell the bosses at hogwarts to fek off. Might cause a stir across the board but sooner of later the poo will hit the phfan

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HOW-HI FLY
How’s it going aul stock. Long time no see.
Begorra hi what in tar-nation is going on at all at all.
If the collared species lived the gospel beatitudes they could
tell the bosses at hogwarts to talk a run and jump.
Now there’s so much poo the place reeks to high heaven.
Anyways God knows best so He will lead us to the promised land… whenever…
Meanwhile May the Lord Bless us keep us make his face shine on us and grant all
of us His peace.+
Bye bye fly hi.

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With reference to the use of biblical passages the one you never hear the ‘stop being nasty to the poor clergy’ crowd cite is Luke 12:48

But the one who did not know and did what deserved punishment will receive a light beating. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be expected.

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