In light of recent events at Mount Melleray Abbey; emerging events at Worth Abbey, and known events at Silverstream Priory; today, the blog is going to focus on the latter monastic institution.
I take no delight in the oblique reference made to this blog made in the accounts of Silverstream Priory available on the website of the Charities Regulator:
“The Monastery has received some negative media attention, which may have some negative impact on income for the Company. The actual financial effect this attention could have is difficult to quantify. However the Directors are confident that the Company has the capability to continue its activities profitably”.
What was the source of this negative media attention? My little blog — ably assisted by The Pillar and the Irish Independent; but, I got in there first.
However, the accounts have brushed under the carpet the following known realities.
The founding Prior Dom Mark Kirby, OSB has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct and inappropriate contact. It is the fact that there are allegations of financial mismanagement/unaccounted funds/and people being paid out the back door, recognised in all jurisdictions as tax fraud.
It is the fact that Kirby has feigned being some kind of “mystic” that receives directions from the Lord in the tabernacle. It is the fact that Kirby then decided to publish a book which was somehow both edited and ecclesiastically vetted by Dr. Peter Kwasniewski (an individual who, judging by his anti-Francis rhetoric, is well on the way to sedevacantism) a book that has endorsements from the usual crackpots: Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Viganò.
I have learned that as a priest and instructor in the United States Dom Kirby absolutely HATED the Latin Mass. He was vehemently opposed to the TLM. It was only when he became a monastic founder in the American church that he decided to reinvent himself as a liturgical conservative.
Amusingly, I see no entry in the accounts for funds received from the Archdiocese of Sydney to cover the costs of Fr. Abourjaily staying at Silverstream for an extended period. I wonder was that another “cash under the counter” job?
It has been the repeated failure of Bishop Deenihan to do the right thing. It is clear that he has punished the whistleblower, Dom Benedict Anderson by forcing him to reside outside the house of his monastic profession. Like a typical ignorant Cork-born man, Deenihan has weaponised the canonical processes of the Church in attempt to punish and undermine the credibility of Anderson by accusing him of violating the seal of confession. I have it on good authority from priests of the Diocese of Meath that the allegation made against Andersen came from within Silverstream.
It continues to be scandalous that Silverstream Priory to have Mark Kirby as one of its Directors, who according to the accounts served as the company secretary throughout the financial year.
In light of its sad history and the sordid past of its founder, the harsh reality is that Silverstream Priory does not have a future. In any other Irish Diocese, Silverstream would be facing suppression, but I suspect, Deenihan does not want to be seen to be acting and responsive to his brother Bishop in Larne, Pat Buckley.
Conversely, the adverse publicity from the blog has been good for Silverstream. We read the following: “At the end of the financial year the charity has assets of €2,725,454 (2019 – €2,570,177) and liabilities of €126,574 (2019 – €146,643). The net assets of the charity have increased by €175,346”.
Also in the accounts we read the following:
“The principal activity of the company is the advancement of the Catholic faith through the establishment of a Benedictine monastery in Ireland. The company relies on donations to continue its work and there is always the risk of not getting sufficient funds to continue the development of the monastery. However, the Directors intend to set aside excess funds for future development. The company had a surplus of €175,346 compared with a surplus in 2019 of €37,780 while net assets at 31st December 2020 amounted to €2,598,880 compared with net assets of €2,423,534 as at 31st December 2019”.
Bishop Deenihan will be pleased by all that cash; because, when Silverstream Priory is suppressed by a Decree of the Holy See its closure will engorge the coffers of the Diocese of Meath. Bishop Tom who loves the Latin Mass, will keep encouraging the cash to keep rolling in Silverstream’s bank account.
I wonder: did Bishop Deenihan receive a generous “gift” from Silverstream when he was appointed the Bishop of Meath? In the church it is known as a “gift” in industry it is known as a “bribe”.
Silverstream Priory has been fantastic for the viewing figures of my blog. Because, it is a scandal that is not going away. It is a gift that keeps on giving. And, I am sure it will be the source of many more stories until the Priory is suppressed. You never know: my blog might get a bigger mention in the accounts next year.