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DO THE IRISH CISTERCIANS HAVE A FUTURE?

On December 5, Dom Brendan Freeman, OCSO, gave a chapter talk to the community at New Melleray Abbey, a monastery that was founded by monks from Mount Melleray Abbey in the American state of Iowa in 1849. Until recently, Dom Freeman had been the Superior ad nutum of Mellifont Abbey, again, a foundation of Mount Melleray Abbey.

Unfortunately, Dom Freeman has a reputation as being the superior that oversees the closure of Cistercian monastic houses. He was the superior that oversaw the closure and suppression of The Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity in Huntsville, Utah. And, his appointment as Superior ad nutum is usually a negative portent of the closure of a monastic house.

In his chapter talk at New Melleray Abbey, Dom Brendan observes the following:

“When I was asked to be superior ad nutum I was at a loss on what I was suppose [sic] to do, but as I watched the community over the last weeks, the longest I have been at New Melleray in eight years, by the way I saw something I missed in the initial weeks I was here. When I arrived on the 20th of September I was shocked by how much the community has changed over the years I was gone – the aging process is advancing rapidly and the question looms large over the horizon, how long can we last?”

His question: “how long can we last” is also appropriate for the Irish Cistercian houses.

This Blog exposed the sexual scandal of Dom Richard Purcell and the callous indifference the same by the Abbot General, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, OCSO and the Bishop of Waterford, Alphonsus Cullinan. So at the time of writing Mount Melleray Abbey, does not have a named superior. The question is: why? We have recently learned that Richard Purcell was seen shopping in Dublin. Clearly, he must be adjusting to his new state with relative ease.

PHONSIE TURNED A BLIND EYE

Mount St. Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, has not elected an abbot in recent years. The superior, Dom Malachy Thompson, OCSO, has not been elected Abbot. Why?

With the return of Dom Brendan Freeman to New Melleray Abbey, it would appear that Mellifont Abbey does not have a named superior. And again, it is appropriate to ask: why?

Upon reaching the age prescribed by the constitutions, Dom Celsus Kelly, OCSO, submitted his resignation and, he has been the Superior ad nutum of Portglenone since 2019. Again, this is a foundation of Mount Melleray Abbey.

Currently, the only male Cistercian Abbey in Ireland to have an Abbot is Bolton Abbey, Moone, Co. Kildare. This is the Canadian-born, Dom Michael Ryan, OCSO. This is a community founded by Roscrea.

Readers of the blog will remember that the allegations of the misconduct made against Richard Purcell were brought to the personal attention of Dom Ryan in his capacity as Father Immediate of Mount Melleray Abbey. He ignored the allegations. He also failed to respond to a letter sent by individuals that had been engaged to deal with the Purcell allegation. So, we can legitimately describe Ryan as a cover-up merchant and a company man.

Realistically, the only solution for the Irish Cistercians is mass amalgamation into one single monastery. So the question is which one will it be? My money is on Mount Melleray Abbey. Roscrea has the burden of the school; the other houses are simply unsuitable. I suspect the lands that come with these monasteries will be sold. However, I have it on good authority that the lands of Bolton Abbey are subject to a number of restrictions meaning it will return to the original benefactors should the community be closed and suppressed.

We also can surmise that Dom Michael Ryan, OCSO, is wholly unsuitable to be elected superior of a “super community” at Mount Melleray Abbey as is Dom Malachy Thompson for reasons that for the moment are best left unsaid.

THOMPSON

Also, excluded is the former Abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey, Dom Augustine who is now living in a cottage. Again, he is wholly unsuitable for reasons that are left unsaid for the time being.

AUGUSTINE

It is interesting that the return of Dom Brendan to New Melleray Abbey and the possible announcement of replacement superiors at Mount Melleray Abbey and Mellifont were not announced on the website of the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance. Clearly, they do not want anything appearing on my blog.

The bigger question is: do the Cistercians in Ireland have a future?

155 replies on “DO THE IRISH CISTERCIANS HAVE A FUTURE?”

+Pat, are you intimating at further scandals involving the leadership of the Irish Cistercians? You are very cryptic about Dom Augustine! This is a provocative blog. And, I think there are no easy answers to your question. I think they will always be men who feel called to follow the Cistercian way of life. But I think the more appropriate question is can they be formed to live that vocation?

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+Pat,
There were motions put in play by Dom Ryan. You accuse the wrong man. He is a very good and Holy man known personally and professionally to The Holy Goat.

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@+Pat,
Have we come to the point where a man needs to prove his innocence?
Dom Ryan is not C.Daly. You can reap neither healing nor revenge in this manner.

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Genuine question – what’s wrong with Malachy Thompson? Maybe a little too new to the scene to be considered for any leadership roles, but I thought he was a good ‘un?

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+ Pat, I think the answer to that question is self-evident. I think the Irish Cistercians are in deep trouble. If you have the Abbot of Glenstal Abbey (Benedictine) asking a monk of a fledging Priory (that is riven with its own sexual scandal, ie, Kitty Kirby) for an exculpatory statement on behalf of an Irish Cistercian Abbot — in the Irish Cistercians are in deep trouble. This is nothing new within monastic life but it is saddening to see is occurring on our own doorstep. But, we trust in the Providence of God…
I would like to see a large community of Cistercians in a single place — preferably at Mount Melleray Abbey, because ultimately numbers beget numbers, and that might encourage vocations. I am deeply grateful that you and Robert Hourigan exposed Richard Purcell; because at least the Cistercians have a chance to heal and overcome this scandal.

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It is a bit ominous, for the Abbot would surely be aware of the Kirby creepy stuff. It suggests the Abbot is either on another planet, unaware of how creepy or crooked Kirby is, or Glenstal has far worse. A big part of me doesn’t want to know, but these scandal worsen if they fester.

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Interestingly on the OSCO website there is a schedule of regional meetings except there is no mention of the Region of the Isles to which the UK and Ireland and Scandinavia belong. So it may be at the general meeting in February that the situation regarding the state of the male monasteries is discussed.

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There is another bigger picture which is that world wide, judging from the number of closures mentioned on their website, the Cistercians are having a thin time.
However it is a perennial vocation of the church so will spring back in the future. And certainly in Ireland, the huge number of Cistercian monasteries and until recently only one male Benedictine monastery suggests the charism may suit people there better?
As you say if they are declining and there are goings on, the present set up is doomed, even the amalgamated monastery, if the same problems are present.
It’s obviously very distressing for a lot of people who have held the Cistercians in affection. 😮‍💨

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‘unsuitable for reasons that are left unsaid for the time being’ is intriguing. Yes, Cistercians have a future, and an awesome past, and a fine charism. but unless all the present leadership team or those they would likely recruit, are no long about, there won’t be progress. They have patently a ‘three monkeys’ attitude to wrongdoing.

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Well, Pat, not content with closing the Irish College and eviscerating Gaynooth, you seem to be on a mission to close the Cistercians.

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I’m not on any such mission. I started visiting Mellifont at 16 and loved it. I want reform, not dissolution.

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Certainly the dissolution of Silverstream and sadly Maynooth is irreformable given the staff the bishops keep appointing there.

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Silverstream should be kept, albeit reformed, but I agree with you, Pat, that Maynooth is totally irredeemable. It should have been put out of its misery years ago. It isn’t recognisably a seminary anymore, is a byword for seminarian and clerical sexual promiscuity, produces hardly any priests, most of them leave a few years after ordination, and all say that it provided very poor preparation for priestly ministry. It is an expensive liability that must go.

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The Priory must be given the opportunity to reform. The role of the visitation was to guide them on the right path. There’s surely monitoring of their progress by the diocese. The ongoing investigations are another matter. They cannot go on indefinitely.

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Silverstream has a decent number of young monks and priests, basically a good business model, lots of donors, if that’s not too crude. If Silverstream wasn’t TLM, I wonder +Pat if your attitude would differ. Maynooth really needs to close, and something new tried. Perhaps All Hallows or another new foundation could work with a smaller footprint and as much activity as possible be farmed out to dioceses. Even new students can at least serve Mass somewhere without burning down the premises.

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Unfortunately the satellite monasteries are not needed anymore and have served their purpose in the last century in what was essentially a very different Ireland. Mountmelleray is the main Cistercian foundation on the island and remains so.

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Catholicism is dead. People only use the church to do things that ‘everyone else does’ . Get married, baptism, deaths. People who use Catholic services like this are real stupid people.

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@ 8:01: Could you clarify please?
Are they stupid for only restricting their involvement with the RCC to these rites of passage; implying they should be MORE involved?
Or are they stupid for involving themselves in such meaningless jiggerypokery which bases its relevance on a non existent God, and could such rites be marked by more meaningful communal ceremonies?

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@ 1:30: In terms of evidence, it up to believers to show evidence that the God they worship actually exists, not for doubters to prove that God does NOT exist.
Those who claim that pink elephants circle Mars are in a similar league to God believers. Nobody can disprove the pink elephant theorists. Similarly, nobody can disprove the God existence theoricists.
Scientific advances may well one day show no pink elephants. I’d place more money on that than “finding” this extremely elusive God!

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Sammy, you can believe whatever you like, use whatever comparative analogies tickles your fancy. I couldn’t careless. If you claim God doesn’t exist produce evidence to verify your claim. By the way, God finds us, we don’t find God. But you wouldn’t understand if
you have no faith, would you?

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@10:10: If YOUR God, as you claim, “finds us”, how come he makes such a lousy job of it with so many avowed atheists, agnostics, and all those who believe in dozens of other gods instead of YOUR god?
You don’t seem to have understood what Sammy said. That doesn’t surprise me at all: Your linkage of ‘faith’ to ‘understanding ‘ indicates your limitations.
But again, you won’t understand that either

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10:14 am
Thomas, if you sincerely desire GOD make yourself available.
I understood Sammy- you don’t understand from a faith perspective.
How could you, if you don’t believe in GOD.
GOD Bless, Thomas.

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Anon@ 2:09, whoever you are,(without the courtesy of adopting a pseudonym to facilitate dialogue!) if your all powerful loving ( sic) God is as capricious as the Bible evidences him, and humankind’s miseries prove, then I want nothing to do with such a being.
I’ve read in a book written by a Presbyterian minister, that “faith is desperately believing what you know to be patently untrue.”
Says it all I think!

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3:47pm

Thomas, don’t believe everything you read.
GOD has the last word. (Omega).
Pax.

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@2:09, possibly same anon @4:00 ( as previously said: some eejits just don’t understand how a pseudonym assists debate, but maybe they only want to spurt an unchallenged comment!)…..you say …”desire God, make yourself available .” Do you not realise how crazy that comment is?
Think about it, ….long and hard, for I won’t give you any clues!

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5:22 pm

Thomas, I’m not particularly interested in debate.
Why do you consider my comment on desiring GOD by making yourself available, as crazy?

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Janis: simple answer: ‘cos there’s simply no reliable evidence that there is a god! And it’s down to “believers ” to reliably PROVE that such a being exists. Otherwise ” making oneself available to god” is simply wishful thinking. And that’s crazy.

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9:04pm
Thomas, a quick response;for those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible. I dare you-make yourself available to GOD in silence each day, 20 mins for 3 months. You never know what might happen. Pax.

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Janis @ 9:43.
Been there: done it: got all the tee shirts!
Did all the “meditation stuff” in my clerical days, St Ignatius of Loyola’s 30 days retreat, Lough Derg, countless other “retreats” and all that! I now realise what a load of ‘self seducing’ emotional and psychological indoctrinational claptrap it all was, and is.
I have no ‘vacuum of need’ to fill.
It is quite sufficient that I am continually astounded and amazed, to now be alive, …..to exist with an understanding, however limited, of the happenstance of evolutionary development over endless time that has brought this all about. My understanding is certainly shaped by post grad psychology and psychiatric study awareness of the compelling forces of what I call, for simplicity sake, childhood, familial and community indoctrination.
And I’m grateful for this understanding, with no inclination or need to thank some imagined Being for bringing it all about.
PS. Just very content now listening to recording of Status Quo, Live & Acoustic at London’s Roundhouse, supping a Guiness. Ain’t life marvellous?
Slainte mo chara

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11:30 pm

Thomas, thank you for your refreshing openness.
What’s the betting I have more tee-shirts than you?(I know I have from your comment).
Life is wondrously mysteriously breathtakingly marvellous!
I sincerely hope you are happy.
Be careful postgrad psychology-psychiatric studies doesn’t replace other indoctrinational claptrap.
There’s plenty of claptrap in psychology-psychiatry. (I know a thing or two on both).
Be grateful for everything including; the air you breathe, each nano second of life,
and each pint of Guinness…! (I’m a Smithwick man) & (Guitar junkie).
Go out into the deep…. Keep searching……Seek and you shall find…
I once was lost but I am found….
Pax.
Ciao, Thomas.

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You’re absolutely correct @ 9::55. It will persist indefinitely while naive children continue to be indoctrinated into its emotional and psychological stranglehold. But of course intelligent well informed people, like you perhaps, don’t fall into that category. 🤔
You’re sure you caught the right boat, aren’t you?
🚣🚣‍♀️🚣‍♂️

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8:01 am — That’s not completely true, come on now. What about all the outreach work which goes on in the churches? Bingo clubs? Old ladies’ prayer / Rosary groups? Assisting the homeless and those cast aside, to mention just a small handful.
“Church” is not just all about sacramental worship (although that’s what brings many Christians together on a Sunday or for Mass / Lord’s Supper).
Church also very much about people (including our joys, struggles and pains — it’s about community and Love in Action.
It is also about using many of our God given talents for the benefit of others and the wider community — not just ourselves.

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For many decades the nature of Catholicism and Christianity have changed. No amount of monk/monastery/church bashing will make things any better. We have diagnosed the problems, crises and challenges. What we want now are realistic visions and definitions of new ways of being the leaven/light which the gospel requires. How can we in 21st century – those who truly care – create something radically new, sustaining and attractive for a world which is increasingly secular, certainly the western world. Those of us in parishes realise the dufficulties and challenges and try to engage meaningfully with parishioners to make parishes places of kindness, caring and welcome, inspired by Christ. This happens in parishes on a daily basis. Until we have a totally new aggiornamento, we who are in parishes make efforts towards gospel inspired communities. Focusing on the moral failures/failings/sins of individuals over and over sgain will not effect the necessary renewal we all desire. Religious communities of all hues are very aware of their challenges. Perhaps the old ways must die before new life begins again. And what may appear as new and different often holds its own shadows of darkness and deceit. God help us.

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8.08am

All this talk about renewal and change has been going on since the 60s, and Frank has breathed new life into it. The problem is that those who talk this way are old (see the attendances at synodal talking shops) and they haven’t passed on the faith, either in their families or in the wider community. The future is small, orthodox, believing communites and young, orthodox priests.

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Doubting Thomas @ 12:32pm

You’re well named Thomas but doubting too much for a Dub. Why don’t ya get down the quay’s and get on the right boat. I’m absolutely in the right boat I’m sure someone as highly intelligent as yourself will soon find the right boat and jump on. 😏

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11:51 Bela can hardly be described as adult in his approach to the faith. I shudder to think what his sex life is like.

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Actually nobody was “saved” ON the Titanic. Only some of those with the good sense to abandon ship.
And just like Titanic, your “True Faith” RCC flagship is irretrievably doomed!

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@ 8:45am

You’re right it is truly wicked, but very bad and not funny at all. This blog wither intentionally or not has done great service to The Church by exposing these degenerates so we can be rid of them.

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12.38
Show by the maturity of your comments that you’re capable of better. Pat will likely not block you then.

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@11:58

On the island of Ireland, we have three male Benedictine houses. The one in Rostrevor, which is not mired in scandal; Silverstream Priory, which needs to be suppressed as a matter of urgency, and, the pink palace that is Glenstal Abbey. Abbot Coffey is an absolute disaster. I am sure there was a lot more scandal to emerge about his involvement in Silverstream Priory. Depending on your worldview Bishop Buckley has a nasty habit of been right about church scandals. But, you are right what has emerged about the Irish Cistercians on this blog is very distressing.

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‘I couldn’t help myself’
At the last judgement Our Lord won’t take that rubbish from you Bela

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1.28
Bela Lugosi, that’s hardly the comment of a mature faith-filled person. Jim S. chided you for your lack of personal responsibility earlier today. Do something about it.

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Honestly if Silverstream was rejigged a bit, the flow of donations and the age profile give it a future, for the other places have none. Honestly I think the TLM is the cause of much of the animosity towards it, even if its charism was a probably due to Kirby sniffing out that TLM was better for cashflow. Reportedly Kirby disliked the TLM before Silverstream and Jesus started talking to him from the tabernacle.

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Pat, are you suggesting with this blog that there is more sexual scandals to emerge from the Irish Cistercians?

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“…for reasons that are left unsaid for the time being.”

Are you preparing for a three or four-day Christmas special, Bp Pat? I wonder.

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Do you remember when the ‘Ra used to have Christmas spectaculars? Blog readers, especially the OAPs, have been urging a blog Xmas special, especially as we will all be cooped in this Christmas and there’s only repeats and shite like Mrs Brown on the telly on the big day.

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9.45: Oh go on Pat, go on. You ain’t someone to practice sensitivity. So go on, go on, go on…tell us.

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Mumsy isn’t good at waiting, has obviously never had an unfulfilled whim and certainly thinks everyone else is there to serve her.

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11 03: What wonderfully attractive model of ministry, priesthood and prayer have you offered any of us to give hooe for a “new” time as you so proclaim? Zero. Yours is a model grounded in vindictiveness, arrogance, pride and self adulation. There’s also a horrible nastiness to your approach. While you have rightly called out abuse and corruption, there’s no evidence if any genuine Christ likeness in your treatment of fallen clerics. You delight and rejoice in their degradation. Christ DID NOT do that. Don’t you think you should allow the Cistercians sort out their internal challenges? You approach all issues with mendacity and nastiness.

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12.42: No defensiveness at all. Have never or would never defend any abuse or corruption. Two people got jail sentences for abuse because of my astuteness and at least four secretaries in schools and parishes were fired because of my antennae re: misappropriation of funds. I could write stories but one thing I didn’t do or would ever countenance doing is to completely demoralise or flatten people because of failures or sinfulness or moral transgressions. I keep the image of Jesus forgiving the condemned woman but asking her to sin no more as my guiding principle. Somewhere in our pastoral caring we must allow Christ’s mercy and compassion guide our response, even if we feel revulsion at the sin. Tough but it’s the gospel imperative. If you wish to refer to this as piotious or defensiveness, then I’ll happily accept these epithets. Daily condemnations and denigrating fallen people never rehabilitates anyone. Ever.

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You constantly remind us of the two people…etc…etc…etc…
Might I remind you the Purcell Affair involves leaders of the RCC in Ireland.
These leaders have responsibilities to ALL the faithful of the country.
If they are unable to take their responsibilities seriously, I suggest they need to consider their positions.

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There is just so much to unpack in your comment, but those with eyes to see can see, and there’s no point saying it because you’ll just start ranting that I’m deliberately misunderstanding. 😉

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12.42: You are correct in your self judgment. Those who have ears to hear….truly hear!! You don’t!!

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1:41 No, dear. Hearing doesn’t mean agreeing. That’s what you don’t understand.

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1.51: How very dare you question Mumsy’ s request? Silly old boy. Get thee over to my house for a spanking. That’ll warm your cockles…

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A pale imitation of the commenter who called themselves MC’s mother, who made intelligent and funny comments.

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Anin at 12.22: Whow! What a bomb of a comment. Great truth in It. So many critics and condemners rarely have an ounce of mercy or human decency as shown so frequently on this blog. Pat is indeed the cheerleader.

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I’m shocked to see pat comments on Augustine whom I met one or twice a decade ago. What’s supposed to mean re ‘unsuitable for reasons that are left unsaid for the time being’.
Thought Dom Augustine was perfect for his role. I found him nothing wrong as he’s nice to talk to. He wrote a book on little padre pio from what I know. Re our discussion, one thing he surprised me was his scepticism of late Fr o Brien. I didn’t know what to say to him next but kept schtum to myself.

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12.45. Deaf Guy. Who is the Fr O Brien of whom you speak ? Is it the famous Fr Athanasius of Mount Melleray who was very well known as a spiritual director?

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Anon at 5.11pm
Its a long time ago as my memory bit hazy re details. I can’t rem exactly what he said to me. But I rem asking him about Fr A o brien’s as healing monk. Cos I have heard some stories re him and later my personal healing experience with him. Hence my question to him if you understand my drift.
*
What I rem was his face expression say him? His face displayed lot of sceptical or question marks re looks. He was 50-50. He had already heard of that healing monk.
*
I asked that question in Mellifont Abbey where he was then an abbot I think. Then I got a feedback.

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Pat, where does Fonzie’s turning a blind eye fit in this menagerie of monastic misbehaviour? He ought to have had a word with you when this sad sorry saga
kicked off two years ago.

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They don’t have a future if, as you suggest, several monks in leadership are compromised or not living the life. If so, the fact they have got into leadership roles suggests the rest are turning a blind eye or the whole thing is rotten. Either way, doomed.
I would doubt there’s much chance of help from elsewhere in the order either, even if the rest of the order isn’t in the same shape.
The genius thing in St Benedict’s way is stability and autonomous monasteries because it keeps these things within one monastery and stops other monasteries getting infected. The more recent tendency for monasteries to group together allows for mutual help but also contagion.

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People used to say that the word ‘strict’ in the name of OCSO is what traditionally accounted for the once well populated Cistercian monasteries in Ireland. That we Irish were attracted by asceticism and a penitential charism, ‘the hard way’more so than by the rule of Benedict and its tentench towards moderation

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The enduring popularity of Lough Derg until recent times – when it went soft, woke, ecumenical and New Age – testifies to that desire for challenge. Think of the Orthodox, with their many fast days. We in the West could learn much from that.

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Of course the Cistercians have a future. We all do, and the most important parts of that are the Four Last Things, though most blog readers probably don’t believe any of that, other than the sin of presumption of going to Heaven.

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Luckily threats of eternal damnation have long since failed to control people, 2:47. And even if they did, don’t overestimate how attractive the idea of being where you are, is.

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Anon at 6.36pm

Poster asked which fr o brien. I knew there was only one fr o brien in Mt Melleray at that time. Not two o brien’s, hence 😉.

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I live near Mount St Joseph in Roscrea. It breaks my heart to see it’s demise in recent decades. Fr Richard Purcell was not content behind the stone walls. The school should have closed 20 years ago. It is depressing to see what the monastery has become. Malachy Thompson was the last man standing, it is a pity he has been suffering and handling his unsuitability as superior in the manner that he has. The community has accepted that they will be relocating to Mount Melleray next summer. The school is likely to announce its closure next March after the election of a new Abbot General. Difficult times ahead for all.

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Dear 2:45 pm,
No need to learn from the Orthodox! All those practices have been part of the true west even within living memory. Who can forget the black fast which persisted into the early sixties? Or the fast of Christmas Eve? Not to mention fasts on Saturdays as well as the Friday. The fast from midnight for communicants.
The Orthodox have the advantage of economia which means that not everyone has to observe every jot and tittle of the fasting rules. All are expected to try. Monks are expected to do more.
I just thought of a funny thing that happened at the Greek monastery’s gift shop in Arizona. It’s their custom to hand out cake to visitors. We were there one Great Lent with some friends. The monk distributed cake to me and the others but not to my wife. When she asked why I got a big piece and she none, the monk replied, “ Oh, he’s a big Irishman and needs the energy,but you Greek and should be fasting.”

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Most Orthodox do not fast (as in reducing the quantity of food and restricting the times it can be taken), but they have elaborate rules about abstaining (quality of food). But these rules, bizarrely, allow the eating of a big expensive lobster while on the same day forbidding a cheap McDonald’s hamburger. So, while Catholics admittedly have totally lost the plot on bodily asceticism, the Orthodox virtue signaling on food is simply not as impressive as advertised.

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You have eliminated two sitting abbots, Bp Pat, so their survival looks bleak if you plan to vet each potential replacement.

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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10266221/amp/Father-admits-FAKED-photos-daughter-7-accusing-school-abuse-Syndrome.html
This is none other than Fr Jeffrey Steel of Westminster diocese, former parish priest of St John’s Wood, North London and a married former Anglican (and former presbyterian) who left the priesthood after having an affair with another women. He returned to Florida and is now a registered ACNA Presbyter as well as being chaplain to a hospital in Melbourne, Florida

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You’re telling me, luv! I have never encountered such established corruption than in the upper echelons of the Anglican/Civil bodies.
I was just as shocked to find the Civil Courts are “overshadowed” by the Anglican bishops!
However, I would always advise persistance when submitting your evidence and paperwork, together with any other necessary documentation. Everybody knows that’s the only way to get a fair hearing.
After all: the pen is mightier than the sword. Isn’t it, luv? x

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In the UK, aren’t notaries public overseen by the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, their heirarchs sit in the Lords and the sovereign can be any religion as long as they are not Catholic. And some people had the cheek to claim that Ireland was a theocracy.

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There are only around 700 Public Notaries in England and Wales and their work is mainly certifying documents for overseas jurisdictions.

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It’s very odd that none of the stories (at least that I’ve seen) mention that he’s a clergymen, or a former RC priest. One would think that this would be a juicy aspect to the story.

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Bishop Pat, I have tried to call up my bank for over 3 days now, even the emergency scam/fraud helpline to cancel customer voice security verification (I made contact with the bank security team, yesterday but they refused to cancel it… 🤔). Whenever I call the the bank customer service number I just can’t get through! It’s all very strange! ! !
Why would the bank security team refuse to help when you have been the victim of identity fraud in this situation?
Anybody any ideas??
Any??

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It is exceedingly perverse that the venerable Irish Cistercian tradition, from Ss. Bernard and Malachy, is dying, while the Yank carpetbagging, money-grubbing, rad-trad closet queens at Silverstream Priory get to continue on, thanks to the self-serving machinations of the Cork ignoramus Tommy Deenihan. But I suppose we get the Church we deserve!

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7.24: What may I respectfully ask is the Church you have created, renewed and reformed? Or seen you all mouth but no action? Think so.

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Whatever it is, it’s not the one where handsy perverts who hear voices are put in charge of young men.

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Most Irish religious houses are barely viable or not viable. Silversteam has a very young age profile, and has a good flow of donations. Unless the Cistercians can work out how the Dominicans can do well in these times without TLM or other unusual things, they are essentially finished, and any house will have to be essentially refounded from abroad. Irish monks did do something like that in the past in other places.

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8.58
How many Irish OP’s adopt a public profile at variance with their private one. As for the TLM their noviceship director reads Mass in Latin and he might as well be reading the Kama Sutra for all he understands.

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What of it if they use the traditional Dominican Rite? Would it be a crime, if it was done so publicly once of twice. Presently they use the LOTH and Dominican New Order, and unlikely nearly all Orders they’re not on the brink of collapse. Reading the Dominican Mass in Latin can (almost certainly is) simply be the New OP Mass in Latin, which is done in conventual context reasonably often. I’m sure they secretly stamp on images of Pope Francis in private. Seriously, if the prior is happy and the Rule is followed, some private devotion is neither here nor there. Seriously, the OP work and the others don’t, and seeming to attribute it to private TLMs, suggests the TLM has incredible power. I, for one, suggest competent leadership who mixed V2 and the Dominican charism and worked it out, unlike the rest. An abbot who fails to get vocations isn’t competent, and should not blame the weather or changes in society. The OCist both fail in vocations and are riven with scandal. If there is something right in the world, their entire leadership team will offer their resignation and apologise for failing. Almost all Irish religious houses should do the same. They’re nearly all useless, chocolate teapots.

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I doubt it. Latin is hard to get to a high standard, whether chanting it or writing it, but basic reading and understanding is not that hard.
Nearly all the fathers of V2 (barring the sketchy Cardinal Cushing, the man who gave Shanley a permanent apostolate to street children after complaints), easily understand the speeches which were all in Latin. So much lost.
Anyhow, while the Dominicans have prospered in circumstances where the Benedictines and Cistercians have failed. If a Dominican priest doesn’t quite understand the text of the conventual Mass he’s offering, it matters very little. Obviously the prior should suggest the priest gets lessons lest his words be hard to follow gibberish, if his Mass be not private.

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10.48
Is your point that his English and Irish are as poor as his Latin?

If so, then not only should he be prevented from saying Mass in these languages but he also should never have been put in charge of novices. Devastating!

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I don’t think it was even covered up, it was just normal practice. They just hadn’t reckoned on someone like Bp Pat.

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We are two thirds of the way through our advent reading of the 24 chapters of the Gospel of Luke.
16:29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
16:30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
16:31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Pax.

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As for the know-all who last noght on here wanted to say the Maynooth Chapel Choir was not the Maynooth seminary choir …..

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10.45
1. The press release said The Chapel Choir, The Chamber Choir and The Schola Gregoriana would be the only three singing on this occasion.

2. The presider and President said the seminary choir would sing the next carol.

3. Ergo. QED.

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Pat, surely Fr Aelred (Gerard) Magee would be a strong-runner for Super Abbot – or at least Abbot of Portglenone in the short-term? A decent man and extremely popular during his time as Chaplain of QUB.

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How do you know this? Perhaps his concerns were ignored – just like yours Pat.

Do you not think Aelred would make a good Abbot? The students of QUB loved him!

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Fr Aelred (Gerard) Magee knew about Purcell’s misconduct; he remained silent.
He should be never be elected the abbot of any community.

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SeamusVIII at 6:39, you said “The Priory must be given the opportunity to reform.” How is this possible if the former prior is still resident?

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One very seriously doubts the seriousness of the diocese’s desire to “reform” Silverstream if Kirby is allowed to remain on the scene and manipulate things. One further doubts the sincerity of reform-mindedness when the actual prior is a layman in his twenties.

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