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IS FORMER ABBOT RICHARD PURCELL LIVING THE DREAM IN AUSTRALIA?

First published on http://www.catholicrejects.com

4.5.22

I’ve been kicked out. Dumped. Given the boot. Ditched. Stabbed in the back. Whatever. By Dom Michael, Abbot of Bolton Abbey, Co Kildare.

DOM MICHAEL

Not, I hasten to add, because of something I did or did not do. But because … the Abbot of Mount Melleray, Co Waterford was – How shall I say? – XXXXXXX the XXXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX of a XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX in the XXXX XXXXXXX of the XXXXXXXXXX of his XXX XXXXXXXXX

How logical is that? Let alone, fair or even – Dare I say it? – Christian.

JUST THINKING ABOUT IT MAKES ME CRY BLOOD

Vocations are dangerously low. Religious orders are desperate for new members. But I’ve just been thrown out of Mount Mellery, which once famously included a Buddhist monk as a member of its community. The fact, he was called Rai Doh, Japanese for I love cleaning floors, may or may not have been a factor in making him an honorary Cistercian monk in the first place.

But the fact remains. I’ve been kicked out. Dumped. Given the boot. Ditched. Stabbed in the back. Whatever. By the holy, very reverend Dom Michael, Abbot of Bolton Abbey, Co Kildare.

Sufficient to the day is the evil in it,” says The Imitation. Trouble is I didn’t expect the evil to be created in the monastery itself. What’s more, never in a million years did I expect that I would be the one to suffer because of it. Especially at the hands of a holy, very reverend Abbot.

Not, I hasten to add, because of something I did or did not do. But because of what the Abbot did.

How logical is that? Let alone, fair or even – Dare I say it? – Christian.

What makes it worse, is that for over 60-years, I have been trying to become a Cistercian monk. And I’m still trying.

I first discovered Thomas Merton, the world’s most famous Cistercian monk, when I was 16-years-old. I had just left school. I got a job as a reporter on a local newspaper in South London called The Merton and Morden News. The first morning I was there, the lady chief reporter said to me, “You’re useless to me unless you know something about Merton and Morden. Go to the local library. Read everything you can about the area.”

I went to the local library. I went to the filing cabinets. Remember filing cabinets? I flicked through the cards until I came to Merton. Not Merton and Morden. But Merton, Thomas – Autobiography. Elected Silence. I got the book and spent all day reading it. I was hooked. I wanted to become a Cistercian monk. Like Thomas Merton.

The following morning, I went back to the office. The lady chief reporter asked me if I had read everything about Merton. “Yes,” I told her. “Fascinating. Like to read more.” She sent me back to the library. I spent the rest of the day reading and re-reading the book. I was convinced. Silence. Solitude. Simplicity. Prayer. It was what I wanted.

I didn’t come from a particularly religious family. But I always wanted to be a priest. At 11/12-years old when other altar boys were going off to the junior seminary, I wanted to go with them. My father had just died. The priests told me, No. Stay at home and look after your mother. I did as the priests said. At 16 when other altar boys were going off to the senior seminary, I wanted to go with them. The priests said, No. Go out to work. Earn some money. Help support your mother. I did as the priests said.

Reading Thomas Merton changed everything. During weekends and holidays, I would hitchhike to Cistercian monasteries all over the country. When I first went to Mount St Bernard, the big Cistercian monastery in England, they wouldn’t let me in. Even to the guesthouse. They said I was too young. Instead, I spent the week living in the telephone box in the lane outside, going in and out to all the services.

I bought all the Thomas Merton books as they were published. I not only read and studied the books, I read and studied all the books Merton kept referring to. The Salesians taught me the basics. How to read, write and make wooden toothbrush holders. Merton introduced me to the world. This one and the next.

As I got older and travelled the world – I’ve been to over 200 countries. Most of them, many times over – I visited and stayed in monasteries whenever I had the chance. Gethsemani. Merton’s monastery in Kentucky. Solesmes, the famous Benedictine monastery in France. Abbaye de Keur Moussa, just outside Dakar, Senegal. I even drove 4,000 kms from Paris to Tammanrasset in the middle of the Sahara to visit the hermitage of the ex-Trappist monk, Charles de Foucauld.

Three years ago, I was suddenly free. No relatives. No ties. Nothing. What to do? Spend the rest of my life whooping it up with the saddle sniffers at the St Tropez Polo Club? Drag out my days in a penthouse suite at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin? Instead I thought I’d try once again to become a Cistercian monk. Spend the rest of my life in silence and solitude, praying, as Cassian says, with “ruthless self-disciplined determination without ceasing in preparation for that first direct encounter with God.”

It wasn’t easy. I had been staying at Mount Melleray Abbey off and on for over 30-years. I’ve spent some of the happiest days of my life there. But it took a year of near constant letter writing and e-mails before I even got a reply. I went and spent a month with them for, what they called, monastic experience. It took almost another year of also near non-stop letter-writing and e-mails before I got another reply. I drove over 600 miles there and back in two days from Eastbourne in the south of England to Mount Melleray for a brief 15-20 minute meeting with the Abbot. But it was worth it. He said, Yes. You can come and join the community. Again, it took almost another year to agree the date. The Abbot, obviously, had other things on his mind. XXXX XXXXXXX XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX

Finally, last May, after over 60-years of turmoil, I joined the community. I did as the Good Lord says. I sold everything I had and gave everything I could to the poor. Most of the stuff they gave back to me saying it wasn’t the right size, shape, colour etc. I even lost a fortune unscrambling book contracts in various countries because the Abbot lectured me – Oh. The irony – on the purity of monastic life and told me to do so. Which I did because, as I get further and further up the queue outside the cemetery gates, I wanted to spend the rest of my life there, and still do

But it was not to be. In a brief, icy, totally non-Christian 10-15 minute meeting, I was kicked out. Thrown out. Booted out. Dumped. Fired. Made Redundant. Told to pack my bags and go. Not because, again I hasten to add, of anything I did or did not do. Everybody there says I’ve been no trouble. I’ve fitted in very well. I counted as a member of the community. Especially on Monday mornings when I counted the Sunday collections. Largely, I think, because of my knowledge of foreign coins. But that’s not all. I performed all my monastic duties. I swept floors. I did the washing up. I emptied the rubbish. I even got the Prodigal Son job and looked after their two enormous pigs for them. In hail. In snow. In rain. Even in the occasional day of sunshine. I only wish now that I had been more prodigal and deserved the honour.

But I’m being kicked out because the Abbot was – How shall I say? – XXXXXXX the XXXXXX XXXXXXXX XXX of a XXXXX XXXXXXXXXX in the XXXX XXXXXXX of the XXXXXXXXXX of his XXX XXXXXXXXX

The logic seems to be:

 – The Abbot was xxxxxxxx xxx xxxxxxx xx x XXXXX xxxxxarian in the xxx xxxxxxxxxx of his XXX xxxxxxxxx

DOM DICK IN AUSTRALIA?

DICK AND THE FONZ

 – The Abbot resigns. Is whisked away. In secret. Into the sun. In Australia. Where, no doubt, he will indulge his interest in things down under. But he still remains a priest. He even had time to up-date his CV on LinkedIn, which describes itself as “an American business and employment orientated online service for professional networking and career development”, where, incidentally, he says he has two jobs. Although why a religious, an Abbot, even a resigned ex-Abbot should feel he needs to be listed on such an on-line web-site, let alone claim he has two jobs, I have no idea.

– Biddlecombe is dumped. Rejected. Thrown out. In the cold. In Ireland. With nothing. Not even one job.

No. I don’t understand it either. All I know is I met Dom Michael just once. He was straight to the point. Brutal. Ruthless. Because the Abbot has resigned, the community is now too weak to support me. I’ve got to go.

But why should I be the one to suffer? I wasn’t the one XXXXXX XXXXXXXX with XXX XXXXX XXXXXXX in the XXXXXXXXXX XX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXXX.

I pleaded. I explained. I kept saying.

He didn’t bat an eyelid. He was ice cold. Skeletal. I kept asking him, How can you possibly, as St Paul says, strengthen a community by making it weaker still? Surely, if you don’t let people in, with or without formation, you’re never going to increase the numbers.

But he kept repeating. Coldly. The community is too weak to support me. But, I kept telling him, I haven’t had any support since I’ve been here? Why do I suddenly need support now?

Formation, he said. Formation.

But, I told him, I know about Formation. I wrote a book about Formation and about every book Thomas Merton ever read during his own Formation. But the previous Abbot told me not to publish it. I did as the Abbot said.

He still said NO.

In desperation, I contacted the big boss of all Cistercian monks worldwide, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, who used to be Abbot of Mount Melleray and his successor, Dom Bernardus Peeters, who used to be Abbot of Tilburg in the Netherlands. Both of whom I’ve met. Both of whom I’ve spoken to in the past. They didn’t want to know. They didn’t even both to acknowledge my e-mails.

I haven’t come close to kicking in a stained glass window. Yet. Nearly did, when I heard that the ex-Abbot was telling people he was bored sitting in the sunshine in Australia with nothing to do and wanted his post sent on to him EXPRESS.

“You’ll be alright, Dom Michael said. You’ll find something.”

I was always taught that the Church exists to help people “know, love and serve God in this world and be happy with Him forever in the next.” Not kick them out in the street because of something they didn’t do.

Now, if you will excuse me, I’m off to Japan to become a Buddhist monk. It seems it’s the only way I can get into Mount Melleray. Even if it means spending the rest of my life cleaning floors.

Thomas Merton must be turning in his grave.

Peter Biddlecombe has published over 20 books including 11 travel books covering more than 200 countries he has visited. Most of them, many times over. He is now busy completing the final chapters of his autobiography, My Struggle to Follow Thomas Merton: 60 years of Turmoil.

PAT SAYS

Peter strikes me as an interesting man. Maybe eccentric- but such people are always interesting and never boring.

Are not a lot of monks eccentric?

I think he could have been dealt with in a much more compassionate way at Melleray.

But currently the Irish Cistercians are adrift without an engine.

The answer is to close the monasteries at Portglenone, Mellifont, Moone and Roscrea and have a viable community at Melleray.

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PHONSIE IS OFF TO LOURDES – BUT CAN ONLY GIVE IT 2 DAYS.

MAYBE HE IS GOING TO VISIT DICK DOWN UNDER?

Phonsie, I hope you are cured in Lourdes 🙏

128 replies on “IS FORMER ABBOT RICHARD PURCELL LIVING THE DREAM IN AUSTRALIA?”

Regularly hosts Buddhist monks and nuns since it opened in 1998. All faiths and none welcome to Sixmilebridge Centre.

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@12:31 I fancy a visit to your centre. Are there any RC priests there at the moment?
I suffer from PTSD and seeing an RC priest would trigger the memories of the abuse. I can’t be held responsible for what my happen should I see an RC priest.

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12.31am Yes my friends and I visit the Sunyata Centre in Sixmilebridge regularly – it is very close to us and is a lovely place. We love the silent meditation and mindfulness meetings and sometimes we join in on zoom.. It’s good for the body and soul.

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Yes I’m pretty sure you do not have friends in Sixmilebridge, I say real friends, so be cautious. I do not think you have friends …

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11:43 are you badmouthing the good people of Sixmilebridge? How’s things in Castleconnell these days?

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Such a badly written, scattered piece. The “author” seems to be a very eccentric and erratic person. It’s hardly surprising that he was sent away. He could never have made it.

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9:26 People get taken in by frauds and scams, and there has been a lot written about how difficult it is to extricate yourself if emotionally or otherwise invested. People keep on going to mass, for example.

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You did notice that it’s about how people are rejected and denigrated by the church before rushing to put the boot in yourself, didn’t you, ‘father’?

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9:03am Peter should take great pride and comfort at being rejected and denigrated by the Roman Catholic Church, there is now no greater affirmation available anywhere on the validation of his good character.

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12.34am: I agree with you. This is a very badly written piece by someone who seems arrogant, self absorbed and has an inflated ego. We need to know more about him. Men and women in religious houses have been asked to leave and reassess their vocation. That’s acceptable. This guy considers himself to be “perfect” which is not an endearing quality.

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@9.13. If you want to see arrogance look in the mirror. It is a blog entry not a piece of prose.

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Well Holy God will ye wist cos there is awful wicked barrel scraping going on dis morning
to defend the man from Moone.

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12:34am Nah! Father, ya Dead Right! He’d never have Made It! Only cynical, proactive global cover up merchants cut the mustard in RCC. Hitler, The Mafia & their like were only in the halfpenny place in comparison to the human rights atrocities your Church continue to inflict across the world today. Your firing squad analysis of his written presentation only serves to confirm the enjoyment ye get out of mentally breaking down good decent. Wishing him well in a positive environment with a real future where his talents will be appreciated & respected – no point in him seeking acceptance from a Mafia of paedophile protectors.

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10:06 Excellent comment. 👍
The ‘faithful’ are very hacked off about this for some reason – I suspect Peter has let something out they wanted kept secret.

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8.40: Whatever it’s meant to be, a blog entry or a piece of prose, it’s still poorly written and almost illegible. There’s no excuse for not writing properly. Have you a problem in expressing yourself coherently?

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11am that’s on paper, not reflected in Irish weekly or monthly mass attendance that impacts directly as paper isn’t filling the coffers in our churches and Bishop is sour. You truly have no clue how difficult it is.

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10.06: You’ve been there Mags. Guess the experience as outlined by this author evokes your memories of Maynooth. In your case, you were rightly flipped out of the seminary. Get lost, stay away…fool.

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11.43pm – what do you mean – explain yourself – we are a few miles from Sixmilebridge and have been friends for years so how dare you make such an accusation. You hypocrite.

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@11:00am
Patsy, guess who again? pulling out her bingo numbers and so sanctimonious with it, as usual God Bless her. She doesn’t tell us how many of that 1.5 Billion actually practice. Going with this hellish Pontificate it’ll be less than a quarter if that.😏

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12.59
Pope Francis will continue to lead us and his successor hopefully will be Cardinal Pietro Parolin or Cardinal Luis Tagle.
However they say this Pontificate you do not know what is next and the surprise today is Pope Francis has bypassed his Friend Archbishop Leo Cushley and appointed Bishop Gilbert to the Congregation for Devine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments.
Archbishop Nolan will need to watch now with his loose clergy Mark and Stephen and their LMB.

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7:33 pm

Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men;
He marched them up to the top of the hill,
And he marched them down again.
When they were up, they were up,
And when they were down, they were down,
And when they were only halfway up,
They were neither up nor down

P.S. Apparently Cardinal Parolin was recently implicated in the London property scheme by Vatican’s longtime investment banker Enrico Crasso.

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Of course, I think people like Richard Purcell can reinvent themselves very quickly. Look at Micheál Ledwith, for example, or Kitty Kirby. How many incarnations has she had in her time? I wonder. Other gay sluts like Michael Voris now call themselves a consecrated celibate.

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7:14am Money Speaks, they have Frankies Bank behind them as a permanent cushion, they have to facilitate them until end of life because you know what happens when “thieves fall out”.

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Things are rarely straightforward. Seen so many students novices etc booted out of seminaries over the years and many as bitter as Peter. They never think there could be a reasonable for it. Alarm bells ring when you here somebody saying they don’t need ‘formation’ such as it is.. maybe Silverstream right not to take over 35s. Agree with Peter about Dom Dicks hypocrisy. But that is a given now in most religious houses.. I am sure Rawhide will have all his needs satisfied down under. Maybe he can ‘come out’ and be honest finally..

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Who is responsible for Dom Dicks formation ? Why is a Cistercian Abbot on LinkedIn?
Was he keeping his career options open or seeking ‘nixers’ outside the monastery?

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9:01am there’s someone exposing himself to the public on the country roads near Glenstal, an animals – 4 guards it took to pin him down last time, up in Court 21st June.

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If age is a barrrier to formation then that’s admitting the formation is for the inexperienced and impressionable.A mature candidate would have to be prepared to find a way through and be prepared to deal with superiors who lack imagination. At the same time in the UK the only candidates who present themselves are drifters unconnected with the Diocese they apply for

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I’m loving the cathbot chorus of ‘hes bitter so he deserved it’ and ‘oh look at his style of writing, he can’t possibly have had a monastic vocation’.
Dear lord long may the church of Rome continue so we always know how to avoid them.

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Audi alteram partem.
A very strange story, admittedly, hearing only one side. If the Moone abbot would give his side it would be better.
Does this mean Melleray is accepting no more recruits since they cannot provide formation?
Something is not being said here which speaks volumes.

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The most obvious other side is they didn’t want him. In which case they should just have said so and not taken him in at all.
Unless… you weren’t going to tear the poor guy apart were you, ‘father’?

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9:37 Don’t misunderstand me. Whether or not you have yourself been ordained you are such a clerical creep and in fact bear so many similarities to that benighted order that you are indistinguishable and certainly should never be allowed near a child or vulnerable adult. Actually perhaps it would help if you wore a clerical collar to aid recognition.

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When the Abbot said that Melleray was too weak to allow him Peter to continue, I think he meant that, following the departure of Richard, the remaining monks were too old to start or continue the formation of a 60 year old who didn’t even feel the need for formation. There comes a point in convents and monasteries in which the permanent members are all so old that it is not feasible to admit new members, and the house either dies out or merges with another house.

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Dicks departure was followed by Eamon’s return. Didn’t someone mention late last year another novice named Stephan was asked to leave for refusing to take the jibby jab?

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Once RP left towards healing and Mt Melleray as well. I have no intention of chasing him as he has done his time 🤷‍♀️🤣. That was that.

Whatever he does is not my business. Surprised that he’s in the land of kangaroo which I didn’t expect him to go there in the 1st place,maybe UK yes but not Australia.

I’m starting to see such as lot of misfits running the monasteries such as Glenstal, silverstream and Mt Melleray.
**

Is it just me or 🙄🤷‍♀️.

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9:34am what is more concerning now is the serving hierarchy still amongst his closest friends. Australia confirms the seriousness and the gravity attached by Irish RCC to the importance of balancing what he has on them with ensuring that if the kangaroo poop hits the fan in Oz when he gets going there, there is less likelihood of his previous history in The Emerald Isle coming to light. Australia therefore speaks Volumes……. This ain’t over, not by a long chalk……..

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9.34 Tells the observer a lot about “Towards Healing” that Robert Purcell was its chair and that he was there for so long after his “controversy.” His ways were known, therefore he was open to manipulation by any bishop not inclined to “healing”…….it stinks to the heavens.

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Anon 11.15am
Its not my beef re RP as he had left. Objective was achieved re his resignation of chairman post in towards healing.
Indeed re so long which had me wondering, what’s going inside there. Plus he has no qualifications to speak of. Who placed him there? Armagh diocese 🙄
Its diocese of Armagh control re towards healing as they funded it via bishops conference.
Secondly Hourigan had stopping chasing RP re lacisation case process in Rome as it went deathly dead silence which had all of us as readers wondering if it was all hot air of his or he was bluffing or what 😉🤷‍♀️
Nobody knows really even up to this minute.

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11:15
Very perceptive. Richard Purcell seemed to spend a considerable amount of time outside enclosure rather than leading a contemplative life. He was also on W&L liturgy committee,visiting affiliated Houses, trip to LA with Bishop Phonsie, as well as excursions to Dublin. Indeed,I agree, he was open to manipulation but was he also in a position to manipulate? Why didn’t Bishop Phonsie act considering Mt. Melleray is in his Diocese?
Has a Bishop responsibilities to the laity in his Diocese and also to the Church as a whole?

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11:41
DG, in your opinion is ‘Toward Healing’ a misnomer?
I think it might be more appropriately named ‘Toward Damage Limitation.’
The Rcc cannot be trusted, including minions doing their bidding.

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Mr Biddlecombe made two mistakes:
1. To have anything to do with the church of Rome.
2. He says he was writing (presumably more than once and not just waiting for a reply) to them for a year before getting any response to his enquiry. If someone doesn’t have the manners to reply to you they are not going to treat you well in any way.
I have read that Cistercians rightly tend to be suspicious of Merton groupies, although I expect they would deny that if asked.

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Anon at 12.26

I agree with your comments in full. Well said.

Its a misnomer cos ‘toward healing cos not many abused or victims get healed..

Towards healing implies going into the direction where healing is but some of us never reach nor arrive at healing at the end for various reasons.

RCC is always about PR, PR PR and damage limitations. I found that rcc don’t like the TRUTH even a painful truth. They are masters at the art of denial.

I recall giving my testimony. They asked me if I saw a letter from the nuns as I replied no. They produced a letter from the nuns straight away as it was full of nun’s denial, denials. AI was astonished to see it as I mistakenly thought that rcc would be honest and admit theirs. But they didn’t as I was getting to know rcc MO at baby stages at that time despite many many corraborative evidence from others in different age group and year. Our stories matched up as the nuns kept denying until they were blue in their faces. They got their best legal representation. But I was told that the nuns broke every rule in child law book in Ireland as they didn’t even bother turning up except for their lawyer who sat down and kept schtum throughout the session.

Rcc couldn’t be trusted whatsoever when it comes to TRUTH and honesty re abuses.

Few things that finished me this week was

1. Sodano was a ‘practising homosexual’.

2. Rottweiler Ratzinger’secretary was a homosexual.

3. Frankie the dictator promoted Mc elroy to a rank of cardinal despite mc elroy knowledge of mc carrick nocturnal activities in the past which Richard Sipe informed him. He did nothing to stop it.

What I draw from this no 3, frankie the dictator or RCC will never learn from this re abuses AND they don’t GET IT.

Promoting a PRO gay Bishop with strong record of cover ups. He was an assistant to Levada who covered up sex abuses way back as more info came out from SNAP.

The message that RCC or frankie are sending this to the world re no 3, it’s OK to continue and cover up as much as you can as I as rcc will cover your back. They don’t care except for this 💰💰💰💰.

Its a virtue signalling to the world world, frankie as RCC are filling the conclave with gay cardinals in the hope it would turn out a gay Pope.

Also they diluted some of their child abuse rules recently this year without any notice or fanfare.

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5:23 pm
Completely agree, DG. It’s all about finance.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. (1 Timothy 6:10).
I know for a fact a counselor disclosed information told in a professional context to a
third party. The third happened to be a bishop. Marie Collins quit the Vatican’s advisory group because of senior Vatican officials shameful resistance to its work. Have a listen to some of Frederic Martels videos on Youtube. His english is not great but he’s very interesting. Let us know what you think on what he has to say. Cheers, DG.

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I disagree – it’s a well written and personal piece which captures eloquently his sense of utter despair and frustration- clergy are conditioned to loathe anyone who criticises or has a complaint – that’s why the platform ‘rejected Catholics’ and this blog are so necessary because they give a voice to the voiceless and people the people institution would bury and pretend doesn’t exist.

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9:52am True, they “Bury” anything or anyone that conflicts with their agenda of building untold personal & church wealth under the guise of religion, even babies. Nuns & Priests Too cheap and immoral to hire an undertaker or facilitate a full Christian burial unless their greedy paws getting well greased for it. Obviously they seriously Pissed off at the loss of free slave labour and big envelopes from rich childless couples eager to adopt hence the mass burials – just like Hitler Concentration Camps.

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Those of little Faith.

Cardinal Aviz from the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life would be all over this situation in no time.

The cover up days have long gone try listen to pope Francis he said only last week the way forward is to tackle the situations straight on.

Everyone in the Curia knows if they do not do thing correctly they will be removed.

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10:07

Jim S says…
So why don’t you inform Cardinal Aviz from the Congregation of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life if you know he would be all over this situation in no time.

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Peter Biddlecombe strikes me as being sincere in his search for God, however, he also displays a naïveté about the callousness of those who have been elected to the service of authority within the church.
+Pat, we must not forget that Dom Michael Ryan was contacted about the allegations concerning Dom Richard Purcell. He never responded so he was content to be part of a cover up of Purcell’s behaviour that was widely known.
I am not surprised to read that Purcell is in Australia. He must be requiring time and space from the mess he has created, I am sure he is becoming familiar with gay saunas not are similar to his previous haunt, The Boilerhouse. I might, of course, be doing Purcell a great disservice. He might be discerning before God about changing his stability to Tarrawarra Abbey, a community that was founded by Roscrea in Australia in 1954. #Irony

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That picture of Peter is a much younger version of him. I used to see him at Mass and Compline in Melleray when they used to stream them during lockdown and he struck me as a man in his late seventies at least. It seemed to me from his blog that he just wanted to spend the rest of his days in the monastery as a secular Cistercian rather than as a monk.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury wants us all to forgive and move on. Should we forgive Purcell and let him move on to pastures new?

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11.31: Pat, don’t worry too much. Look at all the “patrures” you traversed in your life before you settled down!!! The longest journey is often the one that involves a true gospel “metanoia”. We ought to allow God space to guide us…For some this can be a lifetime’s work. Let God be God in people’s mistakes, indiscretions and sinfulness. We knock down and destroy. God hopefully rebuilds.

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Agreed. But is RP suitable for the posts of parish priest, religious superior or safeguarding officer?

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Indeed he is not! He’s got a taste for the man, and it will be hard to give that up.

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11:12 am
” Let God be God in people’s mistakes, indiscretions and sinfulness. We knock down and destroy. God hopefully rebuilds.”
I note no mention of abuse corruption or criminality perpetrated by Priests and Religious.
Does God require space to guide us…Does God desire further knocking down before rebuilding. Does God desire a true gospel collective “metanoia” on the part of the Hierarchy for generations of revolting criminal acts covered up before leading to new pastures?

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10:58am you do keep your indiscretions to yourself, Fr, however, the lengths you & your cohort go to to cover them up with minus zero regard for victims & survivors is “the issue” always up for debate on this blog & elsewhere whether you like it or not.

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I had agreements in place with a few colleagues but their names shall die with me. They can rest easy. I am sure there are very few Priests who do not have similar arrangements.

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12.42: If you, sir, have any true intelligence, you couldn’t possibly presume to know my mind. Nope. You make all kinds of assumptions about my thoughts and opinions. Go read my comment again and this time do so with intelligence and perception. Don’t ever attempt to think you know what’s in the mind of another person’s mind. I stand by my comnents at 11.12. Now, if you want to know my thinking on other matters, I’ll willingly provide them for you.

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5:25
Martin, why are you assuming I am male? You mentioned mistakes, indiscretions and sin but failed to mention criminal acts perpetuated by Priests and Religious, including child rape, while Bishops covered up for their corrupt criminal colleagues, which for many people is the bigger crime. Pope Francis said we are all sinners but we are not all corrupt. He said,’ the corrupt may go to Church and say they are people of faith, the corrupt and “mafioso” have absolutely nothing Christian about them.’ There is more required than an act of contrition or reciting a prayer of repentance when criminal acts occur. Justice must be carried out and a debt paid to society and the injured party. Finally Martin, I’ll finish with a quote from Pope Benedict XVI… ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE… “Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity, and intrinsic to it. Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI’s words, “the minimum measure” of it , an integral part of the love “in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18), to which Saint John exhorts us.”
Might I suggest, it is time for the Hierarchy to put into practice Church teaching, and do “the minimum measure.” I don’t want to know your thinking on anything, Martin. This is a public blog. You were not engaged in a private exchange with Bishop Pat. God Bless, Martin.

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Let’s face it, anyone who gets to the top of any organisation, whether it be a business, school, monastery or diocese, has to be a bit of a shit. They’ve had to be ruthless and sharp-elbowed to get there. If you accept that, the coldness and harshness they can dole out with ease won’t come as a surprise.

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Or Pius X?
When referred to any churchman what does it say about the religion or its ability to make people any different from how they are without it? It says people in the church are exactly the same as anyone else so it only has a function of making inadequates feel good about themselves.

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Peter doesn’t say he is against formation, just that Dom Michael told him that the community was to weak to form him properly. However, most monastic formation takes place simply by living the life and being open to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit really does the forming.
As regards Richard, he was in Australia, but has been back in Melleray in the past 2 or 3 weeks. I doubt he is in Australia now, but probably somewhere much closer to home.
Dom Michael is a control freak! When he goes away from Bolton Abbey he padlocks the gates so that the monks can’t take the car out. That is not healthy behaviour for an Abbot.
Peter is a good man who is genuinely seeking God. He has been treated disgracefully Dom Michael. The person who should have had Dom Michael’s attention was Richard but as usual the priest breaking his vows is protected whilst the innocent are just dumped without a second thought.

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11.20
The padlock story, if true, is outrageous. Nothing whatsoever to do with faith. In fact it’s a form of spiritual abuse. Action would be required if it were true. The padlock is a contemporary version of themedieval chastity belt.

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I’m a city boy myself but even I know that there isn’t any country place in the earth that has no gates.
Particularly places with farms like Cistercian monasteries.

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According to the current Benedictine yearbook, three monks of Mount St Bernard are listed as being at Mellifont Abbey, which also has Dom Brendan Freeman given as its superior ad nutum and without the MSB monks has a community of six.
I thought the plan was to close the rest of the monasteries and move into one, not get Mount St Bernard to support Mellifont?
Also according to the yearbook Roscrea, Mellifont, Portglenone (Dick is still listed as abbot at Mount Anybody) all have superiors ad nutum which is bizarre given they’re all abbeys.
It’s a bit of a mess isn’t it?

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Dom Brendan Freeman is now superior of New Melleray Abbey in USA. Rufus Pound, a monk of MSB is acting superior of Mellifont. About 15 years ago there was tension between Rufus Pound and Peter Claver Craddy, both monks of MSB. Dom Brendan Freeman was doing the bi-annual visitation. The result being that Peter Claver Craddy was removed and sent as chaplain to the Bernadine nuns at Slough. Then a few years ago Rufus and two others, William and Michael moved to Mellifont under Dom Brendan Freeman. As I said he is now superior of New Melleray. A couple of weeks ago Brendan appointed Peter Claver Craddy as superior of MSB. What a mess indeed and what a crooked Web it has all become!

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Sounds like they can’t even manage to be in the same room as each other! Out in the world of work you couldn’t get away with behaving like that….

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This is all quite surreal as the last I knew of Rufus was that he had early onset dementia and Michael had had some sort of breakdown so I am not sure what happened at MSB to have them end up at Mellary. Peter Claver has been away from MSB for a long time

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Pat, Bishops, Clergy or Religious are NOT allowed to be Safeguarding Officers they are independent and employed by the Bishop’s.
Richard is a failed religious and the only religious way forward for him would be to assist you in new venture with your Oratory.
You seem very interested in Catholic priests that the RCC would love to get rid off so you are welcome to them with your future planning.

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11.54
The yearbook is compelled in October and printed late November so it is out of date they also have the statistics for 2015 when it should really be 2021 stats.

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Pat you lambast priests for having immoral sexual relations with men or women. But since the parish priest in my church has found love he has actually become a better priest for it. It’s the way forward. Maybe

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12:25 your priest is clearly not in a Roman Catholic diocese if he is living happily and openly in his new relationship. Good for him but this blog is directly focussed on current Roman Catholic Church laws, rules and regulations and related extensions into wider civil and criminal matters the subject of the Courts and Police where relevant.

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12.45
Thanks for sharing. The readership will takeits cue of what the blog is about from the owner.

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12.45
There are many R.Catholic priests living with their spouses. You are decades behind. Keep up! Your first sentence lets you down with a bang as any former Anglican priest will tell you.

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Not necessarily, 1:29. I’m Roman Catholic and always call it Roman Catholic because the Catholic Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, but the Roman Catholic church is none of those things.
You really must learn that your own limited perspective doesn’t decide how things are for other people, even though you would like it to.

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3.17
Are you slow or what. Former ministers of other Christian churches who are married, are now Roman Catholic priests with real live wives and children in many cases. So it’s not at all clear that the person in question is not in a Roman Catholic diocese. What is evident is that you have a lot of catching up to do. Your answer is diversionary, a non sequitur.

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5:07 Did I give any indication that it was a ‘sequitur’?
I understand. You get very upset when you hear the truth about the organization you have given your life to, but if you don’t hear the truth you won’t ever be liberated because the Roman Catholic church actively stops people hearing the truth.

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Why do so many priests have so many openly Gay friends that are active on the scene, get Botox and are flamboyant?

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All this talk about eccentrics in religious communities reminds me of two orders: a well-established (if now struggling) international order with an Anglo-Irish Province; a new “order” (just 20 years old).
The former had a variety of oddballs at its retreat house, where postulants formed part of the community. Indeed although it was exclusively for males (priests and brothers) a young female, wearing full nun uniform with head covering was in residence, but not officially part of the community. Various brothers came and went. It’s now run by Nigerians, as the remaining Irish fathers are elderly and frail.
The latter is run by two bossy sisters, who are control-freaks and have anger management issues (think Bishop Marcus Nigel!).
For young women seeking an ultra-traditional community, I firmly recommend the Sisters Adorers of the Royal Heart of Jesus Sovereign Priest in Preston, invited there by Bishop Campbell. They have a demanding daily schedule and are covered from head to toe in their nun-wear. The sisters are mainly young and international.
They have inspired a community of trans Muslim reverts to develop, praying and working in their black burqas every day.
I wonder how long the Archbishop-Elect of Cardiff’s press officer will last. The doctor was disciplined, when a civil servant, for watching porn on his work computer.

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He’d written a book on formation and thought he could form himself. No wonder Silverstream only take young uns.

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1.03
So those in formation should not have a view on formation, even if they have informed opinions on everything else in keeping with their life experience? It’s called relevant stages of development. No point in taking an older person if you are going to treat him or her like a school leaver. Do you think things through?

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Noel Treanor let’s some priests away with so much and yet the rest of us are never out of Lisbreen with bloody complaints.

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If I so much as look at a black person I am accused of being racist. Yet the majority of you are all sleeping with each other and are getting away with it.

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Grow some balls and tell Lisbreen and the complainants to shove it ! What a tyranny to be subject to frivolous complaints that are given some credence by the bishop and you having to answer them ! My tactic is to say. ‘….and ?”, meaning what are you going to do about it, because you need me more than I need you. And bishops know that. So, stand up to them, and understand your value and power. Nobody needs to be afraid of a bishop. If they make life difficult, then walk. Take the plunge and go look after yourself. Although, I do understand that for some clergy they are stuck. Still, stand up to the f***ers.

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Peter sounds like he was an oblate who wanted to cosplay being a monk and wanted to see out his days in a monastery. There was one like that in Ealing Abbey when I was a houseman there. Dom Gregory really had it in for him and used to lambast him when Gregory was worse for wear (ie every day). Many a time I witnessed one of Gregory’s spittle-flecked nutty’s at the unfortunate oblate, whose name I forget. Gregory used to say that the oblate acted more like a monk than did the real monks.

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Do you mind if I ask what became of the oblate? Ealing (the abbey, that is) sounds a particularly unpleasant place to spend any time at all.

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If Purcell is in Australia, he is not there on his own dime, remember. He will be supported financially by the Cistercians, and it will be costing a lot of money. What he is doing there is debatable – maybe seeking out a new way of life as a layman, maybe seeing whether he can relocate there to a Cistercian abbey, maybe finding a place in a local diocese – anything is possible. However, keep in mind that unlike in many other professions, Purcell will be well cosseted and privileged in whatever he is doing, and that will go on for a long time until he has ‘found himself’. That a great privilege he is being given. As one who has moved away from the Catholic priesthood myself, I well understand what it is to walk along and provide for oneself, as I had to do. Purcell, I doubt will have to go through that difficult experience in finding himself. It will all be laid out for him. By the way, Dickie, steer clear of the saunas, bathhouses, back rooms etc. You wouldn’t want to be getting monkeypox on top of all your other troubles, now, would you ?

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Just seen your comment.
Be interested in your experience of trying to survive alone. Did you get any help? Did you ask for any help? What about money, getting a job etc? I’ve spoken to many ex-priests and nuns. Be interested in hearing what you think.
Thanks for your comment
Peter Biddlecombe.

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12.57pm
Bishop Marcus Leeds?
He’s definitely got anger issues – he’s an insomniac so I guess that’s part of the reason for his short fuse – if the Marcus is him?

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Yes, anger, frustration, and probably some depression problems. When it erupts, it erupts and it is not pretty to be around. One does wonder how happy a man he is ? What a shit life going through your existence unhappy, angry and depressed. Even if you think you are making a great sacrifice for the Lord. That’s the sort of Catholic nonsense we were brought up with. But look where it has got so many people. I reckon so many clergy would have chosen another path if they knew then at the beginning what they know now about what their life was going to be like – lonely, frustrated, angry, resentful, empty, dysfunctional, unhappy, isolated, surveilled, trapped….. I could go on. And, yes, I know some will come back and tell us that the priesthood is such a joy and that celibacy is such a gift and liberating. For a very few maybe. Not for the majority by far. They are stuck, they know it, and they are not happy in their lives. Fact. Discuss !

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Stock is a dead ringer for Clement Freud – pissed off, angry, fed up, etc – a darling of Elsie (who can’t resist an Oxbridge boy) – I feel certain a man the anger in indicative of repression at various levels.
Sweet if he was transferred to Birmingham they would love that!!
Does anybody stand up to his tantrums and tiaras – he’s a bulky at heart and gets pissy if he doesn’t get his own way.
A prince of a prelate – God preserve us!!

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Peter was pointing out the UNCHRISTIAN, callous, indifferent, brutal manner of the Abbot.

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