Dear Bishop Tom,
Recently, I visited the church of my baptism in Tullamore. It was good to be back in my home turf. I am, of course, aware that Tullamore is canonically within the Diocese of Meath. And, I am further aware that some of your priests (but not all) are very happy to extend a cordial welcome to the Ordinary of Larne when I visit the area entrusted to your pastoral governance.
By virtue of my baptism, I am intrinsically and ontologically connected to the Diocese of Meath, so I was very concerned to read that you are selling some the diocese estate. Like many Irish bishops I appreciate that you are facing tough decisions in order to balance the books. However, I do wonder are you making the right choice?
Is the selling of the land the worst form of short-termism? Would you, my brother Bishop Tom, be better to adopt a wait-and-see approach? After all, the finances of the diocese might experience an upturn, although, I accept that is unlikely! However, do you not think adopting a wait-and-see approach might be more prudent approach? Are you being advised by people that have the best interests of the diocese at heart?
In order to be helpful, I am going to make a suggestion that I respectfully suggest you should carefully consider.
You could render a Decree ordering the monks of Silverstream Priory to celebrate the Divine Office in English, i.e., prohibiting the use of Latin in all liturgical services. You should further insist that the Eucharist is celebrated utilising the New Rite of the Mass, i.e., the missal of Paul VI. Such a Decree would be giving effect to the wishes of His Holiness Pope Francis.
Of course, that would create anarchy within Silverstream Priory. And, if they did not comply in obedience to your Decree, you could petition the Holy See for a Decree of suppression. How about that for an idea?
Once Silverstream had been suppressed then the legal title to the property and the lands that constitute Silverstream Priory would pass to the Diocese of Meath. It is prime land that is ripe for development. In fact, the sale of the land could make the diocese a handsome profit.
This would have a twofold advantage: a) it would remove a major headache that you inherited from your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith; and, b) I am sure you would take great delight in removing what has been a rich seam of content for my blog.
Of course, if that did become a reality, I am sure you would have no problem in utilising the profits from the sale of the lands at Silverstream to assist with the building of five houses for the poor.
With prayerful best wishes,
Your brother bishop,