Certain information has been brought to my attention that begs the question: are you a liar. This evidence portrays you as an individual who has displayed breathless, almost unprecedented duplicity. And, this is not supposition on my part.
Until the truth of the matter addressed hereinafter is established, you, Bishop Deenihan, can legitimately be portrayed as an individual that does not have the courtesy or the decency to tell the truth to a fellow prelate.
Of course, I accept in light of what follows that if the duplicitous two-faced liars are in fact the Rt. Rev’d Dom Jean-Bernard Marie Bories, OSB, Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval and certain monks with stability in that community. If that is indeed the case, I will offer you an unreserved and public apology.
As you will be aware the Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval is a “traditional” Benedictine house located within the Archdiocese of Dijon, in France. As a monastery of diocesan right, it is subject to the oversight and authority of the Ordinary of the aforementioned archdiocese, Archbishop Antoine Henry Pierre Marie Hérouard. Therefore, based on the balance of probabilities, I am willing to take my chances that the monks of this abbey are telling the truth about what is addressed hereinafter and, they are the victims of YOUR wilful and deliberate deceit.
Recently, a reader of my blog wrote to my attention, the latest newsletter from the. The newsletter is noteworthy because of the conclusion it contains the personal signature of the current superior, Abbot Bories.
The letter contains the following text:
“On May 14, Bishop Deenihan of Meath in Ireland, visited us accompanied by his to vicars general and his chancellor. He explained the situation of the Benedictine Priory of Silverstream founded in his diocese in 2012 and canonically erected in 2017. The founder, Dom Mark Kirby, has retired for health reasons. As a result, this community is in need of guidance to meet the expectations of the many young men who have joined. Bishop Deenihan asked our Abbot to “lend” him our Father Basil, well known to the brothers in Silverstream. Father Basil has been appointed Prior Administrator for one year. At the request of the Bishop, the monks of Silverstream will take turns to stay in Flavigny for a extended period of time in order to get to know our customs and to benefit from our monastic experience. For our part, we are happy to enjoy the paternal presence — and the generous work—of these young monks”.
This newsletter begets a number of observations. I am sure it was absolutely delightful for the four-person delegation to leave the Chancery offices of the Meath to visit that part of France.
Bishop Deenihan, did you tell Dom Bories that Fr. Mark Kirby had been credibly accused of sexual and financial misconduct? If not; why not?
Before your arrival in France, did you e-mail to Dom Bories, a link to this Pillar article, and was the contents of same discussed during your visit to the monastery?
Did you tell Dom Bories that it was you personally that referred Fr. Kirby to An Garda Síochána [the Irish police force]?
Did you tell Dom Bories that Fr. Kirby was investigated by An Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) for nearly a year, and they found sufficient evidence to justify a referral of Fr. Kirby to the state prosecutor, the Director of Public Prosecutions?
If so, why does the community newsletter make reference to Fr. Kirby resigning on the grounds of ill-health? Who is telling the truth about Kirby?
Did you tell Dom Bories that Fr. Kirby was notorious for telling individuals about the indiscretions of the monastic community? We are unsure who made the decision to appoint Dom Elijah Carroll, OSB as superior of Silverstream Priory, however, did you apprise Dom Bories that the aforesaid Elijah Carroll has a known addiction to viewing gay pornography on the internet?
If Dom Elijah Carroll is visiting the Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval, do you believe that you have a duty of care to apprise Dom Bories of Dom Carroll’s unfortunate and troubling on-line addiction?
If the monks with stability at Silverstream Priory are going to be spending time in France at this abbey — will they be undertaking studies to ensure they are suitable for ordination to the priesthood? Do you intend ordaining any monk from Silverstream to the diaconate and priesthood in the near future?
Bishop Deenihan, I respectfully submit that any right-minded and reasonable individual would take the inference that you did NOT tell Dom Bories the totality of the scandalous behaviour of Fr. Kirby. Because, if you did, it would not appear in the Abbey newsletter that Fr. Kirby had resigned on the grounds of ill-health.
It is inconceivable that Dom Bories with the consent of his monastic council would have agreed to the appointment of Fr. Basil as the temporary superior of Silverstream Priory if they had been told the ugly truth about Fr. Kirby and his despicable behaviour.
However, if they were aware and agreed to Fr. Basil’s appointment; this, too, raises serious questions about the decision-making of Dom Bories, OSB, and, it has concomitant implications for the governance of that monastic community. It may well be the case that this is a monastery that needs to be referred to the oversight of a competent Rome-based Dicastery, because it may be the case that its obsession with Latin has clouded its prudence.
I find it further inconceivable that an abbot and a monastic community would wilfully lie to its donors and supporters in a publication pertaining to its apostolate, thus participating in an Irish ecclesiastical cover-up; but in the Church of today — it would not be surprising.
However, given your known indifference and acquiescence to the wrong-doing of Fr. Kirby and your continuing punishment of the whistle-blower, Fr. Benedict Andersen, on the preponderance of the available evidence; it is clear as night follows day that you have lied to Dom Bories. And that is a truly regrettable situation.
Bishop Deenihan, you need to come to the rapid realisation that it is impermissible for you to act in a manner that is comparable to the egregious actions of Irish bishops in the 70s, 80s and the 90s. Gone are the days where a bishop could invent whatever narrative he pleased to advance his own agenda to perpetuate an institutional cover-up.
It truly beggars belief that you would go to France and deliberately lie to an Abbot of a French monastery. And, it stretches all known credulity for that religious superior, ie, Abbot Bories to wilfully and knowingly participate in that deceit. In light of the scandal surrounding the Holy Ghost Fathers in Ireland; your behaviour is truly despicable; it is unconscionable, and you should give serious consideration to tendering your resignation to the Holy Father. Because, I can assure that your demonstrable deceit will be brought to the attention of the competent Dicasteries of the Holy See.
Rt. Rev’d Dom Jean-Bernard Marie Bories, OSB, Abbot of the Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval.
His Excellency, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of France.
Archbishop Antoine Hérouard, Archbishop of Dijon.
Fr. Basil MacCabe, OSB, Temporary Superior, Silverstream Priory.