Dear Teresa,

Belatedly, I acknowledge receipt of your e-mail of January 30, 2023 to which I now hasten to reply. It is appropriate to highlight that at the time of this writing, you are the only individual who has engaged with my ongoing concerns about safeguarding within Silverstream Priory.

As I have previously highlighted the homepage of Silverstream Priory, the “SAFEGUARDING” url links to the webpage: For the sake of completeness, I checked before the composition of this reply that this was still the case. Therefore, it is all the more astounding that nobody within the Diocese of Meath (who have stated responsibility on the website of Silverstream Priory for safeguarding) has responded to my correspondence. And it is not unreasonable to infer that safeguarding is not a concern for Bishop Deenihan when it comes to the priests at Silverstream Priory, which is a most extraordinary reality.

The catalyst for the present correspondence was reading on the RTÉ news website yesterday that the Carmelite Order has accepted that it was “a grave failure” that the “serial abuser” John McClean, a teacher and rugby coach at Terenure College was not stopped. I respectfully submit there is no material difference between the insouciance of the Carmelites and Bishop Thomas Deenihan with respect to their on-going indifference to responsibility for safeguarding at Silverstream Priory.


Therefore, I will ask you to IMMEDIATELY approach Bishop Deenihan to definitively establish who is responsible for the priests at Silverstream Priory from a safeguarding perspective. I further ask that this information be provided by Bishop Deenihan in the form of a signed letter, and that it appears on the website of Silverstream Priory, the safeguarding website of the Diocese of Meath, and any other publication/media outlet that you consider to be professionally appropriate.


This request for confirmation should be relatively straightforward, because we know that the founding superior, Fr Mark Kirby was incardinated into the Diocese of Meath by a decree of the emeritus bishop, Michael Smith. I am told and have confirmed with a number of priests in Meath that Kirby was incardinated from the Diocese of Tulsa. We further know that Fr Benedict Andersen was ordained a deacon and a priest before he made solemn monastic profession; he is therefore I am told a priest of the Diocese of Meath. And we have a deadly and ongoing silence about who is responsible for Fr Hildebrand Houser. Is he still a priest of the Archdiocese of St Louis or is he priest of the Diocese of Meath?

Because Silverstream Priory is a community of diocesan right it does not have the authority under canon law to incardinate its clerics. Therefore, the priests of Silverstream Priory are priests of the Diocese of Meath, and in the case of Fr Hildebrand Houser, he is either a priest of the Diocese of Meath; and if he is not, then he is a priest of the Archdiocese of St Louis. He cannot be incardinated in both dioceses; he must be dependent on one bishop to exercise priestly ministry. On which bishop is Fr Houser dependent upon for priestly faculties? It is a very simple question to answer.

In any event, I am told it is irrefutable from the perspective of canon law that every priest who exercises ministry in Silverstream Priory can only do so with the written permission of Bishop Thomas Deenihan — so, why is Bishop Deenihan utterly incapable of confirming this known reality? Why is Bishop Deenihan so afraid of answering this question? Is it because if he admits the canonical/legal reality he knows he will potentially face a number of lawsuits?

Quite simply I am asking: why are none of the priests of Silverstream Priory listed on the directory of priests functioning within the Diocese of Meath?

I again direct your attention to by blog posting about the presence of Boy Scouts at Silverstream Priory, because it adds considerable urgency to the pertinence of my questions.

The advice contained within your reply of 30 January 2023 is noted and appreciated. However (at this time) I am unaware of any allegation, suspicion or knowledge of child abuse that has taken place on the grounds of Silverstream Priory.

Nonetheless, I would be grateful for a prompt acknowledgement of the present. I would be further grateful for an undertaking from you to ensure that the requested information is available to the public by no later than Friday 5 p.m., 3 March 2023.

Best Wishes,

  • Pat Buckley

PS: I believe that transparency is good for the Church, so I will place a copy of this correspondence on my blog.

His Excellency, Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland.
Bishop Thomas Deenihan, Bishop of the Diocese of Meath.
Fr Basil MacCabe, Superior, Silverstream Priory.