Dear Bishop Deenihan,

As you are undoubtedly aware, I have been in contact with Ms. Teresa Devlin, the CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.

In her most recent missive she wrote: “[a]ll church bodies in Ireland, are required to have a designated safeguarding person (DLP) and put up a notice about child safeguarding, directing anyone concerned to the statutory authorities and to the Safeguarding DLP. Both of these are in place in Silverstream”. That was a definitive statement from Ms. Devlin.

Therefore, I am intrigued to ascertain: a) what written assurances [if any] Ms. Devlin has received from you as the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath as to the compliance of Silverstream Priory with national safeguarding protocols, and, b) which individual(s) within the Diocese of Meath has given Ms. Devlin these assurances; thereby, enabling her to reply to my queries with unassailable authority.

I am, of course, FLATTERED, that my most recent missive highlighting the on-going safeguarding issues within Silverstream Priory led to an update on its website and to the naming of Br. Cassian Aylward as the DLP for Silverstream Priory.

It is unacceptable that it has taken ten years for the so-called monastery to “publicly” appoint and name a DLP. Nonetheless, I would respectfully submit that referring to Br. Aylward as “Dom” may be confusing for individuals who are not familiar with the use/abuse of the title “Dom” within certain Benedictine congregations. In order to avoid any confusion, I submit within the present that “Dom Aylward” needs to be referred to as “Br. Aylward”.

However, I feel relieved that Br. Elijah Carroll with his known addiction to gay porn was not appointed the DLP. Nevertheless, this begets the following question: can the appointment of Br. Aylward be likened to putting the fox in charge of the hen house? We must not forget that Br. Aylward is a monk “formed” in the charism of Fr. Kirby. And we know that Fr. Kirby has had an innate indifference to wrong-doing going back decades. So the next question that arises: would it have been more appropriate to have appointed an outsider, who is NOT a monk of Silverstream Priory, as the DLP?

Bishop Deenihan, you do accept that the whole process of safeguarding within Silverstream Priory is an absolute sham? Do you further accept that this rushed update to the Silverstream Priory website evidences a callous indifference to safeguarding at the priory? And do you also accept that the safeguarding page of the aforementioned priory is nothing more than a tissue of lies masquerading as the truth? You will utterly reject my characterisation, however, let me give you some evidence.

On the safeguarding page of the Silverstream Priory website, we read the following:

“We do not have any direct apostolate to children, nor any ministry outside the enclosure of the monastery. Our retreat facilities are closed to persons under 18 years of age”.

This is demonstrably untrue, due to the past presence of Boy Scouts camping overnight on the property that constitutes Silverstream Priory (a property owned ultimately by the Diocese of Meath — the issue of vicarious liability may arise in due course). And I have been able to establish to my complete satisfaction this was not a one-off occasion. As you may recall from my blog, this is a picture of Fr. Mark Kirby with the caption “DIRECTING SCOUTS IN THE SINGING OF THE KYRIE”, a picture taken within the monastic enclosure. Therefore it is legitimate to ask is anybody within Silverstream Priory capable of telling the truth?

Bishop Deenihan on the safeguarding page of the Silverstream Priory website we read the following nonsense: “Our community follows the Safeguarding Policy of the Diocese of Meath and have put in place a number of other guidelines for the community. The full policy and contact information can be obtained here”.

On page 8 of the PDF, we see that the DLP is: “Dom Cassian Aylward”. It is noteworthy that there is no reference to the date of his appointment and/or to his ecclesiastical status. One does not know if he is a monk in solemn vows and/or if he is a cleric, ie, a deacon or a priest. However, the ultimate revelation that safeguarding within Silverstream Priory and the wider Diocese of Meath is nothing more than a sham is eloquently and irrefutably evidenced by the signature of “Father Mark Kirby OSB” on “26 Jul 2019”.

Bishop Deenihan, let us unpick this a little. According to the website of Silverstream Priory, which was canonically erected by your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith, and by virtue of your appointment — you are the Ordinary for this religious community, we can see with our own eyes that the person with ultimate responsibility (in writing) for safeguarding within Silverstream Priory is Fr. Mark Kirby, the pseudo-Mystic, to whom Christ (purportedly) speaks to from the tabernacle.

The said same Fr. Mark Kirby OSB, the monk and priest, who was the subject of an investigation by An Garda Síochána; who upon the completion of their investigation felt there was sufficient evidence to justify the referral of their findings to the Dublin-based Director of Public Prosecutions.

Bishop Deenihan, in the name of all that is good and holy, can you not discern the perversity of this most egregious reality?

Do you now accept this evidences a callous and blatant disregard for safeguarding within Silverstream Priory and the Diocese of Meath more generally? If not; why not?

Bishop Deenihan, let us be frank — Silverstream Priory is a scandal. Your inexcusable negligence in this regard is making a bad situation even worse. And this rushed attempt to have a policy in place about safeguarding within Silverstream Priory is yet further evidence of this inescapable reality.

When are you going to have the moral fibre to bring this scandal to an end and petition the Dicastery for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life to suppress Silverstream Priory by Decree?

Bishop Deenihan, everybody is watching Silverstream Priory. The viewing figures for my blog from all over the world are off the scales every time I make reference to this shambles in your diocese. Think about that. Also, I invite you to reflect that your on-going inaction is making a bad situation even worse; because Silverstream Priory is becoming a source of ever-deepening scandal for the Church in Ireland, and your toleration of same persuasively suggests inexcusable maladministration within the Diocese of Meath; nor does it attest to competent pastoral governance on your watch.

Your brother bishop,

Pat Buckley.


Ms. Teresa Devlin, CEO of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.