“The monastery has received some negative media attention, which may have some negative impact on income for the company. The financial effect this attention could have is difficult to quantify. “

Dear Fr Basil,

Within the Silverstream Priory CLG Directors’ Annual Report for the financial year ended 31 December 2020, one reads the following:

“The Monastery has received some negative media attention, which may have some negative impact on income for the Company. The actual financial effect this attention could have is difficult to quantify. However the Directors are confident that the Company has the capability to continue its activities profitably”.

With the passing of time, on this Palm Sunday evening I would respectfully submit that the confidence of the directors was misguided, churlish, and hubristic. I confidently make this assertion because I have received multiple copies of that begging e-mail evidencing that Silverstream is in dire financial trouble and possibly facing insolvency/bankruptcy. It really could not happen to a nicer community.

Fr Basil I know you have spent several years sequestered from reality in a French monastery that is very much on the fringes. However, people really dislike being emotionally manipulated. The wilful and deliberate reference to the community having undertaken 40 days of Eucharistic Adoration was crass. You expect this oleaginous sales talk from a sleazy and untrustworthy used-car salesman – not from a community of Benedictine monks.

Benedictine monasteries have always been self-supporting — the Benedictine rule is very clear about that reality. What makes Silverstream Priory different? Silverstream Priory is now in the most parasitic fashion begging for money like mendicants. It is my understanding that the bursar and financial director/director of business development was the gay porn-loving Elijah Carroll. Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!

Of course, people might be more willing to assist if you had elucidated the many challenges that the community has experienced during the month of March. And, what are the very large expenditures coming up in April? Is the community being sued for Kirby’s actions? Does it have large legal bills to pay? So many questions and no answers forthcoming and the lack of transparency is deeply concerning

Is Bishop Deenihan aware of the dire financial state of the community? Did you consult with your Ordinary about the sending of this begging missive? Did he approve the sending of same?

Is the financial state of the Priory so dire it needs to self-report to the Charities Regulator of Ireland? (RCN): 20080525. Is the company that constitutes Silverstream Priory is insolvent? If so, does it need to make any statutory declaration?

Does the community have the insight to recognise it needs to petition the Holy See for a Decree of suppression? I would be saddened to see it close, because it has provided a rich seam of content from my blog, but, the sooner the place is suppressed the better.

My readership figures go to the roof every time I blog about Silverstream Priory. The monastery was never going to be a success because it emanated from the nefarious personality of its founder, Mark Kirby a man with a nefarious past.

Fr Basil you need to head back to your community in France (if they will have you) and the rest of the misguided young men need letters from Bishop Deenihan (once Silverstream is suppressed) to support the transfer of their monastic vows to legitimate monasteries where they will need serious monastic formation in an authentic Benedictine tradition where they can learn to love the New Mass.

Will the community (that is highly devotional) take on board this the the punishment of the Lord in Holy Week because of its despicable treatment of Dom Benedict Andersen? The community has tolerated the recidivist Dom Mark Kirby and by extension has tolerated: a) his known sexual and financial misconduct over the years is unacceptable; b) the fact that he is treated like a persecuted mystic (some people consider him the Pedro Pio of his age) because he receives “revelations from the tabernacle” is perverse; and, c) his repeated violation of the sacramental seal of confession of both his community and visitors.

In this Holy Week, may the Lord enlighten the darkness that is Silverstream Priory

+ Pat Buckley


HE, Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio to the Republic of Ireland.
Bishop Thomas Deenihan, Ordinary of Silverstream Priory and the Diocese of Meath.