Somewhere out in the ocean right now, a small buoy is measuring wave direction and speed, along with barometric pressure and water temperature, feeding that data back to observatories. Even small upticks or downticks may signal the first stirrings of what could become a devastating storm.
You don’t need special equipment, however, to detect warning signs right now of a legal tsunami that may be heading for the prosecution in the Vatican’s “trial of the century,” which pivots on a $400 million London real estate deal gone wrong, and, for the first time ever, features a cardinal in the dock.
On Wednesday, the penal section of the Italian Supreme Court dismissed an arrest order that had been issued at the request of Vatican prosecutors for Gianluigi Torzi, a London-based Italian financier who’s a principal defendant in the Vatican trial. Though we don’t yet have the text of the ruling, in effect the Supreme Court found the evidence submitted by the Vatican insufficient to sustain a charge.
The decision follows a similar ruling by a British judge in March, who also threw out a Vatican request for Torzi to be arrested, citing what the judge called “appalling” misrepresentations and omissions in the evidence submitted by the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice.
I think the Vatican is trying to blame all kinds of people for the corruption in the Church.
But the truth is that the buck stops with Francis and the cardinals who run the Vatican.
When you are the chief and deputy chiefs of an organisation your scalp is the one that should be sacrificed when things go wrong.
The truth is that the Vatican should never have been state in the first place. It was a gift from the tyrant Mussolini in return for church support.
The Vatican is a rogue state when it comes to sexual abuse, financial corruption and cooperation with groups like the Mafia.
Italy should cancel the 1929 concordat and make the Vatican answerable to Italian, European and International law.
The tragic and senseless murder of the MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, in what appears to be a terrorist-related attack is truly shocking. The late politician was a devout Roman Catholic, who was murdered while holding a surgery for his constituents at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea.
One MP has described the level of abuse hurled at MPs and their parliamentary aides as an “epidemic”. In what could be described as a portent of his own death, Sir David Amess, wrote recently that an attack on a politician “could happen to any of us”. This is not surprising when you read that a former parliamentary adviser who worked for Yvette Cooper, MP, says she received around 50 death threats each week. In a response to his killing, the UK Home Secretary, Priti Patel, MP, has ordered an urgent review of the security of MPs.
On June 11, 2002, a man armed with two rifles entered Conception Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Missouri killing two monks and seriously injuring two others before killing himself.
Following the publication of “The Murphy Report” in 2009 into clerical misconduct of the Archdiocese of Dublin, just after “The Ryan Report” priests reported that they had been subject to verbal harassment/intimidation in public and some reported they had been spat upon.
In America, following similar public scandals, priests also reported similar levels of public harassment. And, some Orthodox clergy have been confused for Roman Catholic clergy and were the subject of harassment and abuse from members of the public who enraged at Roman Catholic clergy.
In an article in the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, following revelations of further clerical scandals that in Canada “four Catholic churches and an Anglican church were burned to the ground, the first churches to be set ablaze or vandalized to begin a summer of such desecration. Suspicious fires then broke out across the country. In all, at least 56 churches have been set aflame or vandalized, according to the True North Centre, which is mapping attacks on churches”.
On October 11, The Los Angeles Times, reported that a charge located on the edge of Chinatown in LA was defaced with “with anti-colonial slogans on Monday in an act of vandalism that police are investigating as a hate crime”. And, this seems to be continuation of similar acts of vandalism of churches in California.
So for today’s blog, I am asking priests and religious who read this blog to comment on their own personal safety.
Have they ever been physically assaulted?
Have they been injured and/or received an injury that was so severe it required immediate medical attention including hospitalisation?
Have they ever been threatened with violence?
Was the threat of violence a one-off occasion and/or part of an on-going campaign of harassment/intimidation?
Do priests/religious need to have self-defence training?
Should a priest/religious carry a can of pepper spray for their personal safety?
Is it conceivable that a person who is so enraged by the historical failings of the church could contemplate murdering a priest in revenge, and act accordingly?
Are these realities that are contemplated by clergy/religious on a daily basis?
Should all presbyteries have CCTV installed to ensure both the security of the property and the safety of clergy and those who work/volunteer within the parish?
Our readers of the blog aware of any initiatives that have “ecclesiastical approval” that have at their core the health and safety and personal security of priests/religious?
I would be interested to read additional comments and observations that I have not included in the blog, because this is a wide-ranging and complex issue.
I have been verbally attacked on the streets of Dublin.
I have been spat upon and struck on one or two occasions by drunks at a Traveller wedding.
When I came to Larne in 1984 two gunmen came to shoot me at my home. Thankfully I was out.
The following day the police arrived with bulletproof glass and a Walthar automatic pistol.
Thankfully I have never had to use it.
With all the abuse and corruption I think that there is an increased danger to priests.
Thats why many of them dont wear clerical collars.
I am not a fan of Archbishop Roche, who will probably be made a cardinal by Pope Francis at the next consistory. As the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, when he gives a lecture about the liturgy, we should reflect and engage with what he has to say even if we vehemently disagree. When he was the Ordinary of the Diocese of Leeds, he displayed a sustained hostility to the Traditional Latin Mass (TLM) that was unacceptable. As a diocesan bishop, Roche (who is very personable one-to-one) did not show pastoral solicitude; nor, did he exercise ecclesiastical discretion.
I take a pragmatic view about the TLM, if people wish to attend this form of the liturgy, let them, because, they are not doing any harm. However, they cannot be permitted to create a church within a church; their deficient ecclesiology cannot be given institutional credence. But, is also the case that people attend the TLM because they are in dismay at the state of the church, e.g., ex-Cardinal McCarrick and the never-ending tsunami of scandals involving sexual and financial misconduct.
A great number of (but not all) people who are diehard supporters of the TLM are driven by the misguided nostalgia to “recreate” a perfect church that has never existed. These people would do well to remember there has never been a golden age of the church. They seem to forget that Liturgy is a participation in the salvific work of Christ. The celebration of the Eucharist as per the pre-Vatican II Missal has become a spectacle for those who wish to fetishise liturgical vestments on websites such as:
It is also begetting the dangerous groupthink that priests who celebrate the TLM are beyond reproach and they can do no wrong. Church Militant, which is becoming increasingly Trumpian have eloquently shown that the evil of priests sexually abusing children is also an entrenched problem within the SSPX.
Increasingly, I have found this observation to be true where you have priests wearing lace in the church in the morning — you have the same priests wearing leather in the evening at chemsex parties.
The TLM will not “save” the church. It will not lead to an influx of vocations. Its supporters would do well to bear in mind that there are twenty-three Eastern Churches sui iuris in full communion with Rome that have distinct but equally legitimate liturgical traditions, ie, the Alexandrian, Armenian, Byzantine, East Syriac, and West Syriac Rites. Also, these churches have their own problems. And, they have corrupt and abusive clergy.
Those who take a traditional/conservative worldview about liturgy are rightly concerned with the unacceptable and erroneous view that Vatican II gave clerics a licence to recreate the church and by extension the liturgy in their own image and likeness. The unsympathetic modifications to churches and cathedrals were often misguided, ill-conceived, and driven by petty ecclesiastical politics. A point acknowledged by Cardinal Ratzinger when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
It is important that we differentiate between Tradition and Traditionalists when it comes to liturgy. The two bishops that are heroes for traditionalists are Cardinal Burke and Bishop Athanasius Schneider. The former seems to becoming a conspiracy theorist and the latter is concerned by what he considers of the evil of taking communion in the hand.
Liturgical disputes are as old as the church itself. Nothing ever changes, and the sooner we accept that and make peace with ecclesiastical reality the better.
When I was ordained in 1976 I started celebrating and loving the Paul VI Mass.
It is the Mass I still use and I have never used Benedict’s missal.
I like all 4 eucharistic prayers.
II and III are useful as not being too long.
I love IV as it lays out the history of God’s dealings with man.
I agree with our correspondent today that the Latin Mass on its own if fine. But it is not fine when it becomes a rallying point for the right-wingers.
I have NEVER celebrated Mass in Latin and would need a lot of tutoring to do so.
I am, of course, aware, that hearing from me is not a development that you will welcome. Nonetheless, it should not come as a surprise due to your lamentable, negligent, and wholly unacceptable oversight of the monastic visitation of Silverstream Priory in 2020.
Recently, I have received some fresh information about Silverstream Priory. And, that information has been confirmed by a number of priests within the Diocese of Meath. Yesterday, I sent an e-mail asking a number of pointed questions to Bishop Thomas Deenihan about the presence of a Fr. Richard Abourjaily at Silverstream Priory.
It is clear that Fr. Richard Abourjaily was resident in Silverstream Priory doing what he liked with impunity with the explicit approbation of Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, and possibly with the tacit approval of the then Bishop of Meath, Michael Smith.
Because, I believe transparency is good for the church, I published my list of questions to Bishop Deenihan on my blog. I enclose a link to the blog posting for your kind consideration:
Of course, if you are in a position to provide any answers to the questions asked of Bishop Deenihan, I would be most grateful. But, I suspect that might-be naïve on my part, however, one can always hope.
In any event, the catalyst for the present e-mail is a comment posited in the form of a question and an observation that was posted on my blog at 1.18 p.m. this afternoon in response to the above list of questions to Bishop Deenihan.
It is worth highlighting the question in full: “Was the Abourjaily matter brought up to Deenihan’s visitation? If so, it makes the visitation’s initial confirming of Dom Kirby as prior even more shocking”.
As you know, I will publish this e-mail on my blog, however, for the benefit of my readers, I will clarify what is meant by “Deenihan’s visitation”; it is the Apostolic Visitation ordered by Bishop Thomas Deenihan, the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath in response to allegations he received from an individual whom we now know to be Dom Benedict Andersen, OSB, a monk and priest of Silverstream Priory. The visitation was conducted by you, Abbot Brendan Coffey, OSB; the frequent visitor to the gay sauna in Dublin known as The Boilerhouse, Dom Richard Purcell, OCSO, and Monsignor Gearóid Dullea, the former executive secretary to the Irish Episcopal Conference. Hence, there was sensibly a cornucopia of monastic/ecclesiastical experience to call upon.
As so many documents pertaining to the visitation have been leaked you should have no problem in answering any of the following questions.
Therefore, Abbot Brendan, are you in a position to confirm whether the presence of Fr. Richard Abourjaily was raised during the Apostolic Visitation of Silverstream Priory?
Are you able to answer if Fr. Richard Abourjaily was permitted to reside within Silverstream Priory with the ecclesiastical approbation of the Diocese of Meath?
With the benefit of hindsight complemented by your considerable experience as the Abbot of Glenstal and as a monastic troubleshooter, e.g., Ampleforth Abbey, do you consider the presence of Fr. Richard Abourjaily to have been a blessing or a curse for Silverstream Priory? I would be grateful for a considered reply to this important question.
I am told by Meath-based priests that Dom Purcell was appointed to be one of the visitators due to his purported expertise in financial matters. We were apprised in a report published by the National Catholic Reporter [hereinafter, NCR] that the three visitators stated that they are “very concerned about your [Silverstream Priory’s] current financial situation and the economic viability of the monastery”. Thus, can we infer that a proper financial audit of the community was undertaken? If not; why not?
What was your involvement (if any) in the financial audit of the community? It is my understanding that none of the people involved in the visitation hold professional qualifications in financial management/accounting. Why did you not suggest that a forensic audit of the accounts by a specialist firm be commissioned by the Diocese of Meath? Do you now consider that to have been a mistake made by the visitators?
It is, however, interesting that in the NCR article NO reference was made, in the visitators’ report to the allegations of sexual misconduct that had been levelled against Dom Mark Kirby. We learned after the completion of the visitation [September 2020] from Martin Long, Director of the Catholic Communications Office of the Irish Bishops’ Conference that Dom Mark “Kirby remains a priest in good standing and is currently on sick leave in Dublin and has resigned his post as superior”.
Thus, as the safeguarding co-ordinator for the Congregation of the Annunciation, I ask you the following question: were the allegations of sexual misconduct made against Dom Kirby not investigated during the visitation?
Was Mr. Martin Long at that time mistaken in stating that Dom Kirby was a priest in good standing or was Mr. Long being a well-paid deceiver?
We know that accusations of sexual misconduct were levelled against Dom Mark Kirby. We know that you were actively involved in the covering-up of same. Hence, do you consider that your position as the Abbot of Glenstal Abbey is untenable? Would you adopt a similar modus operandi if a similar complaint was made against a monk/priest of Glenstal Abbey? For the avoidance of doubt that is cover-up and sweep the accusation under the carpet and make it go away…
Because of your egregious handling of an allegation of sexual misconduct, do you consider that your position as the safeguarding Co-ordinator for the Congregation of the Annunciation is untenable?
Have you considered submitting your resignation as the safeguarding co-ordinator to the Abbot President of the Congregation of the Annunciation, Fr. Maksymilian R. Nawara, OSB? If not; why not?
Do you accept the charge that you have no credibility from an ecclesiastical and/or secular perspective when it comes to safeguarding?
Do you further accept that you bring “monastic safeguarding” into disrepute and your actions/initiatives within Glenstal Abbey and its school along with the wider Congregation of the Annunciation cannot be accorded any credibility?
Can the parents of students who are pupils in Glenstal Abbey School have any confidence in the safeguarding procedures in the school as a result of your active participation in the exoneration/cover-up of allegations of serious sexual misconduct in Silverstream Priory?
Would you be happy for me to send a copy of this e-mail to Mr. Seán Ó Foghlú, Secretary-General of the Irish Department of Education, asking him to bring these safeguarding concerns to the personal attention of the Minister for Education, Ms. Norma Foley? For the sake of convenience, you might wish to refer Glenstal Abbey School and your oversight of same to Mr. Foghlú. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
You exercised the delegated authority of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath, Bishop Deenihan, and acted as the Superior of Silverstream Priory for a period of time. Thus, if Silverstream Priory is suppressed by a Decree of the Holy See, and some members of the community wish to remain Benedictines in Ireland, would you be receptive to receiving monks from Silverstream Priory into the community at Glenstal Abbey? If not, why not? If you resign, and when the new Abbot of Glenstal is elected, would you recommend any members of the Silverstream community to the new Ordinary of Glenstal Abbey?
With prayerful best wishes,
+ Pat Buckley
Abbot President, Congregation for the Annunciation, Fr. Maksymilian R. Nawara, OSB.
His Lordship, the Bishop of Meath, the Most Rev’d Dr. Thomas Deenihan, PhD, (Hull).
Unfortunately, I find myself in the position where I have to bring the on-going scandal that is Silverstream Priory to your immediate attention.
As you are probably aware, in my blog posting dated October 13, 2021, I posed (via e-mail) a series of questions to the father of one of the simply professed monks of Silverstream Priory, Dr. Kwasniewski. At the time of this writing, Dr. Kwasniewski has not replied to same. In my missive to Dr. Kwasniewski, I made reference to an ex-priest of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Fr. Richard Abourjaily.
The said Fr. Abourjaily made life extremely difficult for Cardinal Pell for reasons that do not need to be elucidated within the present.
In light of this blog posting, I have been contacted by a third priest from the Diocese of Meath. Obviously, I assured this priest total discretion, because he was concerned about retaliation because Silverstream Priory and my on-going blogging about same is very contentious and sensitive matter within the Diocese of Meath.
The good priest confirmed to me that Fr. Richard Abourjaily was physically present at Silverstream Priory. He confirms that Fr. Abourjaily was frequently seen on the grounds of Silverstream Priory wearing the traditional soutane; he further confirmed that he had seen Fr. Abourjaily in the choir stalls of Silverstream Priory during the celebration of the Divine Office on several occasions.
I am apprised that Fr. Abourjaily was approached by people who were visiting the Priory when he was out and about to hear confessions, which he did without any hesitation. I am also told by my informant that Fr. Abourjaily was appointed to be the “monasticll cook” by then Prior, Dom Mark Kirby.
It has been confirmed to me that Fr. Abourjaily did celebrate the Conventual Mass at Silverstream Priory on several occasions. Let me be clear, I am stating that Fr. Abourjaily publicly celebrated Mass in the oratory chapel at Silverstream Priory, attended by the monks and members of the public with the explicit permission of Dom Mark Kirby. A Laytown-based woman has confirmed that she attended a Mass at Silverstream celebrated by Fr. Abourjaily. She clearly remembers his Australian accent. She also remarked she was surprised that it was not a monk celebrating the Mass. She was very clear on this point.
However, I now e-mail with the following questions that you will have to ascertain from your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith.
It is my understanding from the Meath-based priest that Fr. Abourjaily was prohibited from representing himself as a priest under any circumstances while present in the Diocese of Meath. He did NOT have permission to celebrate the Eucharist publicly; he definitely did not have faculties to hear confessions, because he was in a lot of trouble with his then Ordinary, the Archbishop of Sydney. Is this true?
Was Fr. Abourjaily canonically present in the Diocese of Meath with the explicit written permission of his Ordinary, the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, OP?
Was Fr. Abourjaily given written permission to reside at Silverstream Priory by your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith?
Was Fr. Abourjaily, given faculties to celebrate the Eucharist publicly, and to hear confessions by your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith?
If, Fr. Abourjaily, did not have permission to canonically reside at Silverstream Priory and did not have faculties to say Mass and/or hear confessions, from the Diocese of Meath — did Dom Mark Kirby have jurisdiction to grant Fr. Abourjaily the requisite permissions? I am not a canonist, however, I am apprised that because Silverstream Priory is under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath, such permission could only be granted by then Bishop Michael Smith. Is my understanding correct?
Was the fact that Fr. Abourjaily was saying Mass and hearing confessions brought to the attention of the Diocese of Meath? If so, was a Decree rendered by Bishop Michael Smith (at that time) prohibiting Fr. Abourjaily exercising priestly ministry in the Diocese of Meath?
Did the Diocese of Meath have any communication from the Archdiocese of Sydney about Fr. Abourjaily?
Did the Archdiocese of Sydney provide financial assistance to either Silverstream Priory and/or the Diocese of Meath or both to support the then Fr. Abourjaily?
Is there any correspondence pertaining to Fr. Abourjaily in the archives of the Diocese of Meath? If so, are you, (Bishop Deenihan) willing to make it public in an act of transparency?
Of course, I realise, that you are not a fan of mine, however, I am a fair-minded and reasonable individual, so I recognise that the scandal and saga that is Silverstream Priory is not of your creation. You inherited the mess of your predecessor, however, I think it is reasonable to assert that you have made a bad situation worse by failing to address the issues at hand, namely that Silverstream Priory is the misguided vanity project of an individual who purports to be a mystic. However, the misguided mystic has led a life of debauchery that is completely at variance with the normative Christian vocation.
If you had hoped that the visitation (conducted by a Cistercian abbot mired in scandal and a compromised Benedictine abbot who has been complicit absolving Dom Mark Kirby’s known misconduct) would ameliorate the situation – you are very much mistaken.
Bishop Tom, would you accept that Silverstream Priory is hopelessly and irredeemably compromised?
Would you accept that the best way forward is for the Priory to be suppressed by a Decree of the Holy See?
Would you also accept that those who are constituent members of the community should be offered assistance to transfer to credible institutes of religious/monastic life, and those who wish to return to secular life should be afforded financial assistance to make that a reality?
Are you in a position to confirm what will happen to the lands that constitute the Priory should the institute be suppressed by the Holy See?
Do you plan to sell the grounds and use the proceeds of the sale for evangelisation within your canonical territory?
With an assurance of heartfelt prayers and requesting an occasional remembrance in your most powerful prayers, I remain sincerely yours in Christ;
“Peter Andrew Kwasniewski (born 22 March 1971) is an American traditionalist Catholic writer and composer of sacred music. He is a senior fellow of the St. Paul Center in Steubenville, Ohio, and was formerly on the faculty of Wyoming Catholic College. He is also the author of four books about traditional Catholicism: Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis, Noble Beauty, Transcendent Holiness, Tradition and Sanity, and Reclaiming Our Roman Catholic Birthright. (Wiki)
In 2016, it was revealed that Kwasniewski was among the clergy and theologians who signed the “Letter of the 45”, a letter to all the Catholic cardinals which asked them to “respond to the dangers to Catholic faith and morals” which they alleged that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia had posed.
Kwasniewski was also a signatory of a letter in support of the four Dubia cardinals. In April 2019, Kwasniewski was among 19 Catholic scholars and clergy who signed a 20-page open letter making a formal accusation of heresy against Pope Francis. These documents have been published in the book Defending the Faith Against Present Heresies (Arouca Press, 2020), which also includes 31 items (articles and interviews) commenting on the various initiatives, among which are found two essays by Kwasniewski.
Kwasniewski has spoken out strongly against Pope Francis’s teaching on the death penalty and particularly his changes to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He has been an outspoken critic of this pope on other topics as well—for example, on the motu proprio Spiritus Domini modifying canon law to open the ministries of lector and acolyte to women; and the pope’s apparent veneration of Pachamama at the start of the Amazon Synod as well as the agenda and conduct of that synod;
Although Kwasniewski discusses his understanding of the nature and limits of the papal office in many articles, the most comprehensive treatment to date seems to be a lecture entitled “My Journey from Ultramontanism to Catholicism”.
He has distanced himself repeatedly from and unequivocally rejects sedevacantism. To an Orthodox hieromonk who had critiqued the Catholic Church in the modern West, Kwasniewski wrote a rejoinder expressing sympathy but also questioning some of his conclusions and presenting arguments in favor of the Roman Church. In an article called “Is It Ever Okay to Take Shelter in an SSPX Mass?,” he summarized the changes over the years in the Vatican’s attitude toward the Society established by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre and counseled Catholics, if their canonical right to the Extraordinary Form as per Summorum Pontificum is denied in their parish or diocese, to avail themselves of Society chapels. He exhorts Catholics not to give up on the Church in spite of what many consider to be its current corruption and waywardness”. (Wiki)
Dear Mr. Kwasniewski,.
I am Bishop Pat Buckley, an independent bishop who is well-known on the island of Ireland for my ministry to those on the fringes of the church. But, I am better known for highlighting clerical misconduct in the church on my blog.
Last year, several priests of the Diocese of Meath provided me with information about Silverstream Priory, because they were concerned (quite rightly) at the way the so-called visitation of the priory was being conducted. They were also concerned at the mishandling by Bishop Deenihan of the allegations of sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement levelled at the then Prior of Silverstream, Dom Mark Kirby, OSB, who I understand is well-known to your good self.
One of the visitators of Silverstream Priory was Dom Richard Purcell, the current Cistercian (Trappist) abbot of Mount Melleray Abbey in County Waterford in the Republic of Ireland. As I have repeatedly highlighted on my blog, and it was acknowledged to me as being true by the current Abbot General of the Cistercians of the Strict Observance, Dom Eamon Fitzgerald, that Dom Purcell has on-going issues with chastity. Dom Purcell is known to be a frequent visitor to gay saunas; he had consensual anal sex with an ex-seminarian of the Diocese of Killaloe, who recognised Purcell from a retreat. I could go on; but, I suspect you get the picture. Nonetheless, I would submit the fact that Dom Purcell was involved in the visitation of Silverstream — the said visitation had the credibility of a canard. Of course, I could also highlight issues associated with the other visitator, Abbot Brendan Coffey, OSB, of Glenstal Abbey, but that would take too long.
It is my understanding that you have a personal connection with Silverstream Priory. Your son is a member of the community at Silverstream; he (your son, Dom Isaias Maria) professed first vows on July 11, 2020. I noted that Bishop Deenihan attended the profession.
However, the catalyst for the present e-mail is your announcement on Facebook (yesterday Oct 12, 2021) that you recently attended the priestly ordination of two monks in Italy; the ordaining bishop was Cardinal George Pell. You were very circumspect about the conversation you had with Cardinal Pell, however, I suspect you were less than complimentary about the current Pontiff, Pope Francis. You must be apoplectic at the restrictions on the Traditional Latin Mass rightly introduced by Pope Francis.
I am not a fan of Cardinal Pell. However, I entirely accept he was maliciously prosecuted and imprisoned; but more importantly he was cleared by Australia’s highest court. Hence, his name and reputation is unblemished.
However, Cardinal Pell did have a lot of difficulty with a priest who feigned cancer. The said priest (who I now believe has been laicised) was Fr. Richard Abourjaily. Interestingly, I understand he started his journey to priesthood in a FSSP seminary. Abourjaily was branded as being “delusional” by Cardinal Pell. However, that did not stop him coming to Silverstream Priory, where he [Abourjaily] was permitted by Dom Mark Kirby to hear confessions, to celebrate the conventual mass and present himself as a priest without any restriction. Were you aware of this reality? If you have the contact details of Cardinal Pell, would you be happy to make him aware of this sequence of facts?
Would you now publicly condemn Dom Kirby for permitting Abourjaily to do what he liked with impunity at Silverstream Priory? Should Kirby be subjected to disciplinary action instigated by Bishop Deenihan? If not; why not?
Were you aware that when Dom Mark Kirby was teaching liturgy at Holy Apostles Seminary in Connecticut that he was a trenchant critic of the Traditional Latin Mass? He absolutely hated the liturgy of the church that you display an autistic-like obsession with. He was so disparaging of the so-called mass of the ages it became an issue. This has been independently verified and I have the names and addresses of priests that can attest to this reality. Of course, they would not wish to be associated with me, however, that is not the point.
At the time when Kirby was teaching in the seminary he was a Cistercian, he was, however, not permitted to wear the Cistercian habit at the time. Were you aware of that reality? Are you able to offer any insight into why he was not permitted to wear the monastic habit at that time?
Were you aware that Dom Mark Kirby when he was in the United States lead a life that was considerably and conspicuously at variance with his priestly and monastic vows? His “leather jacket” was well-known on a certain scene. I invite you to take whatever inference you wish from that statement. Sadly, there is a huge gay subculture in the Traditional Latin Mass movement. I am not suggesting that all priests who celebrate the TLM are gay but a lot of them are; because, wherever you have lace you have leather along with lots of pink gin.
Are you in a position to shed any light why Dom Kirby departed from The Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle Foundation in Mounds, Oklahoma?
Are you aware that Dom Kirby has been accused of sexual and financial impropriety during his tenure as founding prior of Silverstream? If these accusations are proven – do you consider that Dom Kirby should be laicised? Would you support the imposition of laicisation by Decree on Dom Kirby – if the accusations are true?
If the life of Dom Mark Kirby is shown to be one of duplicity and deception over the decades — do you consider his latest creation, Silverstream Priory to irredeemably tainted and an embarrassment to the cause that you hold, dear, the Traditional Latin Mass? In light of your considerable academic expertise, you would accept that monastic communities emanate and display certain characteristics of the founder; hence, this is a legitimate question about Silverstream.
Would you then support the suppression of Silverstream Priory and the dispersal of the community to more credible monastic houses by a Decree of the Holy See?
Do you consider that you and your son were duped by the hypocrisy of Dom Kirby?
Because of Dom Kirby’s purported love of the Traditional Latin Mass, did you fail to exercise appropriate and suitable judgement of Dom Kirby? Do you lack discretion?
I note that you provided the Nihil Obstat for Kirby’s book In Sinu Jesu. In light of the allegations made against Dom Kirby, do you now consider you that should withdraw the said Nihil Obstat?
Are you in a position to confirm if Dom Kirby personally received any royalties from, In Sinu Jesu?
Does Bishop Thomas Deenihan and/or the Diocese of Meath receive any royalties from, In Sinu Jesu?
Should the book be withdrawn from circulation and that those who were so laudatory of In Sinu Jesu should publicly disassociate themselves from the said book? These individuals are: Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, Fr. Hugh Barbour O.Praem, Fr. David Abernethy CO, Fr Joachim Schwarzmüller, Dr Kevin Vost, Prof. David W. Fagerberg, and Prof. Mark Miravalle. Bishop Joseph Strickland is also a fan I understand, along with the conspiracy theorist, anti-vaxxer and a trenchant critic of the papacy of Pope Francis, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.
Are you in a position to shed any light into who receives the royalties from In Sinu Jesu? Are you in receipt of on-going royalties from sales of the book?
Are Ignatius Press and EWTN aware of the scandals that surround Dom Kirby?
Do you consider Silverstream Priory a suitable place for your son to pursue his vocation as a monk? Would Dom Isaias Maria be better seeking a transfer to a more mainstream/suitable Benedictine house? As he is American-born — would Clear Creek Abbey in Oklahoma be an alternative?
Do you accept the charge that you at times border on being a sedevancantist?
Do consider your obsession with the TLM to be a form of Churchanity, and that has created an ideological sequestration that borders on sectarianism that makes you blind to the ills of those who nostalgically long for a golden age of the church that never really existed where the Traditional Latin Mass was ubiquitous?
It is my custom to publish all my e-mail correspondence on my blog, because I believe transparency is good for the church. Should you reply to this e-mail, I, will publish your reply, unless you explicitly request me not to do so.
With prayerful best wishes,
+ Pat Buckley.
I have never heard of Mr Kwasniewski before now.
He seems like all of the other right-wing TLM crowd.
A priest who knows him says: “he is a die-hard Kirby loyalist. He is also inching closer and closer to schism with his opinions about the liturgy and resistance to the Pope. He has said some very unkind things about the Silverstream whistle blower. He accused the whistl blower of being “deranged” for making accusations against Kirby.
I think I know who the deranged one is.
The priest said of his son:
“He himself is a very nice young man, but his father is very foolish to put him under Kirby’s influence. Being a homeschool child without a college degree, Julian has no experience of the world, nor of manipulating, grooming creeps like Kirby”.
Silverstream and silver streamers are a strange and dangerous lot.
I will let you know what I know about Caldey Abbey.
I used to have a friend living on the Island and visited her there up until about 8 years ago when she had to leave due to ill health, so over a period of 18 years.
Some of this information she told me – she is now dead – and some I heard from a lady who had been the guest house keeper with the Carmelites at Presteigne in Wales – they had a sister who made an extended retreat at Caldey and was basically persuaded/coerced into a sexual liaison with the former Abbot Robert O’Brien, who is now dead.
But he features as someone who knew all about Kotik and his abuse and whose response was to ask him to stay within the abbey grounds.
No report went to the police.
The lady who told me this had been told by the sister concerned, whose name was Imelda.
As Presteigne is now closed I have no idea where Imelda might have gone or even if she is still a nun, but I can’t imagine that she was the first person he did that too.
He was abbot when I first visited my friend there and so I met him a few times but kept my distance.
My friend told me about Fr Desiree (aptly named) who also had inappropriate relationships with young women as at his funeral a woman tried to attend who he had clearly been intimate with when she was young, and Daniel didn’t want her to be there.
This lady and her husband had worked in the guesthouse on Caldey and had been sacked by Daniel and took their case to court for unfair dismissal and won.
My friend told me Daniel and she had an out and out argument about Sally’s attendance at the funeral and he nearly booted her off the island.
Not surprisingly she had a stroke not long after!
So my impression of Daniel is not good. I found him an arrogant man who was full of himself and thought himself better than his community.
I also knew a monk called brother Benedict who had a serious alcohol problem which was not helped by the islanders giving him access to booze.
He made final profession but then was sent off to MSB where he couldn’t cope, basically disappeared and was found dead in a ditch somewhere in the North of England.
There was also in my time a Brother Sean who was there a good while and then who left under strange circumstances and was working as a nurse somewhere near Tenby.
I hate seeing all the above written out on one level but it shows just the tip of the iceberg as to what has gone on there just with a few people whose lives have been wrecked by a serious abuse of power.
So I can’t believe Daniel when he says he had no clue about Kotik as there were letters that Robert wrote about him and Robert was very much alive when Daniel first went to Caldey from an abbey in the Netherlands, and to have 3 or 4 known paedophiles given housing there and playing a part in island life says that Caldey must have been well known in those circles.
You may have heard similar things from other people which may or may not corroborate what I am saying.Just for info.
I am an experienced mental health practitioner so am careful to weigh up what I hear and see to be sure that I am not reading more into things than is there.
I didn’t know the stuff about Purcell till I read your blog but then what happened with Pat seemed to make a lot more sense if there had been goings on at MSJ guesthouse.
I ised to think that Cistercian monks were the holiest of the holiest.
I even believed something that up until the last few years.
But now I see the rottenness is all through them as well.
You have Purcell.
You have the Portglenone monk convicted of child abuse in the abbey.
You have the monk who worked in Derry in a parish, abused kids and was later appointed novice master in Mount Melleray.
The former abboy of Mellifont, Enda Ducey told me he had had 18 sexual partners in Mellifont, both men and women.
I personally had to escape Enda’s wandering hands as a newly ordained priest.
You have the situation mentioned above in Caldey.
You have Roscrea with Purcell, Malachy Thompson and the suspicious death of Pat.
You have the abbot general, Eamon Fitzgerald, covering up for Purcell and everything else.
*** I am travelling to Canada for a week from today. I will continue to blog but comment moderation may take extra time. Bear with me,please.
THE SAD DEATH OF PAT WALSH OF ROSCREA ABBEY.
I have been following your blog for a while now and want to thank you for highlighting some awful abuses within the Church.
I am especially concerned over Richard Purcell and his disgraceful behaviour particularly following the suicide of Pat Walsh who was the guest master at Roscrea and I truly hope he did not witness anything and tried to bring it up with Purcell or Malachy Thompson.
I have no proof of anything I am sorry to say but just have a horrible feeling about it.
I will tell you what I know about Pat. I visited Roscrea for the first time in October 2018 as I had a friend there who was a novice oblate and so met Pat and stayed in touch with him afterwards albeit on a brief email every now and again.
My friend didn’t stay and he alerted me to Pat’s death. All I know is that Pat went missing – he was on the Garda website as a missing person and then found dead a few days later. If you google Paude Walsh Waterford you can actually watch still the funeral Mass via the link below the death notice in which the family talk about their search for him and then finding his body. He was a very big man so I would imagine he drowned or overdosed. I have tried very discreetly to find out more via someone I know who goes regularly to Roscrea but I get no real answers and people don’t want to talk about it.
So I don’t know the family really. All I can also say is that when I met Pat he was not at ease at all and I thought he seemed very depressed. So it may be that depression was the chief cause of his death; however the goings on at Roscrea can’t have passed him by either. I know he was a Carmelite for a long time too.I don’t know if there was an inquest?
Sorry to leave more unanswered questions with you.
At this point, ANYTHING that happens in Cistercian monasteries has at least the potential to be worrying and scandalous.
This is because we know that bad things have happened and are happening.
Someone as vulnerable as Pat Walsh could be very damaged by hearing and seeing things he should never hear or see.
Most sincere lay Catholics are shocked to the core at the things that have hapoened and are happening in monasteries and dioceses.
Rather than being the light houses of all that is good and moral, these places have become the flickering, enticing, lights of Hades.
I address you as the Provincial of the Irish Redemptorists about certain matters that have recently come to my attention pertaining to the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., who died on November 13, 2020.
As you are probably aware, I am “known” for blogging about contentious matters in the Irish church. On September 24 of this month, I blogged about that your confrere, Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R., celebrating the funeral liturgy of his late sister, Geraldine Flannery, in a private home.
Notwithstanding, the canonical prohibitions on the priestly ministry of her brother, Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R., I was, however, surprised that the funeral liturgy was not celebrated in the Redemptorist Church at Esker.
It is clear that the Flannery family in their early years were faith-filled. The fact that the three (3) Flannery brothers entered the Redemptorist Congregation is evidence of same. Two (2) of the brothers remained and were ordained to the priesthood (Tony and Peter) but Frank Flannery left became an important and influential figure as a political consultant and the Director of Organisations and Strategy for Fine Gael. And, I understand that the late Geraldine Flannery was a nun of the Mercy Congregation, who was teaching for a number of years.
The travails of Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R., with the Holy See are well-known, and they are not addressed within the present. However, I do wish to address a number of issues that are brought to my attention following the publication of my blog on September 24.
To my considerable surprise and shock — several people contacted me and brought to my attention a number of very serious allegations about the behaviour of the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., and as a consequence of same the purpose of this e-mail is to ask a number of important questions of the Irish Province of the Redemptorists.
Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.
It is alleged that the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., had a deeply unhealthy interest in young girls, and that his behaviour towards/with young girls was morally repugnant and potentially criminal? Are these allegations true?
Is it true that this alleged behaviour of the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., was widely known within the Irish Province of the Redemptorists and had been ignored/covered-up for a conspicuous period of time?
Is it true that following a number of incidences that led to complaints that the Irish Province of the Redemptorists had no choice but to commence an investigation?
Is it true that the allegations against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., were deemed to be sufficiently serious/credible that they were delated simultaneously to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life at the Holy See?
Is it true that the competent Dicastery, i.e., the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith upon completion of their investigation upheld the allegations made against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.?
Is it true that upon completion of the penal process the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., was permanently stripped of his priestly faculties by Decree?
Do you know of any time during the process did the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., petition for voluntary laicisation?
Can you shed any light behind the reasons why the Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R, was not forcibly laicised?
Was this due to his co-operation with the process or was perhaps due to the fact he was at that time an older man; beset by a number of serious health conditions?
Did the Holy See exercise the prerogative of mercy with respect to the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R?
It is my understanding that in the last years of his life, Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., did not enjoy good health; hence, the prohibition on his priestly ministry was meaningless as he was not in a position to publicly minister/function as a priest due to his ill-health.
Were the allegations made against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., referred to An Garda Síochána? If not; why not?
If the allegations have not been referred to An Garda Síochána — do you consider that they should be now referred to the force?
Did the Irish-based Redemptorist Congregation pay financial settlements to victims of the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.?
If so; were these financial settlements approved by the Superior General of the Order? And, as an aside: were the financial settlements paid from the reserves of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorist Congregation) or by its insurers and/or a combination of both?
With the passing of time — if the actions of the Redemptorist Congregation were subjected to an independent review would you be confident that the actions of the Irish-based Redemptorists were compliant with Code of Canon Law and civil law of the Republic of Ireland?
Would the Irish Redemptorists welcome an independent review of its handling of the complaints made against Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.?
Were the allegations made against Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., referred to An Garda Síochána? If so, to which police stations?
Do you know if an independent investigation(s) into the allegations made against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., were conducted by An Garda Síochána? Do you know if An Garda Síochána then sent the results of their completed investigation(s) the Director of Public Prosecutions?
Are you able to shed any light that underpinned the reasoning of the director of public prosecutions not to bring criminal proceedings against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.?
Why did the Irish-based Redemptorists NOT make a public announcement about the allegations and invite alleged victims of the Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., to come forward?
Since his death has any other complainant(s) come forward and to make a complaint(s) against the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R.?
Following the publication of the Cloyne Report, the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny, launched a blistering attack on the Holy See condemning what he considered its obscurantist attitude. It was noteworthy that Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R., was very supportive of the statement made by then Taoiseach. He is reported as saying:
“I was happy with the Taoiseach’s statement . . . Many of us priests are frustrated with the way the Vatican conducts its business”.
Are you in a position to proffer any insight why his brother, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R., has maintained a steadfast silence about his deceased brother?
Was he unhappy with the way the Holy See treated his brother?
Is Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R., unhappy with the fact that the Holy See exercised the prerogative of mercy in favour of his brother?
Do you consider that Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R., should publicly condemn his brother if the allegations about the late Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., are true? He has been very quick to castigate other officials in the church. Hence, I would submit that his silence on this matter is peculiar, troubling, and very surprising in light of the fact that he is willing to proffer an opinion on everything that is church-related.
Do you know if these allegations about Fr. Peter Flannery C.Ss.R., were known to his brother, Frank Flannery, was previously remarked with a significant political figure in Irish public life?
I would be grateful for a prompt acknowledgement along with answers to these questions within five (5) working days.
With prayerful best wishes,
+ Pat Buckley
My information in this matter came from a number of sources including a senior canon lawyer who has knowledge of this case.
These are important matters in the context of the need for totally transparenency in ALL cases of abuse – given the RCC’s tragic history of cover up and lack of transparency.
This is also an important case given that relatives of the deceased priest aee very prominent in Irish public life.
The Redemptorists, unsurprisingly, have not acknowledged or replied to my email.