Dear Bishop Deenihan,
I refer to my recent correspondence to Archbishop Rozanski posing this most reasonable and legitimate of questions: who has canonical responsibility for Fr. Hildebrand Houser, a monk of Silverstream Priory, which is located within the Diocese of Meath?
It is beyond comprehension that my legitimate query was not acknowledged and/or answered by any individual from the Archdiocese of St. Louis and/or the Diocese of Meath and/or Ms. Teresa Devlin, Chief Executive Officer, National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland. The inaction of Ms. Devlin is deeply egregious by virtue of her position.
The paucity of a response means it is legitimate to take the reasonable inference that safeguarding in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Meath is tokenistic.
So, for the second time I pose a very simple question: who has responsibility for safeguarding when it comes to Fr. Hildebrand Houser? Is that the Archdiocese of St. Louis or the Diocese of Meath?
Do you Bishop Deenihan, as the Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath accept that Fr. Hildebrand Houser, OSB who was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is currently residing and functioning as a priest at Silverstream Priory?
Do you accept that Silverstream Priory was canonically erected by your predecessor Bishop Michael Smith that it is located in the Diocese of Meath and that you are the Ordinary for the priests of the Priory and the ultimate superior for the monks?
Do you further accept the legal reality that Silverstream Priory, Stamullen, Co. Meath, K32 T189 is owned by St. Finian’s Trust, which has as its “primary object is to act as permanent trustee for the property and investments of every kind, owned by, held in trust for, or used in connection with the Roman Catholic Church in the Diocese of Meath”?
If so, why is the aforementioned Trust and its trustees permitting, Fr. Houser to function as a cleric in a property without proper canonical oversight and accountability?
I appreciate that with your PhD from the University of Hull, that you are not canonically or legally qualified, however, I do know that you have access to expensive lawyers. And they can advise you the merits and demerits of vicarious liability that could arise from any tortious act(s) on property owned by the Diocese of Meath. Of course, you will accept I hope that good legal advice in Ireland is very expensive.
Bishop Deenihan, again I wish to be unequivocally clear that I am not accusing Fr. Houser of any misconduct whatsoever but, I am very keen to ascertain who is canonically responsible for this cleric and his priestly ministry within your canonical territory.
Moreover, as I have been able to evidence in the past boy scouts were present at Silverstream Priory, hence my on-going queries in this regard are legitimate, reasonable and timely.
On the homepage of Silverstream Priory, the “SAFEGUARDING” url links to the webpage: http://www.meathsafeguarding.ie, would you accept Bishop Deenihan that Silverstream sees the buck stopping with you?
For reasons that are self-evident, I would be grateful for an immediate acknowledgement of the present and clarification in which diocese is Fr. Houser incardinated as a cleric.
With prayerful best wishes,
Archbishop Rozanski, Ordinary, Archdiocese of St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America.
Ms. Teresa Devlin, Chief Executive Officer, National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland.
Ms. Marie O’Sullivan DLP and Ms. Marie Willoughby DLP, Safeguarding Officials, Diocese of Meath.
Ms. Sandra Price, Director of Safeguarding, Archdiocese of St. Louis.