Surprisingly, good priests often become corrupt when they become bishops, and they seem to always get away with it.
Here are some reasons why bishops are able to exploit religious people and others to their advantage, and what to do about it.
They play dirty and the public lets them get away with it.
Because they are bishops, many people expect them to be good and holy and deal with us honestly. However, they don’t play by the rules. They promise truth and justice but lie and cover up abuse. That’s why so many are duped by them. They are like unscrupulous salespeople using Jesus’s values.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Develop a healthy scepticism. Speak up and ask questions. Make sure you are being dealt with honestly.
They understand power dynamics. Because they are in authority, they understand that authority can give them a free ride. Because they are bishops, the public is often reluctant to question their authority. That’s why they move about with an air of authority and get away with criminal activity. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Question them! See through these bad guys hiding behind a thin veil of self-righteous holy authority.
We are prone to the bystander effect. Part of the problem is public tolerance for bad behaviour. Too often, we simply stand by when others have been abused, not wanting to get involved, expecting those in charge to act appropriately. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Challenge those in charge! Stand up to those who cover up abuse.
We give them money and that enables them. A major part of the problem is giving bishops money. They ask for money under the pretext of doing their charity work. But your money to the church is going to bishops to pay their lawyers to fight victims and survivors of clerical sexual abuse. WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT? Stop giving them money.
These are just four ways to help stop bad bishops and make the world a better and safer place.
The New Zealander survivors give us good advice.
1 Question everything a n RCC bishop says.
2. Always challenge an RCC bishop.
3. Stand up to abusers and their cover uppers.
4. STOP giving them any money.
SCOTTISH PRIEST IN COURT FOR ABUSE
You may recall in a previous email I mentioned the upcoming case against Fr Neil McGarritty of Glasgow.
He appeared today in court prior to his trail later this month.
He’s facing 6 charges against 4 separate girls including two 10 year olds.
Checkout bbc news Scotland.
There is a long back story of allegations over decades and cover up by 3 archbishops if you want further info.
You may remember I mentioned in a previous email the impending trial of Fr Neil McGarritty. He had his pleading diet this week past and his trial will begin this coming Wednesday at Glasgow Sheriff Court. (Details of victims, 2 aged 10, and six charges on bbc news Scotland)
He’s best friends of Fr Peter McGarvey of Donegal and of Derry Public Toilets Voyeur case.
Day 1 of Trial of Fr Neil McGarritty today at Glasgow Sheriff Court; testimony by 10yr old of grooming behavior, language and touching.
Recently a Waterford reader sent ne the following:
I checked out this message with a Waterford priest who replied:
His father Stanley Bowyer was mentioned at the start and at the end of Mass. I didn’t once see him waving his arms. He didn’t bless himself at all at the beginning of Mass. He almost made the congregation feel that they didn’t need to pray at all. The speech at the start was too long. No long winded speech at the end.
D’arcy did not mention that Phonsie was gone to Medjugorje.
Fr John Harris conveyed Phonsie’s apologies to the family before Mass started.
Whoever Waterford Reporter is ….not very accurate”.
I am very much among those who cringe when D’Arcy (77) pushes himself forward, especially at the funerals of well known people.
And D’Arcy has a major habit of doing that.
I cannot understand why Irish bishops and parish priests allow D’Arcy to muscle in so often.
Unless a family has a priest in the family, the normal person celebrating the Funeral Mass is the parish priest or curate of the parish.
The priests of Clogher diocese, where D’Arcy lives, are always complaining about his habit of butting in on funerals.
Why don’t they just tell him to join the other mourners in the pews?
The PP in Castleblayney went out of his way to keep D’Arcy out of the limelight at the funeral of the legendry Country singer BIG TOM Mc Bride.
The PP got a lot of clerical pats on the back for that.
I played a small roll in keeping Brian in the pews at the funeral of the late, great GAY BYRNE.
People think that D’Arcy is a great liberal. Not at all. Brian is a “sixpence each way” man and keeps both side happy.
He certainly is no Tony Flannery.
No matter what you think of Tony, he has put his money where his mouth is and has suffered the consequences.
I never got to meet Brendan Bowyer.
But his dad, Stanley, below taught me in St John’s in Waterford.
Given the difficult situations of the communities of Mount Melleray, Roscrea, and Mellifont, during a meeting of superiors of the Region of the Isles in Brownshill (Bernardines, England) in June, the Abbot General proposed a plan, including the naming of one Father Immediate for all three communities and the appointment of one Monastic Commissary for all three communities. Each community would continue to live where it is, but there would be one formation house for all three communities, and other structures of mutual help.
This proposal was studied in the communities and, after reflection, all three communities, by a vote of their conventual chapter, agreed in principle to accept it. Suggestions from the communities were incorporated into the plan.
The juridical status of the communities has been as follows –
Mount Melleray: Since the resignation of Dom Richard Purcell as abbot of Mount Melleray in November 2021, the abbatial office has been vacant. The Father Immediate of Mount Melleray since October 2020 has been Dom Michael Ryan, abbot of Bolton.
Roscrea: Dom Malachy Thompson has been superior ad nutum of Roscrea since 2018. Since the abbatial office at Mt Melleray (Father Immediate of Roscrea) is vacant, Dom Michael Ryan of Bolton has functioned as Father Immediate of Roscrea since November 2021.
Mellifont: Since the resignation of Dom Brendan Freeman as superior ad nutum of Mellifont in November 2021, the abbatial office has been vacant. Since the abbatial office at Mt Melleray (Father Immediate of Mellifont) is vacant, Dom Michael Ryan of Bolton has functioned as Father Immediate of Mellifont since November 2021.
After consultation with the communities, who expressed their consent by a vote of their respective conventual chapters,
(1) On July 16th, 2022, Dom Michael Ryan of Bolton delegated his responsibility as Father Immediate of Mount Melleray to Dom Brendan Freeman of New Melleray Abbey.
(2) On July 16th 2022, the Abbot General, with the consent of his Council, in the name of the General Chapter appointed Dom Brendan Freeman of New Melleray Abbey as Father Immediate of Roscrea and of Mellifont.
(3) On August 2nd 2022 Dom Malachy Thompson offered his resignation as superior ad nutum of Roscrea to the Father Immediate, Dom Brendan Freeman, who accepted it.
(4) On August 3rd 2022 the Abbot General, with the consent of his Council, in the name of the General Chapter, suspended the exercise of the autonomy of the communities of Mount Melleray, Roscrea, and Mellifont, and authorised Dom Brendan Freeman, Father Immediate, to name a Monastic Commissary for all three communities in accordance with the Statute on Fragile Communities.
(5) On August 3rd 2022 Dom Brendan Freeman appointed Fr Rufus Pound as Monastic Commissary of Mount Melleray, Roscrea, and Mellifont. Dom Rufus is a monk of Mt St Bernard Abbey who had been claustral prior at Mellifont since November 2021. He will carry out his responsibilities in accordance with the Statute on Fragile Communities and with the plan mentioned above.
Further details will be given at the General Chapter in September.
What we are seeing here is the Cistercians regrouping for two reasons:
1. The decline of vocations.
2. The Richard Purcell scandal.
Really, the 5 Cistercian monasteries should be amalgamated in one monastery- probably the mother house Mount Mellerary.
But monks can be just as difficult as others and the monks are not all cooperating with the required changes.
The two monasteries with abbots – Portglenone in Antrim and Moone in Kildare are refusing to be amalgated.
The other three, Mellifont, Roscrea and Mellerary are now being turned into a monastery with three campuses with one novitiate one Commissary and one Father Immediate.
The Cistercians were already in great decline in Ireland.
Dick Purcell was the last straw the broke the camel’s back.
I direct your attention to what is in effect a piece of on-line marketing by a Florida-based attorney, Mr. Adam D. Horowitz. An on-line search of the Directory of the Floridian Bar confirms that the said Mr. Horowitz is “eligible to practice law in Florida. His Bar number is: #376980. And, is his registered address is: 110 E Broward Blvd Ste 1530 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3544. Moreover, there are no disciplinary proceedings that are on-going against Mr. Horowitz according to the website of the Florida Bar.
Within his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Horowitz self-describes as a “Sexual Abuse Attorney”. Therefore, his area of professional expertise is representing victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, victims of child sexual, and sexual misconduct. In light of his experience in the area, I invite you to read the link on his professional website.
It is, of course, an inescapable and undeniable fact that Mr. Horowitz is perfectly free to market his professional legal service in this manner. This is, of course, done in a manner that those of us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean find distasteful, predatory, and opportunistic. But, litigation is a culture-bound reality; so what works for attorneys in the US will definitely not work for attorneys in the Republic of Ireland.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mr. Horowitz might be issuing proceedings against the Diocese of Meath [Roman Catholic Diocese and Parishes of Meath; Other registered names: Curia and Parishes of the Diocese of Meath. Registered Charity Number (RCN): 20015176] and instructing senior counsel to ventilate certain matters with respect to Dom Mark Kirby before the Irish Courts.
As the Roman Catholic Ordinary of the Diocese of Meath, I invite you to contemplate the following scenario(s). Just imagine, if Dom Benedict Andersen and/or any other individual decides to issue proceedings in the United States alleging they are victims of Dom Mark Kirby’s sexual misconduct while he [Kirby] was a priest of the Oklahoma-based, Diocese of Tulsa; they could obtain a civil judgment in the USA and then seek to enforce the judgment in Ireland.
After all, St. Finian’s Trust has control over what can be described as a cornucopia of significant property interests in some areas of land that are highly desirable for residential development in order to satisfy the ever-expanding Dublin commuter belt. These properties could be liquidated in order to satisfy the judgment(s) of the US court. Just think about that reality for a moment! With your doctorate in education from the University of Hull — I do not need to set out the implications of that reality. However, it might serve you well to get in contact with the solicitors who act for the diocese to set your mind at rest.
Bishop Deenihan, I have repeatedly written to you about Dom Mark Kirby. You have wilfully and deliberately ignored all my correspondence. American lawyers can be notoriously aggressive. They are driven by breathless rapacity, because America is after all the home of the DOLLAR. Irish Courts will give effect to a judgment of a US court provided all the necessary procedures and protocols are followed with exactitude. Just because you are Mullingar-based does not mean you are immune to and/or insulated from Kirby’s past actions in the United States. This is now has the potential to get very ugly, very nasty, and potentially very expensive in the future. All of which could have been avoided if you had not been so intransigent and so intellectually indolent about the nefarious list of Kirby’s known misconduct and his pet project, Silverstream Priory.
Bishop Deenihan, I know for a fact and I can evidentially establish that Dom Mark Kirby was incardinated by Decree into the Diocese of Meath by your predecessor, Bishop Michael Smith. Having consulted a number of experienced Canon Lawyers, I have been advised that it is a canonical reality that Dom Mark Kirby remains incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Meath, despite the fact he does not appear within any diocesan directory.
Furthermore, I am apprised by a religious cleric that a fledgling Priory of diocesan right does not have the jurisdiction to incardinate clerics. Consequently, Dom Mark Kirby remains a priest of the Diocese of Meath. The cleric in question is of the view you have been receiving advice from Abbot Coffey at Glenstal Abbey. Is there any truth in this assertion? Because, if that is the case, Coffey should know that: a) a monastery of diocesan right, ie, Silverstream Priory, does not have the jurisdiction to incardinate clerics: b) and, Dom Kirby remains on your books as a priest of the Diocese of Meath.
Now, you have a real problem should legal proceedings be issued against Kirby. Perhaps, you should ask Abbot Brendan Coffey of Glenstal Abbey for some guidance.
This is the same Abbot Coffey, who confirmed in office a credibly accused predator, ie Dom Kirby as the superior of Silverstream Priory. Thereafter, Dom Kirby, was then subject to a year-long investigation by the Irish Police, An Garda Síochána. It is my erstwhile hope that you will not be relying on Abbot Brendan in the future.
The harsh and hard reality is that Silverstream should be IMMEDIATELY suppressed. But, I am told by several priests of the Diocese of Meath that you do not want to hand me, Bishop Pat Buckley, another victory, and being forced to admit that I was right, and that you were wrong and by extension; you, Bishop Deenihan have been negligent and incompetent.
Repeatedly, you have been told about Dom Mark Kirby cult-like monastery And you, Bishop Deenihan, have wilfully and deliberately ignored all these concerns for reasons that remain incomprehensible. This, too, also has implications for the Diocese of Tulsa because Kirby was also incardinated as a priest in that diocese I am led to believe when he left mainstream monastic life in order to reinvent himself as a wandering mystic who hears Christ from the tabernacle.
Your inexcusable inaction gives Mr. Horowitz a significant litigation advantage and you should be ashamed. Thus, my respectful advice is that you petition the Holy See to suppress Silverstream Priory with all haste. Decide if you wish to take canonical proceedings against Dom Kirby for his repeated violations of the sacramental seal of confession, give the two priests, Andersen and Houser, letters of good standing; assist the monks who are in solemn vows to transition to other Benedictine communities, and those who are simply professed, should be dispensed from their vows and be allowed to return to secular life. Thereafter, sell the property and bring closure to this ridiculous saga. If you do not, you may find yourself immersed in a legal battle that could be very expensive, because Kirby is on your books and therefore the Diocese of Meath is legally liable. Have your lawyers explain to you the legal implications that flow from the legal reality that is vicarious liability.
Because we are dealing with an extremely serious matter, I will post a copy of this e-mail on my blog. You will note it is been copied to Abbot Brendan Coffey; the Roman Catholic Ordinary of Tulsa, Bishop David A. Konderla; the new superior of Silverstream, Dom Basil MacCabe; and is been copied to the Florida-based, Mr. Horowitz for his kind consideration.
In conclusion, Bishop Deenihan, it is never too late to do the right thing and the sooner you start to deal with the scandal that is Dom Mark Kirby and his pet project, Silverstream Priory, the better for all concerned.
The Kerry Diocesan Youth Service is promoting condoms to young people. Yes you heard me correctly. Earlier today a van arrived at the Kerry Diocesan Youth building in Killarney giving out condoms & lube & conducting HIV tests. This is all on the Kdys Facebook page. The Youth Service deals with children from 12 up to about 23. The Bishop of Kerry knows this happened today but did nothing because he maintains it’s independent of the Diocese but that’s not true because a Fr. Ger Godley is the chairman of the KDYS & Browne has the power to appoint a no of people to the Board”.
Personally, I support the use of condoms to stop unwanted pregnancies and prevent the spread of disease.
I’m not so sure about giving them to under 16s without the permission of their parents.
But the RCC says that artificial contraception in mortally sinful.
Yet the Kerry RCC is distributing condoms.
Is that double standards?
Just like they condem homosexuality and yet many of the bishops and priests are at it like pink rabbits.
The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland has released his long awaited report into the Claudy bombing which killed nine people in July 1972.
In it, he has effectively confirmed what many have believed for 38 years – a Catholic priest was involved in carrying out the atrocity and that the police, British government and Catholic Church conspired to keep that fact a secret.
The report said that police in 1972 believed that Father James Chesney was the IRA’s director of operations in south Derry and was directly involved with the Claudy bombings.
However, the police force at the time, the Royal Ulster Constabulary, never brought Fr Chesney in for questioning.
Fr Chesney was the curate in Cullion, one of the smallest parishes in County Londonderry, near the village of Desertmartin.
Ombudsman investigators spoke to a former Special Branch detective who said he had wanted to arrest Fr Chesney in 1972, but was told by an assistant chief constable (ACC) that matters were in hand.
That same ACC then wrote to the Northern Ireland Office asking what action “could be taken to render harmless a dangerous priest”.
He asked would it be possible to bring the subject up with cardinals or bishops.
In December 1972, a NIO official wrote back to the ACC to say that the matter had been discussed by the Northern Ireland Secretary Willie Whitelaw and Cardinal Conway, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland.
The letter read: “The Cardinal said that he knew the priest was a very bad man. The Cardinal mentioned the possibility of transferring him to Donegal.”
The then RUC chief constable, Graham Shillington, said he would prefer a “transfer to Tipperary”.
Fr Chesney was moved to a parish in County Donegal in 1973, he died in 1980.
No paramilitary group has ever claimed responsibility for the bombing and no one has ever been convicted of it, but for more than 30 years rumours circulated that a Catholic priest and the IRA were behind the attack.
When the investigation into Claudy was re-opened in 2002, part of its remit was to investigate claims that the British government, RUC and the Catholic Church conspired to cover up the activities of the priest.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said that a search of papers from 1972 indicated that a priest in south Derry had been an active member of the IRA.
They did not name him, but few doubted the priest in question was Fr Chesney.
Currently, we are celebrating the 50 th anniversary of the dreadful Claudy Bombing in which nine people were killed.
I cannot understand how anyone, especially a priest, would have it in them to murder anyone – especially innocent people.
Many Catholic members of the Republican paramilitary groups used the Catholic Church’s own teaching of “the just war” to justify their actions.
Most of us would agree that a just war is a war against invading aggressors.
But by 1969 the British had been in Ireland for 800 years. During that time they had inflicted massive wrongs and injustices against the Catholic and Nationalist community.
There was indeed widespread discrimination to be fought against.
And as somebody who has been in Northern Ireland for 44 years now I have to admit that the unjust Unionist Junta would have never ceded power without being forced to.
No reigning power in the world ever gave up power willingly.
It is a sad lesson of history that unjust regimes have so often had to be removed by the power of the gun.
I am very sad when reflecting on this.
But I simply cannot get my head around a priest blowing up innocent people.
To my mind it is the absolute anthitisis of what the priest follower of Christ is meant to do.
My blog last Sunday about the purchase of Mullingar-based property, 4 Ardmore Hills was one of my most popular in recent times. Some of my loyal readers remain hopeful that you will (because you are a Cork-born man with a generous spirit) provide updated pictures of the interior and the tasteful improvements (possibly) carried out by St. Finian’s Diocesan Trust, ie, the Trust that is registered at the Diocesan Office, Dublin Road, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath.
Encouraged by my readership, I decided to ascertain the ownership of Silverstream Priory. And, I was greatly assisted by the efforts of a solicitor who is sympathetic to my ministry.
One of your priests erroneously told me that the monastic property was owned by the Silverstream-based monks. But, another one of your priests got in contact (in light of my Ardmore Hills blog) and told me that the monastery is owned by St. Finian’s Trust. And, this is indeed the case.
As we know, St. Finian’s Trust, 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”.
The Folio Number for Silverstream Priory, Silverstream, Stamullen, Co. Meath, K32 T189 is: MH75387F. It is a freehold title that comprised of 6.32 hectares. I will post a copy of this e-mail and the Folio entry on my blog.
Once, I had confirmed the ownership of the Silverstream lands, I was intrigued; so, I made some phone calls. I have learned that the founding monks of Silverstream Priory “purchased” the property from the Visitation Sisters for the sum of €600,000. Is this true?
At that time, why did Dom Mark Kirby acquiesce to the purchase of the property by St. Finian’s Trust? Because there is no burden on the title to the benefit of the community at Silverstream, the monastic community are in effect “guests” of the Trust?
I have it on good authority that there is no commercial agreement/lease arrangement between the monks of Silverstream Priory and the Trust and/or the Diocese of Meath. Is this true?
At the time, when the monks arrived in Ireland from the Diocese of Tulsa: did Dom Mark Kirby have the advice of a solicitor with an established background in conveyancing law?
It is legitimate to ask: did the Diocese of Meath/St. Finian’s Trust take advantage of naïve Americans by taking their money to purchase a property that is ultimately to the benefit of the diocese of which you are the Ordinary?
I presume you are familiar with the allegations made by one of the founders of Silverstream Priory, Dom Benedict Andersen. Have you read this article in the Pillar?
You would accept that Silverstream Priory is mired in scandal? If so, why have you not commenced the process to suppress the Priory?
If you have not done so — do you plan to petition the Holy See to issue a Decree of suppression? I am told because the community is of Diocesan Right; it is more straightforward because it is not of Pontifical Right. There would be no messy legal battles concerning the property, (which I am told is ideal for residential development), because the grounds of the Priory are owned by St. Finian’s Trust.
Now that there is a new religious superior of the community, Fr. Basil MacCabe, will the two co-founders of Silverstream, Dom Mark Kirby and Dom Benedict Andersen be returning to Stamullen any time soon?
With an assurance of heart-felt prayers, and requesting an occasional remembrance in yours; I remain devotedly yours in Christ.
Cc: Fr. Basil MacCabe, Superior of Silverstream Priory.