Monastic Ireland.

Letter from Stephen of Lexington to the Prior and Community of Kilcooly (Letter 71)

Extract from Stephen of Lexington, Letters from Ireland 1228 - 1229 (translated and with an introduction by Barry W. O'Dwyer), Cistercian Publications Inc., Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1982

Letter 71
To the Prior and Community of Kilcooly, greetings.

We recall that with the authority of the Order and the General Chapter we had given a command to your abbot through the venerable abbot of Jerpoint and other devout monks of that house and through some of you, that, for the service of this house, especially in autumn, he should make provision to return to the house and be there when the visitation of his house was being made with the aforesaid authority. But by using evasions and finding excuses until now, he has contumaciously delayed returning to the clear and serious detriment of his house; and we ought not to put up any longer with his negligence and disobedience to the Order. Therefore, taking into account his inadequacy both by reason of infirmity, which keeps him almost continuously in the infirmary, and because he is lacking in the strength to rule the monastery and protect it against enemies, but especially because it is incumbent on us to absolve him from his office in that for the seven consecutive years that he was abbot he was never present at General Chapter, we depose him from the office of abbot with the authority of the General Chapter given to us in full power, absolving everyone of your house, monks and lay-brothers, from the profession they had made to the aforesaid abbot. In addition, with the same authority of God and the Order, we fasten him with the chain of anathema unless he return the seal and the property of the house which he has, restoring them entirely to you. We subject to the same sentence all the persons of your house who accept the aforesaid man as abbot in future or obey him as if he were abbot. Take care of your house with all diligence and attention, in complete accordance with the counsel of your father-abbot of Jerpoint. We strictly prohibit the abbot of Jerpoint from appointing an abbot for you, however, except with the counsel and consent of the general visitors.


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Kilcooly, Tipperary(Abbey)