800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.
June 8, 2014 Comments Off on 800 dead babies are probably just the beginning The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.
800 dead babies are probably just the beginning
The corpses found in an Irish septic pit resulted from a larger problem.
By Martin Sixsmith June 6
Martin Sixsmith’s book, Philomena, published by Penguin Books, was adapted for the screen last year.
The discovery of a grave containing the remains of as many as 800 babies at a former home for unmarried mothers in Ireland is yet another problem for the Irish Catholic Church. The mother and baby home at Tuam in County Galway was run by the nuns of the Sisters of Bon Secours and operated between 1925 and 1961. It took in thousands of women who had committed the “mortal sin” of unwed pregnancy, delivered their babies and was charged with caring for them. But unsanitary conditions, poor food and a lack of medical care led to shockingly high rates of infant mortality. Babies’ bodies were deposited in a former sewage tank….
During 10 years of research into the Catholic Church’s treatment of “fallen women” — I wrote about one of them in my book, Philomena, later turned into a feature film starring Dame Judi Dench — I discovered that the girls were refused medical attention, including painkillers, during even the most difficult births; the nuns told them the pain was the penance they must pay for their sin. In the home where Philomena gave birth, an unkempt plot bears the names of babies and mothers, some as young as 15. There are undoubtedly many more there who have no memorial.
For those who survived, the psychological trauma has endured. Philomena and thousands like her were forced to look after their babies for up to four years, bonding with them before they were taken away to be adopted. Many went to families in the United States in return for substantial “donations”; lack of proper vetting meant some were handed over to abusive parents. The mothers were told they were moral degenerates, too sullied to keep their babies. The nuns said they would burn in hell if they spoke to anyone about their children or what had been done with them….
The warped code of honour behind the decades of silence had been inculcated by an all-powerful Catholic Church. For much of the late 20th century, the Irish civil authorities were in thrall to the hierarchy; Archbishop John Charles McQuaid threatened pulpit denunciations if the government contradicted his policies. So the state connived in the mother and baby homes, paying the nuns at Tuam and all the other homes a per capita rate for every inmate….
April 9, 2012 Comments Off on Irish Catholic Church unable to foot $1.84 billion abuse bill
Irish Catholic Church unable to foot $1.84 billion abuse bill
Government vows to pursue every means possible to get the compensation
By Dara Kelly, IrishCentral.com Staff Writer
Sunday, April 8, 2012
The Irish Minister for Education says that religious orders in the country found culpable in the sexual abuse of children are not able to pay their share of the compensation owed to victims.
However, he also went on to say that he is still going to pursue every means possible to get the compensation from them.
The total compensation package for victims of sexual abuse is some $1.84 billion dollars and the plan was for it to be split between Irish taxpayers and religious orders where abuse took place.
The Residential Institutions Redress Scheme is the authority that makes the awards to victims of abuse….
It now seems that the onus will be placed on the taxpayer to stump up more than the 50 percent originally planned.
Quinn is trying to get the orders to hand over deeds of schools and other property assets to redress the cash shortfall, but many of the properties are now owned by trusts and not directly by the orders.
June 7, 2011 Comments Off on Op-Ed Columnist – An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles
Op-Ed Columnist An Archbishop Burns While Rome Fiddles By MAUREEN DOWD June 4, 2011
THE archbishop of Dublin was beginning to sniffle.
He could not get through a story about “a really nasty man” — an Irish priest who sexually abused, physically tortured and emotionally threatened vulnerable boys — without pulling out his handkerchief and wiping his nose.
“He built a swimming pool in his own garden, to which only boys of a certain age, of a certain appearance were allowed into it,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told me recently. “There were eight other priests in that parish, and not one of them seemed to think there was something strange about it.”
Two years after learning the extent of the depraved and Dickensian treatment of children in the care of the Irish Catholic Church
— a fifth circle of hell hidden for decades by church and police officials — the Irish are still angry and appalled.
The only church leader who escapes their disgust is the no-nonsense, multilingual Martin. He was sent home to Dublin in 2003 after 27 years in the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomatic corps and found the Irish church in crisis, reeling from a cover-up that spanned the tenures of four past Dublin archbishops….
The frustrated Martin has criticized the Vatican’s glacial pace on reform and chided the church: “Denial will not generate confidence.”
He has mourned the lack of faith among young people in Ireland, where fewer than one in five Catholics go to Mass in Dublin on Sunday. (A victims’ support group is called One in Four, asserting that’s how many Irish have been affected by the sexual abuse scandal.)
In return for doing the right thing, he has been ostracized by fellow bishops in Ireland and snubbed by the Holy See.
Showing again that it prefers denial to remorse, the Vatican undermined Martin’s call for accountability. In 2009, after the Irish government’s 700-page Murphy report on sexual abuse came out, Pope Benedict XVI refused to accept the resignations of two Irish bishops who presided over dioceses where abuse cases were mishandled.
The following year, when Martin expected to be named cardinal, the pope passed him over.