Roman Catholic babies’ mass grave scandal in Ireland


This video says about itself:

“They were babies” – remains found in Irish church home’s sewers confirmed as human

4 March 2017

A significant amount of remains found in the sewers of a former church-run home for unmarried mothers in Ireland have been confirmed as human.

The remains, found in a disused sewer in the town of Tuam in western Ireland, are said to range from newborns to three-year-old toddlers.

The revelation follows decades of rumours and suspicion that hundreds of infants were buried in a mass grave at the site.

A government-ordered commission began test excavations in October 2014.

Read more here.

By Pauline Murphy:

A scandal that lay secret for too long

Saturday 25th March 2017

Why did no-one listen to the early warning voices about the cover-up of mass child graves at Bon Secours in Co Galway, asks PAULINE MURPHY

FOR decades, there had been mumblings about a mass grave bursting with the bones of children on the site of a religious-run mother and baby home in the west of Ireland.

In recent weeks those age-old mumblings were translated into fact.

Over the course of several decades, hundreds of deceased children had been discarded by the Bons Secours religious order in Tuam, Co Galway, and but for the incessant and fearless work of local historian Catherine Corless who uncovered the truth, it would have remained buried.

This 10 March 2017 video from Ireland is called A well deserved standing ovation for Tuam Babies Historian Catherine Corless.

These children, who died from a variety of causes, were the offspring of “fallen women” — a term which is alien to most people in today’s society.

In the Ireland of the past, a woman who had a child “out of of wedlock” was considered a wicked being, someone who brought shame on their family and parish.

The Catholic church, which wielded an iron fist over Irish society, would suggest the best place for these women was a mother and baby home where they could give birth to their “bastard” child.

Once the child was born it was tagged for adoption and more often than not it was given up for adoption to the highest bidder, usually in the US.

While many survived, many more did not, as is the case with the horror story which unfolded in Tuam.

An inquiry will now be set up to dig deeper into the rotten core of these religious-run homes which were scattered across the country.

Now that the church has lost its powerful position in Irish society, we are free to question the dark deeds carried out by religious orders in places such as the Tuam mother and baby home.

We may think that people cowered under the cruel society the church lorded over, but there are a few who did challenge the church and its harsh regime against ordinary Irish people.

The Irish Workers Voice was the newspaper of the Communist Party of Ireland in the 1930s and in its May 4 issue of 1935 it carried a report with the headline: “We demand an open inquiry into the scandal of Artane tragedy.”

It detailed the killing of a teenager by a so-called holy man in the Dublin industrial school of Artane.

The church-run mother and baby homes were set up to cage Irish women who stepped out of line while the purpose of the religious-run industrial schools was to keep “wayward” youngsters and “unwanted” orphans out of Irish society.

The report was based on an interview the father of the dead youngster gave to the left-wing publication.

Fifty-five-year-old Dubliner Patrick Byrne described how he saw the body of his 15-year-old son laid out in the hospital mortuary: “I saw my boy on Holy Thursday when he was lying dead at the Mater hospital. I lifted the shroud and his ribs and whole side were black and blue and his jaw was discloured.”

John Byrne had been playing football in the yard of the Artane industrial school when the ball accidentally hit the master, Brother Cornelius Lynch, who then turned on young Byrne and gave him an merciless beating.

The boy lingered for days after his beating at the hands of the schoolmaster before succumbing to death.

A hasty inquest was carried out by the school medical officer Dr Murphy who concluded that the cause of the youth’s death could not be determined.

Other boys in the schoolyard had witnessed the master beat the life out of their friend and John’s father was convinced his son had indeed died due to the harsh treatment he received at Artane, but nothing was ever done about it.

In the same report in the Irish Workers Voice newspaper, the father of the dead boy stated that his son’s body son was taken away by the church authorities and buried.

The grieving father never saw his son in his coffin and remarked to the newspaper: “There is something terrible and strange about it all, I’m not even sure if I buried my own son.”

The same report states that the death of John Byrne was not the first in the religious-run school that occurred under suspicious circumstances.

The report ended with the call for an inquiry: “No whitewashing but a free and full inquiry to reveal the facts.”

Those who challenged the church in such ways like this report in a left-wing publication were considered enemies of the state, they were seen as a threat to the power held by the church in a society crippled by conservative hands.

Now we look back and consider that these “subversives” were not the enemy, they were the brave few who did speak out against the authoritarian role of the church in Ireland.

In today’s Irish society we should take inspiration from them because the Catholic church chained the soul of this country, now it’s up to this generation to break the last few links of those rusty chains.

Irish Roman Catholic babies’ mass grave discovery


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Tuam babies: Excavation of children’s burial ground to go ahead

3 March 2017

Memorial: site of the mass grave in Tuam; there are many other burial grounds in Ireland. Photo: Niall Carson.

A test excavation is set to take place at the site of a children’s burial ground in Tuam, Co Galway.The excavation was announced today by the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation which is currently probing how unmarried mothers and their babies were treated between 1922 and 1998 at 18 State-linked religious institutions.

Excavation work will begin from tomorrow and last for approximately five weeks, it said. A sample of the site will be excavated by a team of specialist archaelogists lead by a Forensic Archaelogist. Works are taking place with the full co-operation of An Garda Sochna, the Commission stated.

It said the purpose of the excavation is to resolve a number of queries that the Mother and Baby Homes Commission has in relation to the interment of human remains at this location. This excavation will focus on timeline and stratigraphy. A fraction of the site will be excavated through test trenches, the location of which have been informed by a Geophysical Survey carried out at the site in October 2015, it said.

An excavation team has been engaged by the Commission under the conditions of confidentiality and will not answer any queries on this work or any other aspects of the Commission’s work. Residents and local groups are being informed of the impact of the planned excavation with assistance from Tuam Garda Station.

The Commission is grateful to the Garda and Galway County Council, the owners of the site, for their assistance. Neither is in a position to answer questions on this or any other aspects of the Commission’s work, it added.

Speaking at the site today, Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone said the work carried out by Catherine Corless on the Tuam home had been significant is setting up the inquiry. She said she had met the Commission on a number of occasions and had received an interim report into the matter. I have met the Commission a couple of times now and I do believe they have taken a very very serious approach to their work, she said.

Referencing the large number of people who have come forward to give evidence, Ms Zappone said: I do feel in terms of the job they were given its much bigger than they had anticipated but in terms of my meetings with them they are the people who bring the experience with them in order to do the best job possible, she said. Minister Zappone said the Commission had clearly explained it was on target to deliver the final report by February 2018.

Next time right-wing Roman Catholics attack women’s reproductive rights, claiming to be ‘pro-life’

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Mass grave of children discovered at former Irish home

Today, 16:12

In Ireland, forensic investigators have found ‘a large amount’ of remains of infants on the site of a former Roman Catholic home for unwed mothers.

The government in Dublin ordered three years ago to investigate the soil around the former home in the western Irish city Tuam, after a historian had found evidence of a mass grave. She investigated the birth and death records. A remarkable number of very young children in the home died between 1925 and 1961; probably about 800 children.

The remains found are of fetuses from 35 weeks old to three-year-olds, possibly victims of neglect. They were in twenty subterranean rooms of the home which at that time was run by nuns of the Order of Bon Secours.

The official slogan of that religious order is ‘Good Help to Those in Need’. It seems to have been mostly helping babies to early deaths.

Shame

Irish girls and women who got pregnant while unmarried were sent then to such homes to give birth there. In strict Catholic Ireland it was a disgrace to the woman and her family if she had become pregnant outside of marriage. Biological fathers may also have been better off with the mothers out of sight.

In the thirties, forties and fifties of the last century, the mortality rate among children of unwed mothers was more than five times as high as among children of married parents. On average one in four children born outside marriage died.

Archbishop

At the first indications of the mass grave in 2014, the Archbishop of Dublin said that “if something happened” in Tuam, then that was also likely to apply to a number of other mother-and-child homes from that era. The committee which was set up by the government is also investigating seventeen other institutions run by the Catholic Church.

The Irish Roman Catholic Church had to deal in recent years with a long series of scandals involving child abuse and neglect in the past.

The Irish Minister for Youth Affairs Zappone has called the news about the mass grave “sad and disturbing”. The inquiry will consult with local authorities what to do with the remains.

United States Muslim solidarity with vandalized Jewish cemetery


This video from the USA says about itself:

Muslims Organize Fundraiser For Vandalized Jewish Cemetery

22 February 2017

An anti-semitic act of vandalism is being fought with love and solidarity. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, discuss.

“There has been an outpouring of support around the vandalism at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.

“There is a concept in Jewish teaching and thought known as tikkun olam — It translates literally into ‘repairing the world,’ but what it means more broadly is that we all have an obligation to one another and to be of service,” wrote Greitens. “It is in moments like this that the world is in most need of repair, and we must do our part.”

A fundraising campaign organized by Muslim Americans — Linda Sarsour of MPower Change and Tarek El-Messidi of CelebrateMercy — has raised more than $64,000 in support of the rebuilding efforts, more than triple the initial goal of $20,000. The funds remaining after the cemetery is restored will be contributed to repair other vandalized Jewish centers, the campaign said.

“Through this campaign, we hope to send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities that there is no place for this type of hate, desecration, and violence in America,” the campaign wrote on its fundraising landing page. “We pray that this restores a sense of security and peace to the Jewish-American community who has undoubtedly been shaken by this event.”

On Wednesday, Missouri’s governor and community members will gather at the cemetery to help clean and repair the damage. As of Tuesday afternoon, the cemetery was able to reset about 50 headstones.”

Read more here.

Church of England rejects homophobic proposal


This video from England says about itself:

15 February 2017

A controversial report on homosexuality and same-sex marriage praised by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a “road map” has been rejected by the Church of England’s General Synod.

Read the full story here.

By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:

LGBT Christians welcome church dismissal of report

Friday 17th February 2017

LGBT Christians have hailed a decision by the Church of England’s ruling body to throw out a controversial report on same-sex marriage as “a victory for love and equality.”

The report by the House of Bishops, presented to the General Synod on Wednesday, had called for the church to adopt a “fresh tone and culture of welcome and support” for gay people.

But crucially it said it should not change its opposition to same-sex marriage and reaffirmed that such unions should not be blessed.

Under the recommendations, marriage would continue as “a union, permanent and life long, of one man with one woman.”

Lucy Gorman, an LGBT activist from York and member of the Church, thanked the Synod for rejecting the report, saying: “With that vote we’ve sent a message to the outside world.”

She said that as a Christian in her twenties she is a “dying breed,” in part because of the Church’s discriminatory approach to LGBT people.

“Most people have a friend or family member who sits somewhere on the gender sexuality spectrum — and why would they become part of an organisation which is seemingly homophobic?”

Jay Greene, from Winchester, who is in a civil partnership, said many were “deeply disappointed” by the report and its “tone of fear.”

More than 400 Church leaders gathered for a “take note” debate on the issue at Church Hall in Westminster, where they voted to symbolically reject the recommendations by 100 votes to 93 with two abstentions.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who urged the Synod to approve the report claiming that it was a good first step for moving forwards, said the church needed a “radical new Christian inclusion.”

Canadian woman banned from USA for prayers on her phone


Fadwa Alaoui, a Canadian citizen, says she was turned away from the U.S. border after being asked detailed questions about her religion and her views on U.S. President Donald Trump. (photo: Salimah Shivji)

From CBC radio in Canada:

Wednesday February 08, 2017

Canadian woman denied entry to U.S. after Muslim prayers found on her phone

Fadwa Alaoui is a Moroccan-born Canadian citizen living in Brossard, Quebec. Like a lot of Quebecers, she sometimes drives down to Vermont to take advantage of the deals. But on Saturday, when her family pulled up at the border, Alaoui encountered something new.

After the usual set of questions, Alaoui says she was asked about her religion and her thoughts on U.S. President Donald Trump. She says border agents took her phone and fingerprints. Four hours later she was told that her family wasn’t welcome and she was forced to turn back.

Alaoui spoke with As It Happens guest host Helen Mann about her ordeal and why she is struggling to explain what happened to her son. Here is part of their conversation.

Helen Mann: Ms. Alaoui, what kind of questions were you asked by U.S. Customs when you got to the border on Saturday?

Fadwa Alaoui: The usual questions like what is the reason of your visit and what is the place of your birth? I answered that I was born in Morocco. He told me: How long have you been here in Canada? I said that I was here more than 20 years. He told us okay you can park your car and come with us in our office. Once there, he asked us about our phone and the PIN number to open the phone.

HM: Now, they were also asking you other questions, as I understand it, about your religion?

FA: Yes, exactly. After that they came and interviewed us one by one. The first question he told me: You are Muslim, right? I responded, yes. He told me: Do you practise? I told him yes. He told me: Which mosque do you go? So I started to explain the mosque where I go. What is the name of the imam? Where do you pray? Where do the women pray? Does the imam come talk to you directly? What is the speech the imam gave? What is the frequency that you go to the mosque?

HM: And you answered all the questions?

FA: Yes. I answered all the questions, the best that I know. I was calm. I collaborate. I give him all the answers he wanted to know. He told me: Are you part of any group? Muslim group? I told him no. I told him it’s not my first time that I’m going to the United States. I have family there. I have my parents, my brothers, everyone is there. Today, especially, I want to bring my son with me because he is sick. I want to change his mind and give him a treat because he was sick, he had cancer. He asked me about the mosque: Do you know the last name of the imam? If he is always present? If someone replace him? The name of the person who replaced him? He told me: What do you think about the shooting in Quebec? Do you have relatives in Quebec that was one of the victims?

HM: I understand he also asked your thoughts on President Donald Trump?

FA: Yes. He asked me: What do you think about Donald Trump? I told him, what? He told me: [What’s] your opinion about his policy. I told him, listen, he has the right to do whatever he wants in his country. I don’t expect that. I’m not following the news. I’m not following what happened. I have a busy life. I have busy schedule with my son, with all these appointments at the hospital, with my kids.

HM: Now, after some time I understand they emerged and asked you about some videos they found on your phone. What were you asked about?

FA: They asked about prayers that I receive on my phone. I told him I’m not aware about it. I’m not the one who sends it. But he wanted to know what does it mean to you? It’s more prayers that we have to say. I’ve received from groups, from friends, because they know what I have been through with my kids. They send me prayers to say that it’s going to help you or something like that.

HM: Eventually you were told that they were not going to let your family into the United States. What did they say?

FA: They took our fingerprints, our pictures. The lady came to the front desk and she told me: “Okay, we’re not let you in.” I said, “What is the reason? Why?” She told me because you have videos and concerns against us. I was shocked. I told her, what? Is that my phone, my cousin’s phone — what phone? She told me it’s a combination of both phones.

HM: Do you have any idea what she might have meant by that?

FA: I don’t know, no. I signed the form. I was sick. I was shocked. I was tired so I just drove back home.

HM: And what did the form you signed say?

FA: It’s not saying the reasons that she said verbally. The form says: “Withdrawal of application for admission. Subject is inadmissible to the United States. An immigrant not in possession of a valid and expired immigrant’s visa.”

HM: You’re a Canadian citizen right?

FA: Yes. I’m a Canadian citizen. I travel with my Canadian passport. My passport is still valid until June 2018.

HM: Have you ever needed a visa to travel to the United States before?

FA: No. Not with my Canadian passport. I go there like every month. It’s the first time they react like that.

HM: So what do you say to your son? How do you explain this to him?

FA: I didn’t find the words to explain to him. I don’t want him to feel like we were discriminated because I raise my kids that we are all the same. We are Canadians. Yes, we have different names, but we are all the same. But I couldn’t find words to explain to him why.

‘Your rights are significantly narrower’: Lawyer’s advice to Canadians travelling to U.S.: here.

‘We didn’t have anything to hide’: Canadian heading to Women’s March refused entry to U.S.: here.

Canadian photojournalist detained for hours, refused entry to U.S.: here.

‘Give and receive love’: Friend of Quebec mosque attack victim finds strength in community: here.

Iranian student grateful to return to U.S. after federal judge halts travel ban: here.

Canadian barred from U.S. for life because he admitted he smokes pot: here.

A three-judge Appeals Court panel issued a unanimous ruling Thursday afternoon rejecting the Trump administration’s claim of “unreviewable” presidential power and sustaining a judicial order that bars enforcement of Trump’s temporary ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, as well as his temporary ban on the entry of refugees from any country: here.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the central Phoenix offices of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Wednesday afternoon seeking to block the detention of long-time US resident and undocumented immigrant, Guadalupe García de Rayos. Wednesday’s visit to the local ICE office in Phoenix was part of García de Rayos’ regularly scheduled check-in with the office, which has taken place every year, and more recently every six months, following a 2008 felony conviction for having false ID papers: here.

‘7% of Australian Catholic priests are child abusers’


This video says about itself:

6 February 2017

Seven percent of priests in Australia’s Catholic Church were accused of sexually abusing children between 1950-2010. Journalist Karen Middleton brings more details.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Seven percent of priests in Australia is said to have committed sexual abuse of children between 1950 and 2015. It was already known that child abuse within the Roman Catholic Church occurred in Australia, but not on what scale.

A study by the Australian government further states that the age of the victims was an average of 10 years for girls and for boys 11 years.

The inquiry has the numbers only of documented cases. It involves allegations of sexual abuse. It is assumed that several allegations have been covered up.

Between 1980 and 2015, 4444 Australians reported sexual abuse. The reports came from across the country. In some regions, more than 40 percent of the priests have been accused of child abuse.