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.

‘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.

Pope gives in to homophobes


This video says about itself:

Pope Says Gay Marriage Threat to Human Existence

7 January 2013

The Pope indicates that gay marriage is a threat to the future of humanity, rather than wars, climate change, or anything else.

Another video, no longer on YouTube, used to say about itself:

Dec 21, 2012

The Pope decided to use his annual Christmas speech as a platform for his over-the-top, anti-gay agenda. Tis the season!

These videos were about Pope Benedict XVI, the predecessor of the present Pope Francis I. A pontiff under whom one often was better off as a child abuser than as a LGBTQ person.

Has Pope Francis I brought improvements? Some improvements. But not enough.

By Antonia Blumberg, Associate Religion Editor, The Huffington Post in the USA:

The Pope Just Approved A Very Troubling Document On Gays And Priesthood

The Vatican declared that “persons with homosexual tendencies” can’t be admitted to seminaries.

12/07/2016 08:12 pm ET

The Vatican has reaffirmed its position that gay men are barred from entering Catholic seminaries.

In a document entitled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” published online Wednesday, the church outlined a wide range of guidelines for priestly formation. One section addressed “persons with homosexual tendencies,” who it said cannot be admitted to seminaries or to the priesthood.

“The Church, while profoundly respecting the persons in question, cannot admit to the seminary or to holy orders those who practice homosexuality, present deep-seated homosexual tendencies or support the so-called ‘gay culture,’” the document stated.

The Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy drafted the 90-page document, which reinforces a position first iterated by the Congregation for Catholic Education in 2005. Pope Francis approved the document, dated Dec. 8, 2016, and ordered its publication, according to a conclusion signed by Cardinal Beniamino Stella.

The document’s tone stands in contrast to Francis’s famous response to a question about gay priests in 2013. “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” Francis said during an on-flight press conference.

“The new document on priestly formation is a profound disappointment,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of LGBT Catholic group DignityUSA.

“What does Francis really believe about LGBTQI people? The signals are ever more mixed,” she told The Huffington Post.

Duddy-Burke called the document “a slap in the face” that “entrenches [gay people] as second or third class citizens of the Church.”

The rhetoric surrounding gay people and the priesthood emerged shortly after the clergy sexual abuse scandal broke in the early 2000s, noted America Magazine. Prominent Jesuit priest Rev. James Martin argued in a 2010 HuffPost blog that such language may have been an effort by church leaders to blame the scandal on gay priests.

Martin noted that he knows “scores” of priests who are gay, and who lead pious, chaste lives like their straight peers. Since the release of the 2005 document, he said, many gay priests and seminarians have chosen to keep their sexual orientation to themselves ― and some seminaries simply operate on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” basis.

Even Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said after the document’s release that a gay man with a strong vocation to become a priest “shouldn’t be discouraged.”

Wednesday’s document, however, acts to further strengthen the church’s attitude toward prospective priests who happen to be gay. But Francis DeBernardo, executive director of LGBT Catholic organization New Ways Ministry, said in a statement that it isn’t too late for the Vatican to change course.

“It’s not too late for the pope to retract this document,” DeBernardo said. “That would be a healing balm to many who are surely going to be pastorally hurt by this step, and many others who are sure to leave the Catholic Church because of it.”

Belgian monks accused of human trafficking


This 2015 video is about the 18th century library of the Saint Stephen Augustinian monastery in Ghent in Belgium.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Monastic order in Ghent accused of human trafficking

Today, 09:17

The Public Prosecutor in Ghent wants to prosecute the leadership of a convent of the Augustinian Friars for human trafficking. According to the Belgian TV channel VRT, the three suspects, including the abbot, in recent years had lured twenty men from Africa and Asia to their monastery under false pretenses.

They supposedly would be trained to become priests, but they were not trained and had to work for free instead, is the charge. “They were forbidden all that time to leave the convent.” …

The three clerics are suspected not only of trafficking human beings and social fraud, but also of forgery. The twenty victims were from Benin, Togo, Ivory Coast and Vietnam. In two weeks’ time it will be decided whether the case will go to court.

See also here.

No women priests, Pope Francis says


This video says about itself:

Pope Francis Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Women, LGBT People

29 September 2013

Pope Francis has excommunicated an Australian priest from the Church for his liberal values and activism. Fr. Greg Reynolds publicly supports LGBT rights, marriage equality and women’s ordination, three big no-nos in Catholic tradition.

Read more here.

In some respects, Pope Francis I is an improvement compared to his predecessors Benedict XVI and John Paul II.

However, on some issues there is unfortunately no progress.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Pope: women will never be priests

Today, 21:05

Pope Francis precludes that women can ever be priests. He did that in a conversation with reporters aboard his plane on the way back to the Vatican after a visit to Sweden.

A Swedish journalist remarked that Francis was welcomed in Sweden by the head of the Lutheran church, a woman, and asked him if he thought that women could occupy such high positions in the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis then said that Pope John Paul II had spoken the last word about that. He pointed that out in an apostolic letter in 1994, refusing to open the priesthood to women.

Everlasting

“But is that forever, forever?” asked the journalist. The response of the pope then was: “If we carefully read the Letter of Saint John Paul II, then it is going in that direction.”

According to the Vatican this is an unshakable part of Catholic tradition. Jesus deliberately chose only men as apostles, is the position. That was logical according to the standards of the time, say proponents of female priesthood.

Francis has said that women can not be ordained, but supporters hope that a future pope will nullify that decision.

Discussion

In August, the pope set up a committee to investigate the role of women deacons in the early days of Christianity. It gave advocates of equality hope for a greater role for women in the Catholic Church in the future.

This blog reported in 2013:

New questions are emerging about the role of women in the early Christian church after the Vatican this week unveiled recently restored frescoes in the Catacombs of Priscilla in Rome.

Some say the paintings depict women serving as priests during Christianity’s beginning centuries.

Women in antiquity could be priests in most non-Christian religions.

‘Structural sexual abuse in Dutch Roman Catholic Church’


This video says about itself:

Catholic Church’s systematic abuse cover up in USA

16 November 2014

The Pope [John Paul II] played a leading role in a systematic cover-up of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

24 October 2016

The [Dutch] Roman Catholic Church has paid victims of abuse cases so far nearly thirty million euros in damages, reports daily De Limburger.

A complaints committee that investigates the abuse in the Catholic Church received 3678 reports of abuse. …

Certainly three hundred people have had to deal with exceptionally serious abuse. They will be compensated up to 100,000 euros.

Structural abuse

Stevens, chairman of the complaints committee, says in De Limburger that most provincial superiors of religious orders will pay the compensation. “Two or three provincial superiors do not want to pay. We are still working on a solution.”

According to Stevens one may speak of structural abuse in the Church. “Not all church officials have done wrong. But the fact that there are so many perpetrators does justify to speak of structural abuse at that time.”

FORMER SOCCER PLAYERS HAVE COME FORWARD ALLEGING SEXUAL ABUSE AT ENGLISH SOCCER CLUBS Investigations have been launched into “pedophile activity in youth teams, which victims say has gone unreported for decades.” [Reuters]