Children's home, for children of unwed mothers, run buy nuns in Ireland. From the article, "The Galway bones turned out to be human and are thought to be all that’s left of almost 800 children who died miserably in the institution that was referred to locally simply as “the Home,” infamously run by Bon Secours nuns. The deaths occurred over a period of 36 years, between 1925 and 1961, the year the Home was finally shut down."
The Bon Secours sisters are described as "a Roman Catholic religious order of nuns that today operates in US, Ireland, Peru, France, and Great Britain".
This image is from that article. Given the age of the image, it should be public domain.
Also from the 2nd link, "The Home was closed in the 1960 and two boys playing discovered partially broken concrete slabs covering a hollow — a disused septic tank — “filled to the brim with bones”.
And from the article on Irishcentral.com:
"Living and dying in a culture of shame and silence for decades, the Home Babies' very existence was considered an affront to Ireland and God.
It was a different time, some defenders argued this week, omitting to mention that the stigmatizing silence that surrounded The Home was fostered by clerics. Indeed the religious orders were so successful at silencing their critics that for decades even to speak of The Home was to risk contagion."
I googled on "Bon Secours Sisters". It came up first with a wikipedia article. THe first paragraph currently reads: "Congregation of the Sisters of Bon Secours is a Roman Catholic religious congregation for nursing (gardes malades), whose object is to care for patients from all socio-economic groups. Reflecting their name ("bon secours" means "good help" in French), the congregation's motto is "Good Help to Those in Need." A septic tank of 796 children and babies who died of malnutrition and disease at a Bon Secours sisters home was discovered at a Bon Secours site in 2014."
I bet that paragraph changes quickly. The article is mostly a self promoting fluff piece on the organization.
Back to the Friendly Atheist website, author "Terry Firma" links to their prior article about the girl slaves of the Irish Catholic Magdalene Asylum. That scandal had emerged because of another mass grave,
"After the Catholic Church sold a parcel of a North Dublin convent’s grounds to a commercial developer, and the construction dig began, 155 bodies were discovered in unmarked graves. The place had been a Magdalene asylum for “wayward girls.” Apparently, inmates who met an early end had been buried in secret — many without a death certificate, without notification of parents or other family, and all without the dignity of even the simplest grave marker."
I have always read about how the Irish were so horribly mistreated by the English - and before them, by the Vikings, and after the Great Potato Famine - an English - created genocide-by-starvation, by the Americans. We can surely add Irish Catholic Church to the list of abusers.
Here is the movie about The Magdalene Sisters, I am watching tonight.
I just finished the movie on the Magdelene sisters. Really made me angry, and sad. Catholicism is abuse personified and institutionalized. It gives power to sadists and dictators, large and small.
I see no difference between the RCC and the unspeakable horrors it's afflicted on the human race than Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet, or Pol Pot.
John, after the Inquisition the RCC hid its horrors better.
My well-meaning but over-burdened dad sent his five kids to RCC schools.
Before he died he knew all five of us had quit C'cism. Our revenge, I guess.
A 2011 Pew Research Poll shows that for every person that joined the RCC four leave and 1 in 10 American adults have left the RCC after having been raised Catholic. Link below to Pew Poll.
Nauseating and this from the supposed paragons of virtue. I have a good friend who at school wasn't particularly religious but now is fairly committed. When you bring up issues like this, they just give a free pass. So rather than higher expectations they completely gloss over this despicable history. I imagine that is probably only the tip of the iceberg as well. Not sure I can bring myself to watch this horror.
Daniel, in your post, you mentioned ow horribly the Irish were treat by the Vikings, the English, and here in the US, by Americans. All true. And throughout all of it, we learn that the RCC doesn't just rape children, they murder them and hide the bodies.
I'm reminded of line from the movie, The Wind That Shakes the Barley when, with the British leaving, the Pro-Treaty forces were siding with the RCC. "You're trading the tyranny of London for the tyranny of Rome."
Pat, I hope the articles about Ireland's leaving Catholicism behind are accurate. As a matter of ethnic identity and pride, I could see the idea of Celtic identity and history having a resurgence, so that the idea of being "Catholic" is not the idea that keeps families and communities together, but rather the deeper Celtic history.
Considering this story of the Galway "Orphans" - in quotes because those children did have mothers, and many of their fathers may well have been known, and the Magdalene Sister's enslavement of countless young women, torn from their families by Catholic oppression, and those who had babies, forced to give up their babies to adoption, the Catholic tradition can hardly be considered a force for family and community bonds anyway.
Since the Protestant Reformation, and Oliver Cromwell's brutal war on Irish Catholics, Irish nationalists had virtually defined Irishness and Catholicism as one and the same. Treated like 3rd class citizens, all they had to do improve their lot was convert to Protestantism, and then they would be treated like the Scots - 2nd class citizens.
They did trade the tyranny of London for the tyranny of Rome in the early 20th century, when Catholic dogma was written into their constitution and laws. They saw the RCC as standing by them under centuries of British brutality, and they weren't about to abandoned them. Unfortunately, it took another century to learn that the fox had made its lair in the hen house.
I hope the trend continues in Ireland of exorcising the church from their government.
Pat, here's a 2006 article from the Chicago Tribune on the death spiral of Catholicism in Ireland. Which is before the current Galway Orphan tragedy became known, but after the culture of pederasty, and the abuses by Magdalene nuns were known.
These days Irish seminaries are nearly empty. Last year, for the first time in its history, the Dublin archdiocese ordained no new priests. Foreign priests like Owuamanam have been brought in to fill the gap.
The collapse has occurred with breathtaking rapidity and, in hindsight, many Irish Catholics can identify when the tipping point was reached."
Through most of the 20th Century, Ireland was poor, backward and deeply Catholic. Irish Catholicism tended to be of a particularly harsh and unforgiving variety.
This reminds me of the breakneck rapidity of the Chinese, losing faith in communism. They don't have a democracy, yet, but the culture and people have been transformed. What continues to hold them together is a cultural identity that precedes communism by millenia.
Which is why I bring up the Celtic heritage for Irish. With a mindset of, roman catholicism is an invasion of Ireland, and not home grown, which subjugated the Celtic culture, national identity can re-frame a future Ireland without roman catholic domination.
That last part is just me free-associating. I have no references to suggest there is a resurgence of Celtic pride in Ireland, or what role that might have in throwing off the oppression of roman catholic overlords and overlordesses (nuns).
I tend to think the Irish experience will be different than the Chinese experience. My reason for saying this is that identification of Celtic culture, e.g. the Gaelic language, customs, traditions, holidays, and folklore were supported by the RCC, while being suppressed by the English. This included basic education, where the church was the only one, for centuries promoting literacy, even at the risk of being hanged, while the English were suppressing it. Refer to the Penal Laws and you'll see what I'm talking about.
After all those years of support by the RCC, it's kind of like finding out your best friend has been molesting your child, beating your wife, and kicking your dog.
Thanks for the link. I was interested in that tipping point.
You're welcome, Ruth.