Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The true face of Ireland's theocracy...

The more I see and read about stories such as this and this, the more I go down on bended knee and thank God that I was not brought up in an Irish orphanage run by tyrannical and all-too-frequently sexually depraved Catholic priests.

Or, had I been born both female and Irish, that I was not judged to be a ‘fallen woman’ on what appears in many cases to have been the flimsiest of pretexts and as a consequence of that judgement, to have been incarcerated by vicious nuns for the remainder of my life and used as slave labour in one of the Catholic church’s Magdalen laundries.

Please do not misinterpret my first two paragraphs as an attack on Ireland as a whole, the Irish, or on the wider Catholic Church, because they aren’t meant to be any of those things.

What they are intended to be is an attack on the unaccountable Catholic theocracy which, it seems to me, had the whip hand in the governance of the twenty-six counties from the time of the partition, until as recently as twenty years or so ago.

And unless any of my Irish (or indeed any other) readers can tell me differently, this was a uniquely Irish phenomenon, because I am not aware that the Church was similarly powerful, or of any similar allegations being made about Church-run institutions in other predominantly Catholic countries, such as Spain, Portugal, Poland or Italy, or for that matter, the entirety of Latin America or the Philippines.

Of course an unacceptable proportion of children brought up in institution settings in this country and probably every other country in the world were subjected to abuse, both physical and sexual, by their so-called 'carers'.

But those carers were not priests, nuns or monks and none of them were able, with the tacit support of their senior hierarchy, to imprison and enslave women for the rest of their lives on the mere suspicion of moral turpitude.

None of them set themselves up as moral exemplars and demanded such grovelling deference from lay people that it all but smothered any opposition, labelling their few (and morally courageous) detractors as lunatics or heretics.

I am glad to see that the final traces of those theocratic shackles are now being removed from the people of Ireland and the publication of the report into that sixty-year catalogue of abuse and cover-ups prepared by the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse, is another important step along that long and often painful path.

The final step, though, has to be the prosecution of those responsible for carrying out the abuse. Only then will the outrageous injustices, compounded by their being committed by the so-called Godly, finally be put to bed and seeing the reaction of some of their victims on the news today, I rather get the impression that they will not rest until their assailants and jailers are brought to justice.

And more power to their collective elbow, I say.


Inspector Leviathan Hobbes said...

My mother was brought up in an Irish orphanage. She was regularly beaten, deprved of whatever gifts her extended family brought her, the legacy of which has tainted her adult life. She lost her Faith and I was never brought up in Catholicism. How evil those nuns were. Unforgivable. She is almost 80 years old and still cries over her experiences.

This Royal Throne of Kings said...

A truly shocking catalogue of crimes, compounded by the shameful silence of those politicians who could have put an end to it.

Yes, Eamonn de Valera, I am referring to you...

Dan Hassett said...

Sadly it's not unique to Ireland. In Canada, native children were randomly taken from their parents, in order to offer them "better lives" in Catholic orphanages. Far too many endured childhoods of physical and sexual abuse, with new cases coming to light periodically.

Brad said...

Ireland and Quebec-more Papist than the pope.

beansidhe said...

My name is Francine and I was raised Catholic, but am now Gnostic-Wiccan-Druid.

I turned from my faith because of Sister Mary Anastasia who when I was in second grade told the girl behind me to pull the chair out from underneath me. I suffered three stitches and a severe concussion. This none mistreated many children and stole from many children.

She was an evil, evil woman and i believe the catholic church is guilty of Crimes Against Humanity and it has 2000 years of this legacy especially during the Crusades, Burning Times, and Magdalene Laundries and Industrial Schools.

How I wish that some could indict them in the World Court. the Magdalens and children deserve reparation and a fervent apology.

since I'm not always on this blogspot, responses to my comment may be placed in my guestbook at


Anonymous said...

Delete shis text plz. Sorry