Burn it to the Ground
This was the recent headline news from the RTE online news- 'Burn it to the ground': What should be done with Magdalene laundry buildings? by a group of Survivors and their families gathered at the back of a Dublin Magdalene Laundry recently to share their stories.
Do we as a society —“Forgive but never forget.”—That these Magdalene Laundry buildings are no longer in use, yet they hold a pyramid of memories, unsilenced voices of the past, protesting, continuing to speak out in their silence, unmasking the true horrors perpetrated within. Do we burn them down? or do we reuse them within the community in which they sit? like abandoned oversize mausoleums to a darker past. These dilapidated Magdalene Laundry buildings constructed as monuments to the glory of the Irish Catholic Church’s failed social policy, now enclose the pain, suffering, deaths and horrors of a bygone era, a hidden, dark secret era, seeped deep into Irish history. These charnel houses operating as Magdalene Laundries, by the powerful Irish Catholic Church, acted as burial chambers for thousands of living, brutalised women slaves and their children, and later acted as their monuments or tombs to their demise.
Echo of its gruesome past, many if not all the Magdalene Laundry buildings hold lingering memories of the brutal slave-labour and horrendous viciousness, committed within there secret walls. The Magdalene Laundry buildings haunt their local communities not as a solemn place of meditation but a place, a reminder of continuous mourning, and suffering by both the living and dead Survivors and their families. Many withered flowers adorn the faded photos of the lost loved ones, unknown women and their children, left by fellow slave worker colleagues that survived the brutal lives as slaves in these Magdalene Laundry buildings. These poignant black and white photos of young ghostly girls and unsmiling, dickensian children, now, fading and frayed in yellow, through exposure of sunlight and age, lying on inch thick dusty windowsills of cobwebs and dead bluebottle flies, or hanging, twisted in broken frames with strings of trailing, tangled three-dimensional spider's web, dangling off paint peeling discoloured walls, as seen through cracked filthy glass panes of the rotten wooden frame windows of many Magdalene Laundry buildings throughout Ireland.
Other wretched photos of children are hidden in forgotten hollows of trees, in and around concealed overgrown cemeteries at the back of these grey, damp carbuncle monsters of now abandoned buildings. In these now closed dilapidated Magdalene Laundry buildings, you will find yourself in an distorted gallery of misery and grief, resting on a foundation built on brutal slave labour, abuse, sexual exploitation and greed, to enrich a corrupt Catholic Church. We must "Never Forget.” Retracing the steep and treacherous steps of the frail slave women and their malnourished children, through the hollow hallways of childhood slavery and chattel mother’s death. The expectations of the unwed mother’s children, once confined in these Religious Institutions were they were either stolen or sold into slavery, for profit by a merciless power hungry Irish Catholic Church.
The conditions of slavery for pregnant unwed women at the Magdalene Laundries varied regionally. In most cases, the unwed women worked in the Magdalene Laundry, up until childbirth performing many tasks. “ a few days appears to have been the average confinement period, or ‘lying-in period’ in the Irish Mother and Baby Homes for unwed mothers, following delivery in the Mother and Baby Homes in Ireland. Then the new mothers were forced back to work.” in the Magdalene Laundry buildings. The responsibility of raising and tending to the children then became the task of other children and older elderly slave women, or to the Nuns or other Religious Orders. In all the Religious Institutions in Ireland the children then became the sole property of their new owners, the slave-masters, the Irish Catholic Church. This created a constant supply of ready slave women and children to perform hard labour in the Magdalene Laundries, and the Industrial Schools and other religious properties up and down this green land of Ireland, in which the Irish Catholic Church, owned and operated solely for profit. In many cases, children were graded and sold on for greater profit, to be illegally adopted and enslaved abroad or forced to work in other Magdalene Laundries, or the Industrial Schools throughout Ireland, far away from the reach of their mothers.
You walk through the now derelict rooms of the Magdalene Laundry buildings and discover more rooms, in which hundreds of slave women and their children trotted through as they worked, slept or were beaten to death, if you listen, just above the silence, you can sometimes faintly hear the despairing screams floating high above the dilapidated buildings. Each woman, each child has a demoralising story to tell, of the insidious Magdalene Laundry buildings and the fiends, a plague of Nuns who ran them. The buildings are a living library, etched with vivid memories turned inside-out to remind the world that each Victim, each Survivor had a story to tell of unimaginable horrors and cruelties, committed by the holy men and women of the Religious Orders, the hysterical Clerics that ran the Magdalene Laundries and the Industrial Schools in the name of the Irish Catholic Church.
We mustn’t forget that all the Magdalene Laundries have camouflaged, mass graves of suffering women and children covered under a silent blanket of shame. In the poignant ruins of many of the Magdalene Laundry buildings, lie scorched sewing machines, blacken pots and pans, rust iron single beds, naked children's cots, rotten clothing and piles of useless debris, smashed against windows and piled high against the unhinged doors, death had arrived with preternatural speed. The decaying Religious Institutions ran afoul with detritus, organic matter produced by the leftover decomposition of human fears and organisms, soaked in tears of despair. The stench of decay and creeping dampness, can never be unseen, a reminder or an eternal reminder of the reality of distorted, brutal Catholic life in these god forsaken Religious Institutions, the Magdalene Laundries, the Industrial Schools of Ireland. Walking through these evocative Religious Institutions, anywhere in Ireland is like entering a forbidden world of ludicrous and repulsive characters, reminiscent of any of the great novels of Charles Dickens, the poor unfortunate unwed women, their frightened and abused children, and most of all the over the top do-gooders the fearsome unrealistic or interfering reformer, called clerics, with their repugnant odour of righteousness.
Walk down or up the claustrophobic stairs or stroll down the bleak haunting corridors of any of these empty Magdalene Laundry buildings or Industrial Schools in Ireland and enter into a world of fallen masonry and overgrown weeds that latched onto the concrete high walls, rusty iron bars, the stench embedded forever in the rotten wooden window frames, putrid water, gathers, flowing into reek filled cesspools of disgusting waste and sewage, corrupting other life forms. Fallen grey rain filters through the multi-leak roofs, covered in layers of loathsome pigeon shit, streaming down the blacken, repugnant walls. Inside these insufferable Religious Institutions, the abandoned Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, lie eternal flames, of anger, despair, human misery, great sadness and millions of lost tears, spilled, of forgotten oppressive memories of many brutal lives, snuffed out with the cruelties and tyrannical slavery of religious ignorance.
Each brick each stone of these despicable Institutions is etched with the name of each woman or child who lived and perished there. Also remember each stone, each brick is also etched with repressive memories that harbour the fears, the tears, the despair of each Survivor that survived.
Since the closing of these Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, in Ireland, in the mid 90s, time, sadly passes. Today's Irish people are increasingly aware of the need to forget the horrors and brutality that began in these secret Religious Institutions. I often hear the cry of “ let bygones be bygones” or another “why dig up the past”
Because keeping some of these buildings alive, gives a powerful look at how these Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools worked. The Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, in Ireland, offers a compelling voice from our recent grisly past, and our savage history, a warning a pleading— “Please, Never Again" — should be the memorial's theme of the Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, in Ireland. A few Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, in Ireland should be kept as chilling museums, as reminders of how life was for hundreds of thousands of women and children abused, beaten, raped and murdered by the Irish Catholic Church. The Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, should be memorial shrines chiseled into Irish and international memories of the hidden meaning of Irish Catholic Church fascism, a Catholic Church system led by a powerful Catholic Church Hierarchy, a few unelected clerics having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, and emphasising an aggressive nationalism and often racist polices. On one of the walls of the Magdalene Laundry buildings, should be etched and recorded the name of every single woman and child killed and buried in the many mass graves in all the Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools in Ireland. The topography of terror, on display in these Religious Institutions should be seen as a main attraction, a sort of remembrance in a not to distance past when the slavery of unwed Irish women and their children was the norm in Ireland, and how the women and their children were forced into these Religious Institutions as slaves, betrayed and raped by family and friends, the Irish secular Institutions, too afraid to act against the power of the Church. The Magdalene Laundry buildings and Industrial Schools, in Ireland, were run by the powerful Irish Catholic Church, the women and children of these Religious Institutions were to be worked for profit, beaten, raped and murdered. That sadly was the true Ireland, that few want to face up to. The real horrors of the Irish Catholic Church experience, should be on full display, forever, for all the world to see, but never, ever, forgotten. Please never let —-“ let bygones be bygones” or “why dig up the past” be spoken again, by the few ignorant people who want to hid and pretend that Catholic Ireland was a beneficent land of rosy cheek clerics, beneficent saviours, with their milk of human kindness, care and compassion for others, humane, humanitarian, public-spirited and generous, lavishing god’s grace on the holy green land of Ireland. Spare me that dribble please, because that my friends was an Ireland that never existed, except in the feeble minds of many corrupt religious bigots which includes all the Religious Orders that operated in Ireland and a few Hollywood movies and of course Mr. William Shakespeare From Shakespeare's Macbeth,"Yet doe I feare thy Nature, It is too full o' th' Milke of humane kindnesse." and I say “The milk must have curdled”.
Owen Felix O’Neill
Forgotten Mass Graves in Ireland
The murder of Orphan Children did not begin in Tuam, in County Galway, but instead started in St. Patrick’s, Mother and Baby Home on the Navan Road in Dublin and spread to over two hundred similar Institutions throughout Ireland. Today there is the “Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation” and other groups who are working together to help unearth the forgotten graves of thousands of child victims and their mothers who were directly murdered by the Nuns, and other Religious Orders, aided by International Drug Companies and their local collaborators, across most of the Counties in Ireland. Today there are over 220 secret mass graves yet to be identified in Ireland, now to be led by “Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation” Still today there are many eyewitnesses, survivors alive, to talk about the deaths and many survivors have documented their own testimonies, many of these same survivors have lost, Mothers, Brothers, and Sisters in these shameful places in Catholic Ireland. Sadly all of these graves are unmarked, and untended, some in remote sites throughout the country, while others are close to town centres and villages. The graves are in various states of decay, some buried under grass and soil, others in septic tanks, and in some cases, bones could be found right at the surface.
There is a tendency in Irish society to forget what happened, or a sense that they don’t want to know, that orphan children’s lives and their mothers were extinguished in these forsaken places, the Mother and Baby Homes run by the Catholic Religious Orders, for profit. The Irish Catholic Church authorities were indifferent to this mass death because they considered most of the children and their mothers as vermin "unwanted" or "dangerous" to Irish Catholic way of life. The Irish Catholic Church particularly targeted unwed mothers and their children, and also targeted ethnically Irish Travellers families and their children. Also children with mental or physical defects (disabled children). The Irish Catholic Church and their collaborators killed children for ideological religious reasons, the killings were encouraged by the blessings Irish Catholic Church in provable actions with the Drug Companies where children healthy and with disabilities were used for their untried drug experiments.
Those deaths of unwed mothers and their children started decades ago, almost from the inception of these Religious Institutions and grew steadily throughout the years, but many warning signs were ignored and already present in Ireland well before the 800 children in Tuam's mass grave in their septic tank was found. The fact is the Irish Catholic Church believed that unwed mothers and their children to be impure and must be wiped out or make them slaves. This is how the Industrial schools and Magdalene Laundry came into been. Children going to these Institutions were the bi-products of the Mother and Baby Homes, first, the women, the mothers ended up in the Magdalene Laundry and their children ended up in the Industrial schools. Handicap children were considered useless and were kept in appalling conditions and soon died, from neglect. It’s also a proven fact that there were also many drug experiments done on both healthy children and the handicap children. The Irish Catholic Church authorities also incarcerated a number of children and their mothers in the notorious State Mental Hospitals, where physicians and medical researchers used a number of these children, for illegal medical experiments which often resulted in the deaths of the children.
It is also known that thousands of babies were kidnapped, from the Mother and Baby Homes and sold or transferred to the illegal Catholic Church Adoption Agencies to be adopted by suitable wealthy Catholic American families for cash. If again we take for example the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway, up to 1,000 children and babies were illegally adopted and were trafficked from the home, in Tuam, Mother and Baby Home, alone, according to the Health Service Executive of Ireland, illegally sold into the United States of America, without their mother's consent. There were 'headage payments' of up to $3,000 for each child sent illegally to the United States, paid to the Nuns.
Also the Commission of Investigation found a "significant" quantity of human remains, aged from 35 foetal weeks to two to three years, interred in "a vault with twenty chambers." a few hundred bundles in each chamber, stacked. The Commission's statement reported that "The Commission has not yet determined what the purpose of this structure was but it appears to be related to the treatment/containment of sewage and/or waste water. The Commission has also not yet determined if it was ever used for this purpose." Carbon dating confirmed that the remains date from the time-frame relevant to the operation of the Mother and Baby Home by the Bon Secours Order of Nuns, Between 1925 and 1961.
The Commission stated that it was shocked by the discovery and that it is continuing its investigation into who was responsible for the disposal of human remains in this way. The Irish Police, an Garda said there was no criminal investigation, because there was no evidence of a crime, this is even before the Irish Police looked at the evidence, how extraordinary.
Many handicap children and healthy children were kept naked, with no covering. When typhus or polio and diphtheria broke out, the Drug Company Doctors ordered the transfer of infected children to other wards, which caused increased mortality among the children. The Drug Companies only wanted to observe the effects on other healthy children and tests their new drugs. Tens of thousands of orphaned children, now grown men and women, have returned to Ireland to this day, many of these survivors, now adults continue to searched throughout Ireland for their missing Mother’s, Brother’s and Sister’s. The legacy and bequest of the Irish Catholic Church rule, run amuck, all these children were displaced in the various Industrial Schools, Orphanages, Mother and Baby Homes and Magdalene Laundry and even the legal and illegal Adoption Agencies that operated in Ireland. In addition thousands of Irish babies were sent to clergy in the United States to be illegally adopted by Catholic families there. What many thousands of survivors alive today have now slowly realise is that, many of the new mass graves, supposedly been unearthed contain some if not all their families. And worse still is the Irish Catholic Church, stubbornly refusing to assist, to release any documentations to help the survivors in finding their own family members. The Irish Catholic Church conveniently destroyed most if not all the documents it has, so that they could not be brought to court or sued.
Also the Nuns and the Religious Orders deliberately starved children and babies to death, malnutrition was listed as the main cause of death at most Mother-and-Baby Homes, in spite of the fact that the Nuns were paid for each child in it care, but when the child died the Nuns falsely still collected money on the dead child, by altering the official papers, by saying the child was still alive.
While inspections conducted by Official Inspectors from the Galway County Council, reported “everything in the Mother and Baby Home in Tuam, County Galway was in great, in good order and congratulated the Bon Secour Sisters on the excellent condition of their Institution, in spite of the fact, that many of the babies and children were suffering from malnutrition, and 12 out of 31 infants examined were described as being "emaciated and not thriving". It also says that the Mother and Baby Home was overcrowded, with 271 children and 61 mothers living there. Death rates were extraordinarily high: 34 per cent of children died in the home in 1943; 25 per cent died in 1944; 23 per cent died in 1945; 27 per cent died in 1946.
The official report states, "the care given to infants in the Home is good, the good Sisters are careful and attentive; diets are excellent. All was very well, according to the local collaborators, who were wine, dined, by the Nuns, the gullible Inspectors from Galway County Council;- Meanwhile 2,875 children and women died since the Bon Secour Nuns took over the Mother and Baby Home, from 1925 to 1961, that over 1,000 babies were illegally adopted, but the figure of 1,000 babies sold was in reality very low and some experts think that figure of 1,000 is higher at 2,000 babies sold and again some think much higher. In reality babies and young children died from starvation, exposure, and a lack of adequate clothing and shelter.
The Irish Catholic Church authorities were indifferent to this mass death which they knew about, as it was the norm in all their other Religious Institutions in the Irish State. They considered most of the younger children to be unproductive and hence “useless eaters.” Because children were generally too young to be used for forced labor. In spite of their acute vulnerability, many children and their mothers discovered ways to survive. Children and their mothers smuggled food and home medicines into the Mother and Baby Homes, or were give badly needed food and medicines by their visiting families.
Many angry survivors, both men and women now, describe having been sexually abused, raped, gang raped or witnesses to prostitution at a young age, at the hands of their adoptive Catholic parents in America or the many clerics who befriend them in their new homes.
Owen Felix O'Neill
In reply to the Catholic Church’s misuse of the word-Consent
According to some British newspapers and a few International newspapers “The Roman Catholic Church Says Some Child Abuse Victims Gave their "Consent" When Assaulted” -Now let us be clear here, even if a child or underage child gives permission or acts willingly, this never implies consent. A child is never accountable. Sometimes people justify their sexual activity with children by saying the child “wanted” to or the child touched them first. They may misread a child's affection as sexual. The law in most civilise countries recognises that children are developmentally not able to make decisions about some things, including when to engage in sexual behaviours, but the average age of consent is 16, which is the general rule in most civilised countries. Engaging in sexual behaviours with children under the age of consent is illegal and is treated rightly as a criminal act, commonly known as “Stature Rape”. So “Statutory Rape” is sexual activity in which one of the individuals is a child below the age required to legally consent to the behaviour in most common law jurisdictions. Although it usually refers to adults engaging in sex with children under the age of consent. Child Rape or any type of Sexual rape is unacceptable, period, and especially the rape of children.
A child’s permission or even request to play a sexual touching or watching game never excuses the adult or teen from taking full responsibility for the interaction. It is always the adult’s responsibility to set boundaries with children and underage teens. Adults may misread a child’s affection as sexual. They may tell themselves “Age is just a number” or “the child looks and acts older, so it’s okay to rape them with or without consent. The United Nations heavily criticised the Vatican repeatedly for what it said was a systematic adoption of policies allowing Catholic Priests world wide to rape and sexually abuse tens of thousands of children. The devastating report published by the U.N. Committee in 2017, on the Rights of a Child said, the Vatican must "immediately remove" all known or suspected child abusers within the Clergy. The United Nations, said the Vatican, had systematically placed preservation of the reputation of the Roman Catholic Church and the alleged offender over the protection of child victims, this The United Nations said was and is unacceptable.
In response, The Vatican said that some points made in the report were an "attempt to interfere with Roman Catholic Church teachings." The Vatican didn’t accept the report by The United Nations, but said it would examine the Report thoroughly and reiterated its commitment to defending and protecting child rights in accordance with the U.N. guidelines with "the moral and religious values offered by Roman Catholic doctrine."
Now we have what was always known for many years by many people around the world about the Roman Catholic Church is that, Catholic Priests have been openly saying, raping a child is ok, because the child gave us consent. We also know from the many court trials of child sexual rape cases, both in Ireland and Internationally that the Roman Catholic Church views on the Church's sex abuse scandals are. But in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church, a child molested by a Catholic Priest has committed a sin, but can seek absolution, by his rapist Priest. Sadly the belief by many Catholic Priests is also that "The child is culpable," This answer by many clerics provides rare insight into the thoughts and opinions of many of the highest-ranking Roman Catholic Church Officials. The Roman Catholic Church believes children, themselves are responsible and are to blame for leading the holy men on, and for being sexually abused, and raped by teasing holy men. I know that this is so absurd, It's like saying a child who's beaten is responsible for the beating. We know this is the Roman Catholic Church view. The United Nations wrote a Report about it and the Roman Catholic Church rejected it.
Another absurdity is that the Roman Catholic Church holds that the age of reason and consent is 7 years old, but that pertains to deciding between right and wrong. When a Catholic Priest tells a child that having sex with him is right, the child should not be held responsible, but in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church the child is clearly responsible for giving consent and egging on the poor, hard working, holy Priest. Then again, according to the Vatican, the child is always to blame and not the hard working Catholic Priest. Yes it's preposterous, but Catholic Church doctrines and moral theology and even in their Canon Law, says that a child can give consent, after all the Roman Catholic Church holds that the age of reason and consent is 7 years old. The Roman Catholic Church says, the age of reason is 7, so if you're at least 7 you're culpable for your actions,' now thats absurd. It implies that the child has power in any relationship with a Catholic Priest, many Catholic children believe and are thought to believe that the Catholic Priest is the closest person to God, and if the child has sex with the Catholic Priest, its the same as having sex with God. What the Roman Catholic Church need to understand is that child abuse and rape can not be justified by saying that their God says it's OK.
Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, as the Boss of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith" (formerly known as the Inquisition). Issued a confidential letter a few years ago to every Catholic Bishop throughout the world, and in his letter, Cardinal Ratzinger reminded every Bishop of the extreme gravity of a certain crime. But that crime was the reporting of the child rape and torture to the secular authorities. The accusations, intoned Ratzinger, were only treatable within the Roman Catholic Church's own exclusive jurisdiction and Canon Law. Any sharing of the evidence with legal secular authorities or the press was utterly forbidden.
All charges of the rape and torture of children were to be investigated in the most secretive way, by the Roman Catholic Church, and the Catholic Bishops were to be restrained by a perpetual silence and everyone in the Roman Catholic Church was to observe the strictest secrecy which is commonly regarded as a secret of the Holy Office of Roman Catholic Church, under the penalty of excommunication. As is now known, no Roman Catholic Priest has yet been excommunicated for the rape and torture of children, but exposing the offence of child rape would get you into serious trouble, like excommunication. And this is the Roman Catholic Church that warns us against moral relativism!
Not content with shielding his own priests from the law, Cardinal Ratzinger's office even wrote its own private statute of limitations. The Roman Catholic Church's jurisdiction, claimed Cardinal Ratzinger, "begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age and then lasts for 10 more years. As you can see this clearly is an obstruction of justice. You can't investigate a case if you never find out about it. If you can manage to keep it secret for 18 years plus 10, the Roman Catholic Priest will get away with it. Something else, child rape and torture were always part of the Christian liturgy. When later as Pope Benedict XVI, with his long campaign of obfuscation says, many Catholic Priests were "efficacious guide to youth." this according to Pope Benedict. The Roman Catholic Church was headed by a mediocre Bavarian bureaucrat who was once tasked with the concealment of the foulest iniquity, whose ineptitude in that job now shows him to us as a man personally and professionally responsible for enabling a wave of child rape crime and concealment. Pope Benedict whole career had the stench of evil, a clinging and systematic evil that is beyond the power of Catholic Church exorcism to dispel. What is needed is not medieval incantation to invoke or praise a dubious deity, or a ritual of charms or spells either, but the application of secular justice, and speedily at that and put to rest once and for all, the idea held by many within the Roman Catholic Church that the rape and torture of children by Roman Catholic Priests is acceptable even sanctioned by their own Church and their God. Also to chant a magical spell really doesn’t work anymore, divine invocations and sacrifices also don’t work. Arcane quackery, or hiding behind uncertain latin lies also doesn't cut it anymore. The usage of words like Priest, Holy, Bishop, Archbishop, Cardinal, and Pope should never be an excuse or given a shield or a grand title to intimidate nor to hide behind the raping and torture of any child, period. Irish society has yet to grapple with the social and political impact of the sexual violence committed against vulnerable children in the Irish Catholic Church run Institutions.
A unknown fact, in the Catholic Church run Institutions in Ireland, 96% of Irish Industrial Schools boys reported being raped or sexually tortured. Many official government reports found that male rape was commonly underreported to the Irish State Investigative Commissions, setup, years later, like the Ryan Report, (The Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse), in most cases the boys now grown men only spoke or told of abuse, and humiliation at the hands of the Male Religious Orders, without specifying physical rape. Sadly both perpetrator and victim entered a conspiracy of silence and why male survivors today often find, once their story is discovered, that they lose the support and comfort of those around them. Worse still once wives or girlfriends discover their husbands dark secrets decide to leave them. In the Institutionalised women case, their husbands and boyfriends abandoned them, as used, soiled, even whores. All Rapes "should not go unpunished, and especially by the Clerics.
And finally, in some Catholic Church run Institutions in Ireland, rape was used to control and humiliate vulnerable children. It is known that the Irish Christian Brothers for example, equated masculinity with dominance and control.The gang rape of vulnerable boys as a socialisation tactic used by the Christian Brothers to maintain complete control, like for example;-
1. Their prompt feelings of power and achievement.
2. Establish status and a reputation for aggressiveness, with brute force and rape.
3. The Christian Brothers created an enhanced feeling of masculinity through bonding and bragging, both among themselves and the boys.
4. Demonstrate dedication to the brotherhood of the order of The Christian Brothers and a willingness of many of them to take risks.
5 While Institutionalised rape may-not be an apparent tool or weapon, the Christian Brothers still used it to serve as a primary tool and weapon to create a cohesive Christian Brothers group and to establish effective fear among the vulnerable boys in the Irish Industrial Schools and other Religious Institutions they ran.
Crimen Sollicitationis was a 1962 decree issued by the Vatican that laid out the procedures for dealing with Roman Catholic Priest who solicit sex from parish congregants during confession. It was also used as the instruction manual for investigating Child Sexual Abuse by Priests.This updated a similar decree issued in 1922. Written in Latin the Crimen Sollicitationis was sent to every diocese around the world, where it was locked away from all eyes except for those Priests who were commissioned with investigating accusations of sexual abuse by Priests. Instead of using the Crimen Sollicitationis to punish and dismiss Priests, diocese investigators used it to silence the accusers. Section 11 of the Crimen Sollicitationis required that all testimony given in such cases be sealed. Anyone caught discussing the testimony at these tribunals was to be excommunicated. This included the victims of the abuse and their parents, families and friends.. During the last 20 years that the Crimen Sollicitationis was enforced, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- later Pope Benedict XVI-- was the edict's lead enforcer. Owen Felix O’Neill
The Irish Catholic Bishops love to talk about the Dignity of Life…Respect for a person as merely being a human being they say is “Dignity”, Dignity is our inherent value and worth as human beings, they preach daily, everyone is born with Dignity. Where was the Dignity of Life ethos the Irish Catholic Church shout about regularly, but never in the Religious Institutions, for women and children, which the Catholic Religious Orders ran in Ireland. Part of the baffling puzzle created by the Irish Catholic Church atrocities is how trained medical and nursing professionals had allowed what happened to vulnerable women and their children, and more disturbing still the medical establishment actively participated. The very same Doctors and Nurses, dedicated to caring for other human beings, looked on as vulnerable women and their children those entrusted to their care were mistreated and experimented on and even killed, in the Irish Catholic Church run Institutions. And even worse, some of those same medical professionals, participated in unethical and criminal activities, encouraged by the Irish Catholic Church, how could they have done this?
The search for an answer must delve into the underlying superstitious beliefs commonly held at that time, and to this very day. This investigation is crucial because if those mythical beliefs prevail again we must wonder whether such unconscionable behaviour will likely follow in their path. The origins of the Irish Catholic Church atrocities do not lie in the Irish Religious run Institutions set up by a totalitarian Irish Catholic Church. They were rooted in fabled beliefs promoted by corrupted social philosophies and practices that began in the highest levels of the Irish Catholic Church. The Irish Catholic Church ethics often focuses on how we decide what is ethical in a particular case or on a certain issue. Ethics must also examine where the underlying beliefs that impact those decisions come from. The Irish Catholic Church programs of involuntary euthanasia, forced sterilisation, eugenics and human drug experimentation were strongly influenced by views about human dignity current at that time and current to this very day.
These offensive views sprouted by the Irish Catholic Church, had been formed and created in a deeply superstitious Ireland in the last decades of the nineteenth century. The Irish Catholic Church was saying nothing that had not been repeatedly stated in academic and popular circles in high Anglo Irish life.
The Irish Catholic Church helped lead to the rejection of previously dominant ideas like the inherent value and dignity of all human life. Other beliefs were promoted and accepted, notions like lives unworthy to live, unwed women for example were considered unfit to reproduce, and the elimination of these unfit women and their children was a policy of the Irish Catholic Church. The Irish Catholic Church had the absolute responsibility of declaring as unfit for reproductive purposes anyone who is obviously ill or genetically unsound and must carry through with this responsibility ruthlessly without respect to understanding or lack of understanding on the part of anyone. One of the most influential books at the time and which was passed around by the most powerful in both Irish political circles and high Catholic Church officials was a book, originally written in German by Binding and Hoche, called "Allowing the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Living” written together with the psychiatrist Alfred Hoche and German Jurist, Karl Binding, what many people don’t know about the book is it was used by the Nazis to justify their Euthanasia Program. Both Binding and Hoche, were respected academics from medicine and law at the time in the 1920s. The pair asked, "Is there human life which has so utterly forfeited its claim to worth that its continuation has forever lost all value both for the bearer of that life and for society?" Their answer, and that of many scientists and medical academics, and the Roman Catholic Church was an unequivocal 'Yes.'
In 1920. Karl Binding and Alfred Hoche publish their book “Die Freigabe der Vernichtung Lebensunwerten Lebens”;- the title translates to "Permission to Destroy Life Devoid of Value" or "Permitting the Destruction of Life Unworthy of Life." The book was composed of two parts. Binding's part addressed the legal relationship between suicide and euthanasia, and then extended it to killing the mentally ill. Hoche's part addressed the relationship between doctors and patients. He suggested that killing a patient was justifiable when it led to other lives being saved - particularly when the patient in question was, in his view, of no value to themselves or society. Many leading Irish Catholic Church Officials believed this at the time, the Irish Catholic Church depicted unwed mothers and their children negatively, and advocated infanticide for disabled infants of unwed mothers.
Binding and Hoche were not alone when they proclaimed, (sadly this was the private view of many Irish Catholic Church Officials)- “There was a time, now considered barbaric, in which eliminating those who were born unfit for life, or who later became so, was taken for granted. Then came the phase, continuing into the present, in which, finally, preserving every existence, no matter how worthless, stood as the highest moral value. A new age will arrive – operating with a higher morality and with great sacrifice – which will actually give up the requirements of an exaggerated humanism and overvaluation of mere existence" The "phase" to which they referred was the Christian era. Proponents of this "new age" frequently included attacks on this Western ethic because of its care and compassion for the weak and the sick. The idea that all human life had inherent dignity was replaced with the view that some human lives were not worth living and should be eliminated.
I accept, any attempt to draw connections between the Nazi Holocaust and contemporary bioethical debate must be done carefully. Too often connections are made that are tenuous at best, and completely wrong at worst. Some claim it is impossible to draw any meaningful lessons from what was basically an "irrational lust for murder”. Any mention of the Holocaust can raise so many emotions that rational discussion becomes difficult. Some are offended that anything today could be compared to the Holocaust since it is viewed as the icon of absolute evil. Yet similarities do exist between some of the practices carried out by the Nazis and practices carried out by the Irish Catholic Church run Religious Institutions, which is currently being debated. Some emphasise these similarities while others focus on the differences to avoid any connection. The claim is often made that "then is not now, and there is not here, and they are not us". The assumption is that we could never do what they did, but we did just do that, here in Ireland, and the proof is now been uncovered, painfully in the mass graves, pits, and septic tanks in the many Irish Religious run Institutions, scattered up and down this green land of Ireland. Owen Felix O'Neill