Two-year stays were initially recommended as providing mothers with the best chance of spiritual ‘reformation’. Women who had a second child were regarded as incapable of reform, and were sent to a Magdalen home or a county home. The mother and baby institutions were conceived as places of moral welfare for ‘first offenders’, and the rehabilitation process involved mothers caring for their own children. According to the report, ‘there is no indication that any thought was given to the emotional consequences for mother or child of having a mother care for her infant only for them to part when the child was one or two years old.’ Or three, like Philomena Lee’s son. Some priests advised that first offenders should be ‘deeply impressed with sin’, since their natural feelings of shame and disgrace would soon pass. Others regarded the homes as glorified but necessary prisons.
f the 57,000 children born in the homes investigated by the commission about 9000 children (approximately 15 per cent) died. But a much higher percentage of those who died were born to private patients, who were able to pay their way out and who left their children in the inadequate care of the sisters in the homes. At Bessborough, 21 per cent of babies born to private patients died, though they accounted for only 9 per cent of admissions. As the report puts it, ‘in the years before 1960 mother and baby homes did not save the lives of “illegitimate” children; in fact, they appear to have significantly reduced their prospects of survival. The very high mortality rates were known to local and national authorities at the time and were recorded in official publications.’
This was quite apart from the problem that a Catholic baby might be adopted by a non-Catholic: ‘How can any Catholic logically demand or permit any legislation which would endanger the soul of a single child?’ I suppose if you really believe that you are condemning a child to excommunication from God’s family for all eternity this might make sense. But beliefs like these condemned children in Ireland to lifetimes of misery. It was fear of the ‘wrong sort’ of adoption that lay behind the forced repatriation of women who travelled to England to have their babies or of Irish women who were living in England when they got pregnant – a human rights violation if ever there was one. As the commission puts it, ‘the main motivation behind the British and Irish Catholic charities who were involved in repatriating Irish women from Britain, either pregnant or with their new-born infant, was to prevent these children being “lost” to Catholicism through adoption into Protestant families.’
And the fate of these children in Ireland? Some ended up in industrial schools, institutions for destitute children and orphans run by Catholic orders, in which, as the 2009 Ryan Commission established, physical, sexual and emotional abuse was endemic. Boarding out sometimes amounted to baby farming, as foster parents maximised their income from subsistence payments. Since payments for children ‘at nurse’ ceased when a child reached five, it was all too common for foster parents to return them to industrial schools at that age. They weren’t necessarily worse off in these schools: in 1957 one boarded-out child was discovered to be sleeping in an outhouse used to store potatoes. One witness to the commission recalled eating breakfast with his foster family, but every other meal, including Christmas dinner, he ate on his own in the back kitchen. There are stories of beatings and sexual abuse. When boarded-out children reached the age of fifteen they could be ‘hired out’, and several local authorities sent them to work in public laundries for no pay. In 1954 the Sisters of Mercy in Navan tried to maintain that a 15-year-old girl who was operating heavy laundry machines in return for her keep was in training, as though they were running a school for domestic economy. Some of these children may have been born to mothers who worked for years without pay in county homes, as payment in kind for their children being kept in foster care. None of this came free: mothers had to pay for their children to be uncared for.
it's quite literally despicable to defend this stuff because in your pharma-fried little imagination you think you're a devout catholic and catholicism is the hope of western civilization or whatever.
I do think it is comical that Justin Trudeau and many Canadians are trying to blame all of the residential school abuse on the Catholic Church. Downplaying the role of the state and traditional Canadian culture in the residential home abuses.
well that's rather the point. many 'secular' countries in the 20th century essentially outsourced public provision to religious orders, mostly the catholic church, who proceeded to commit atrocities with said 'state' authority. aren't you the one adverting for a 'return to christian values' or encouraging more involvement of the catholic church in public life? this is what happens dipshit!
Last edited by uziq (2021-07-01 17:37:17)