Nicole Winfield Jul 17, 2020 ASSOCIATED PRESS
In this Aug. 26, 2018 file photo, People gather to protest at the site of the former Tuam home for unmarried mothers in County Galway, Ireland. The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to exhume the bodies of hundreds of babies who were buried on the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers to give them a proper Christian burial. The Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland,
Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, said in a July 15, 2020 letter to the amateur Irish historian behind the campaign that he shared the views of the archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, Michael Neary, who has said it was a “priority” for him to re-inter the bodies in consecrated ground. (Credit: Niall Carson/PA via AP.)
ROME — The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to provide a proper Christian burial for hundreds of babies and toddlers by first exhuming their bodies from the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers.
The Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, said in a July 15 letter to the amateur Irish historian behind the campaign that he shared the views of the archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, Michael Neary.
Neary has said it was a “priority” for him to re-inter the babies’ bodies in consecrated ground. If the Irish government refuses to authorize the exhumations, Neary promised to bless the ground where they were originally buried.
Historian Catherine Corless has been campaigning since 2014 to give the babies a dignified burial after she tracked down the death certificates for nearly 800 children who died at the home in the town of Tuam, north of Galway, but couldn’t find corresponding burial records.
Excavations of the site in 2017 showed “significant quantities of human remains” in a 20-chamber underground structure near a decommissioned sewage tank. DNA analysis confirmed the ages of the dead children ranged from 35 weeks gestation to 3 years and were buried chiefly in the 1950s.
The Tuam home, which was run by the Sisters of Bon Secours order of Catholic nuns, closed in 1961.
Based on Corless’ research, the Irish government instituted a commission of inquiry in 2015 into the Tuam facility and several other mother and baby homes where unwed mothers, orphans and children whose parents couldn’t care for them were housed.
This June 4, 2014 file photo shows the site of a mass grave for children who died in the Tuam mother and baby home, in Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to exhume the bodies of hundreds of babies who were buried on the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers to give them a proper Christian burial.
The Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, said in a July 15, 2020 letter to the amateur Irish historian behind the campaign that he shared the views of the archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, Michael Neary, who has said it was a “priority” for him to re-inter the bodies in consecrated ground.(Credit: Niall Carson/PA via AP.)
It was part of a process of reckoning in overwhelmingly Catholic Ireland to come to terms with a history of abuses in Catholic-run institutions, including the shunning and shaming of unwed mothers, many of whom were pressured into giving up babies for adoption.
The commission is only looking into burial arrangements at the homes. It said in its most recent interim report more than a year ago that it still couldn’t understand why the babies and young children buried outside the one in Tuam were handled in such an “inappropriate manner.” The commission said local Galway authorities bore “particular responsibility” since they owned the home.
Seeking to nudge the government to finally honor the Tuam children and bring closure to their relatives, Corless wrote last month to the Vatican ambassador asking his views. She had been heartened by Pope Francis’ horror when he learned about the Tuam burials during his 2018 visit to Ireland.
“My query to you is, as papal nuncio, do you think it proper in the name of Jesus to allow these little souls (they are all baptized) to be left in a sewage tank, or do you agree that they be exhumed and given a Christian burial?” Corless wrote Okolo on July 13.
Okolo noted in his reply letter two days later, which Corless provided to The Associated Press, that the final report of the government’s commission of inquiry is pending.
But he quoted Neary, who previously said “it remains a priority for me, in cooperation with the families of the deceased, to seek to obtain a dignified re-internment of the remains of the children in consecrated grounds in Tuam.”
Neary reaffirmed that position as recently as last month, but has also said that if the government chooses to leave the bodies where they are, he would bless the ground.
“I share his views,” Okolo wrote Corless. “It is my conviction that through sincere love, a calm mind, clear-sightedness and mutual understanding, everyone concerned can cooperate to rectify the mistakes of the past.”
Pope Francis himself has urged the church in Ireland to do whatever it can to make reparations for the Tuam burials, which he learned about first-hand from the country’s then-minister for children, Katherine Zappone, with whom he met during his 2018 visit.
In a letter to the pope that she hand-delivered Aug. 27, 2018, Zappone said the Tuam babies were owed the “dignity and respect” that had been denied them in death, and noted the option of exhuming their remains and performing DNA tests on them. She urged the church to “contribute substantially” to whatever decision is taken by the government.
Francis was clearly moved by her appeal, and told Irish Jesuits later that day that he wanted the Irish church to “put an end to this.” “I don’t mean simply turn the page, but seek out a cure, reparation, all that is necessary to heal the wounds and give life back to so many people,” he told the priests.
Francis later wrote to Zappone assuring her of his concern and praying “in particular that efforts made by the government and by the local churches and religious congregations will help face responsibly this tragic chapter in Ireland’s history.”
While Zappone announced later in 2018 that the site would indeed be exhumed, the commission’s final report has been delayed, Zappone is no longer minister and to date the burial site remains intact.
The Irish government has estimated that the cost of exhuming the site would cost between 6 million and 13 million euros; the Bon Secours Sisters have offered to pay 2.5 million euros, Irish news reports have said, quoting Zappone.
Fuck the Vatican!
This “Vatican support” fills me with just anger.
The Irish people and the Irish government dont need the Vatican’s support, approval or permission to rescue the bodies of the 600 + children that were buried in a septic tank by the Vatican’s vicious vestal virgins.
And may God forgive us for ever allowing them to imprison those babies in their concentration camps in the first place.
What the Irish Government should do is to make the Irish branch of the RCC pay all the expenses associated with all the forensic work done, the decent rebuttals and the fitting memorials.
I was delighted when Enda Kenny sent the papal noncio packing.
That should have stayed permanent.
These people tortured generations of Irish people with their dominance.
Our Brit colonisers were bad. They plundered our land our language and our freedom.
But our Roman colonisers stole and destroyed our souls and even threatened to steal our eternities.
And all the while they were raping our women, children and even our young men.
In very different ways, the Roman’s were the Irish Nazis, the Irish Facists etc.
Why they are tolerated in anyway in modern Ireland I cannot understand.
But it is comforting, and just, to see them shrivveling into a rump of what they once were.
There is justice !
There is Karma !
There is a God in Heaven !
I hope those creeps Neary and Okolo will have sufficient decency to stay away from the reburials.
But knowing how they work the Irish bishops will try and have their dirty paws all over it 🤮
ANOTHER ITEM FROM MY NEW DIGITAL LIBRARY