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NEWRY MOTHER AND BABY HOME – “THEY CALLED US FALLEN WOMEN, BAD WOMEN”.

By Chris Page BBC News Ireland Correspondent 26.1.21.

Image captionAdele had herself been adopted from a mother-and-baby home in Belfast in the 1950s

Adele is almost 70 – but even now she said the smell of lavender wood polish triggers a memory rewind of more than half a century.

Aged 17, she was brought to Marianvale mother-and-baby home in Newry, County Down.

She had been taken in her parish priest’s car after discovering she was pregnant.

Once she arrived, Adele said the nuns who ran the institution took away her name.

“They said I could no longer use my ordinary name, and I was given a name to use while I was there,” she explained.

Adele herself had been adopted from a mother-and-baby home in Belfast in the 1950s, after being born to a single mother.

Her adoptive family were “good people” but she feels “there wasn’t a lot of affection and love in the household”.

She said she “looked for love in the wrong places”.

The journey to Marianvale was “frightening”, she said.

“I didn’t know what was going to become of me.”


Aside from the distinctive odour in the home’s main hall, Adele remembered being brought to meet the other girls with whom she would share a dormitory.

They were told not to tell each other about their own circumstances – but “of course, we did talk”.


Life in the home was “very austere, very regimented”.

She worked in the kitchen, and scrubbed floors on her hands and knees.

Later, she cleaned a family home, but was given no wage.

Nuns “repeatedly called us fallen women, bad women – told us we had to pay for our sins”.

One memory seems to sting particularly sharply: “On one occasion, we had to put on a show for them.

“I can’t remember whether it was St Patrick’s Day or Easter.

“We had to dance like monkeys for their entertainment.

“It was horrendous, and it will stick in my head until the day I die.”

She gave birth to her son in hospital in Newry – an experience she described as “traumatic” and “lonely”.

Adele returned to Marianvale with her boy.
“I had been told by my family and the nuns, in no uncertain terms, that the baby was going to be adopted,” she said. “I was given no other option.”

After a few months she was told the adoption arrangements were in place and she was to get the baby ready.

“I dressed him in some of the clothes which I had knitted and some of the things I had bought,” she recalled.

“I wrote a little letter and I hid it at the bottom of the bag to send to his adoptive parents, telling them a little about me.

“Then I carried him down a corridor, handed him to a nun, and that was the last I saw of him for forty years.”

This is the point in Adele’s powerful, brave story when she is the most visibly emotional.

‘Guilty secrets’

She went back to her family and her child was never mentioned in the house again.

Later she married and had more children.

Ten years ago, her first child made contact with her and she went to meet him in a hotel.

“I had so many feelings, it was frightening, it was exciting, it was upsetting.

“It was so marvellous to see the baby I had given birth to, now a grown man and the connection was there immediately, on both sides.”

She has met his wife and children.

She had always wanted to know what his life was like: “Was he loved? Did he have a decent home?”


She found out that he had “a good life” during their first meeting and remembered saying to herself: “I can die now, I’m happy.”

She wants a public inquiry into the institutions for unmarried mothers in Northern Ireland and for those who ran them to be held to account.


“They took our dignity. They took our rights. They took our freedoms.

“You have to shine the bright light of truth upon this; it’s no longer acceptable for them to hide in the shadows and for us to hide guilty secrets.

“They’re not guilty and they’re not secret any more.”


The people who were born in the homes also want accountability and answers.

Mark McCollum was born in Marianvale in 1966 and then taken across the border to an orphanage in County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.


He said the fact he was taken out of one jurisdiction and adopted in another, where laws were different, was “not right on any level”.

Image captionMark McCollum found out his birth mother was Kathleen McGuire from Londonderry.


Mark stressed he had a “fantastic” upbringing with a loving adoptive family.

But he said he had been “looking for his identity” his whole life.

Last year, he obtained his birth certificate for the first time

It showed him he had been named Paul Anthony McGuire.

He said Mark McCollum “is sort of made-up – he doesn’t have a birth certificate”.

‘I need to know what happened to my brothers’

I first spoke to Mark in 2018, for a report on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme when he was trying to trace his birth mother.

A few months ago, he discovered her identity.


She was called Kathleen McGuire and was from Londonderry – “a wee Derry girl, she worked in the factories”.

She moved to the north of England.
Mark found out she “died young” and that he was her only child.

Mark McCollum said the church and state should make reparations for what happened.


“It was lovely to find her, but it’s also bittersweet because I was denied the right to information which would have allowed me to do that 20 or 30 years ago.

“You kind of think, things could have been different.”

He said the institutions were similar on both sides of the Irish border – “they had the same purpose, to punish the girls for their sin”.

“The church at the time was looking at Ireland as a single state.

“That was the rationale about moving babies from Marianvale over to Donegal, they didn’t see anything wrong with that.”

Poignantly, he said: “We, the babies, were the physical embodiment of sin. We weren’t regarded as being worthy of love and affection, because we were spoiled fruits.”

He believes there should be a public inquiry and that the Stormont Executive should commit to implementing its recommendations.

Mark also wants memorials to be created and for the church and state to make “reparations” for the stigma and misogyny suffered by women like his mother.

“This was going on for seventy years,” he said. “It was a complete abuse of power.”

Independent inquiry

Solicitor Claire McKeegan, who represents the group Birth Mothers and Their Children For Justice NI, said she expected the research would reveal “a litany of human rights violations” and “an appalling scandal”.

She points to a series of investigations which have been held over the course of a number of years into institutions in the Republic of Ireland, including mother-and-baby homes and Magdalene Laundries, where women branded as “fallen” were forced to do unpaid labour in oppressive conditions.

The research commissioned by the devolved government in Belfast, which has been carried out by Queen’s University and Ulster University, has examined both types of institutions in Northern Ireland.

Ms McKeegan said: “The abuse of women and babies did not stop at the border.

“The state in Northern Ireland not only permitted what happened, but also policed it.

“It is critically important that an independent and prompt inquiry now takes place, to allow these women to have truth, justice and redress.”


Tens of thousands of people, in both Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, have been affected by the past practices of moral exile and institutionalised shaming.

And given the last homes closed only in the 1990s, this is not “history” to many people.
Survivors, and their families, live with the legacy every day.

PAT SAYS

Another tragic episode of cruelty and abuse in a premises owned and run by an RC religious order of nuns.

Adele and Mark and their mothers and families sufferered horrendously – along with tens or hundreds of thousands of others.

152 replies on “NEWRY MOTHER AND BABY HOME – “THEY CALLED US FALLEN WOMEN, BAD WOMEN”.”

Pat, you should have added to your final sentence…and say, society in general was cruel, unkind and unaccepting of these women…The religious, probably untrained were placed with huge responsibilities by doctors, judges, church, families, state…More horrendous and shameful history of unacceptable abuse. I hope all survivors will be helped and supported now.

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11.06
Oh, stop trying to pass the buck, ‘Father’. You clergy set the moral tone for society in those days. People in general thought of unmarried mothers as they were taught to think of them..and they were taught by clerics.
The buck stops with you lot.
Hang your hypocritical, cowardly heads in shame.

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Whom, in the future, will we blame for setting the moral tone on abortion? RTE? The Irish Times? Political parties? Amnesty?

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1.04

That’s right, ‘Father’. Change the subject to something totally irrelevant. (Psst! It’s what the guilty do to effect the pretence of moral innocence.)

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10.36: You, sir/madam are in denial. Look to your own conscience. All of society were complicit…..absolutely. READ THE REPORT FULLY.

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11:06
Society was more class-ridden than it is today. If a young unmarried woman gave birth to a child, her chances of marrying were drastically reduced. It was a socio-economic matter. The sins of church people of every hue were that they didn’t challenge society’s norms and practices around children born out of wedlock.
Context is everything and hindsight of limited value.

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1.37: If you have truly listened to survivors and balanced commentators, they ask, on reflection, that we learn lessons for today’s society. There is nothing irrelevant about abortion. That statement alone renders your contribution useless and ugly. Don’t now use the hurt of survivors to push your hatred of the Church. They do not want this unproductive, hateful rhetoric. Incidentally, I am not a cleric, so ditch your nonsense and smartness.

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@ 11:06 pm – You suggest people may well have not been trained, ‘untrained’ is the word you use.
However, the fact is it was systematically happening — and what was happening ‘ran’ like a very finely oiled and tuned machine.
… Are you suggesting a person needs to be ‘trained’ to understand whether it is right or wrong to take a child from its mother against her will, and for no apparent safeguarding reason @ 12:06 pm?
What about the abuses physical abuses, including the beatings? The emotional and psychological abuses, too?
If it they were as you say, ‘untrained,’ then why was it so void and empty of love or any other hint of humanity on so many cruel levels?
Taking all of the above into account, it is important to note that it was not society who stole then ‘fostered’ out mothers’ babies, and without their permission; it was an institution which we/they had placed so much trust and faith in, an institution which, it turns out, had purpose-built buildings, seemingly built for such purposes as uppsetingly described above.
Many babies were sold for great financial gain, and where did this money go?
What was it used for?
Did the Bishops eat well on the back of the above mentioned evils?
Although you do have a point @ 11:06 pm – it was cruel. Very cruel indeed, systematically so.
It was nice to read Adele had eventually found her baby boy when he was grown up and he was married with children – sadly this is not always the case.

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The reason we survivors want society to learn lessons is that one of these lessons must be that society doesn’t allow a bunch of dog collared freaks to set its moral tone and dominate it again.
Safety for children in the future must come from society protecting children.

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Bishop Pat, here in the south the children of mother and baby homes are being described as ‘survivors’ What do be call the 6,666 babies disposed of in the first year of legalized abortions of this past year? I suggest FATALATIES? Or do they mean so little as to have no description except statistics?

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12.39: Excellent observation. So true. How will we describe these little ones who are “dispised” of because of social inconvenience? LET’S REMEMBER THESE LITTLE INNOCENT LIVES TOO and ensure that all who were abused, deprived and hidden away because of social mores and “respectability” in the past receive true justice. Who will remember the innocent ones killed through abortion, now acceptable almost up to birth? God help us…

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12.39
Like you, I am totally opposed to abortion. However, the scandals caused by the disgraceful and criminal behaviour of Roman Catholic priests worldwide has turned many away from the Church and from Christ. They have dumped moral values favouring the unborn because they have turned inward…to themselves. They have becone self-centred, like Roman Catholic priests.
The Church of Rome has a lot more to answer for than child-abusing priests and their hierarchical enablers.

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Mothers who abort their unborn fetuses do so because they make the choice to do so, they were not forced to; or, made to give birth to their children only to have them stolen from them and sold.
Yes, there are questions regarding ethics here, and valid ones too.
However, being forced to do something is very different from choosing to do something. It is illegal to force anyboy to do such terrible things.

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When the church stumps up the resources actually to care for aborted foetuses and expresses a willingness to do this overseen by civil authorities to ensure the safety of the children, I will be ready to listen to any anti-abortion argument, because these arguments are only anti-abortion and not pro-life.

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“Aborted fetuses” is a handy euphemism to dehumanise and distance from the deliberate killing of unborn babies.

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… which are not babies. In fact initially little more than a cluster of cells.
Yesterday natural law came up again, but the anti-life anti-abortion protagonists never mention that many pregnancies are terminated by nature, often without the woman ever knowing she has conceived.

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2.42: In both situations innocent babies were/are lost. Let’s not forget the awfulness of both situations. Having the freedom to choose doesn’t make a violent action morally or ethically defensible.

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These stories are just the tip of the iceberg. The damage and devastation the church and state caused to these women and children is an utter disgrace. Abused, humiliated, degraded and neglected by those who were given power over them. The church will never be forgiven for this and neither should it be. The utter tripe about not ‘judging times last by today’s standards’, ‘we were the only ones that took care of these vulnerable women’ , ‘we performed a service for the state’, ‘we received no money and had to pay for their keep somehow’ ….excuses won’t wash…complete nonsense. It was about holding power and control and casting judgement on those they considered inferior.

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12.52
Don’t blame the State as much as the Church of Rome: her agents pulled the moral strings of most of the entire country, causing people to behave like Judases. They could, at any time, have reset the moral tone of the island by preaching against it from their pulpits, but they chose not to… because they supported it!
The Church of Rome is the principal author of these dark chapters about unmarried mothers and their children.
Do not let these morally spineless wasters away with their crimes.

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10:59am
You are such a bigot it was not just the Catholic Church who pulled the moral strings as you put it. All the non Catholic denominations held the same view and their mother and baby homes were no better.

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The report says that the Catholic homes were much better than the state county homes, but people simply refuse to read the report. That includes the raving alcoholic MC who has posted several times today.

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Fetuses is the correct word used by the medical profession – who am I to change medical terminology?
Do I fully agree with abortion? No, I do not.
However, I was merely defining the facts, those being: legal, ethical and criminal acts of abduction including the illegal selling of babies.
I am not a doctor, nor am I a solicitor; but what I do do I am exceptionally good at and take great pride in.
Trust me x

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Doctors also use the word “geriatric” but we don’t or shouldn’t dehumanise older people by using it in ordinary discourse.

We all know that fetus is only used by people when we want to avoid saying “baby” in certain contexts. If you met a woman who happily announced that she was pregnant she would not say, “I’m expecting a fetus” and you would not reply, “Congratulations, you must be so happy. When is the fetus due?”

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7:49 You didn’t think that out very well.
A woman says she is expecting a baby because she is expecting a baby at the end of her pregnancy. She is not expecting a foetus, but if she miscarried she would call it a foetus.
You might as well call flour and eggs, cake.

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12:52am

It wasn’t just The Church and State to blame it was the families of these unfortunate girls who put them into the Homes. They just wanted to be rid of them and of the disgrace it would have caused the family. You don’t seem to know that at that time Society as a whole considered them fallen woman, that’s the way it was, unlike today.

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But why did these families feel the need to put their vulnerable young daughters into those hellholes?

Why did they feel that the unborn life their daughters were carrying would bring disgrace on their families?

From where did this monstrous, inhumane and unchristian pressure come?

FROM THE VERY INSTITUTION, PRIESTS AND BISHOPS, THAT YOU DEFEND, YOU INTELLECTUALLY MYOPIC, CRASS AND UTTER FOOL!

These clerical parasites and moochers were obsessed with what THEY called ‘sexual sin’. It was THEY who stigmatised unmarried mothers and their babies, just as the Nazis had stigmatised the Jews before embarking on the Holocaust.

What happened in Ireland in those very dark days would not have happened had the Church of Rome not become the dominant and influential moral force in Ireland, and in a postion to poison the minds of Catholics against their daughters and grandchildren to the point where they would disown both, and then allow Catholic priests, agents of that evil institution, to spirit their daughters away, as if they were human trash, and then dump them in pitiless, morally judgemental, cruel and criminal hellholes that were euphemistically named after saints.

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@ 7.49pm. When a woman miscarries she grieves because she has lost her “baby”. That’s how women describe the sad event.

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12:52
Read some of the reports of county council meetings from the 1940s and you’ll have a better grasp of society’s determination to make the residents of these homes not be a burden on the local authority.

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12:36pm

There you go again Polly you can’t help yourself, with your ad hominum insults, and your hysterical hatred of The Church ya poor soul. Calm down I’m still praying for your conversion.

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12.57
Is that really the best you can do to defend the evil you worship over Christ?
God help you.

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12:57. You have a brass neck speaking of ad hominem insults!
Every word of your own comment is exactly that.

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What was at the foundation of the culture that treated women and children in such a terrible way ? It was the nasty, judgemental moralism of the Roman Catholic Church that dominated society in Ireland, north and south and elsewhere, during those decades. It was a moralism crafted by men who themselves were often living a lie, who were themselves abusive, who were themselves incapable of resolving their own demons and resulted in them hating themselves and as a consequence pretty much anybody else. Who easier to take out their frustrations and anger on than those who were the weakest, vulnerable and most needy, but women and children ? There is no way that the Roman Catholic Church and its current crop of leaders should be allowed to slither their way past this history by weak and manufactured excuses for what was done under the moralistic judgemental culture they foisted on the people. We have seen other iterations of this wicked influence of the Roman Catholic Church and its male clerical culture in the way that abuse of children has taken place and the way that ongoing discrimination in action and language against people of alternative sexuality is allowed to continue in the Roman Catholic Church. The institutional misogyny that is alive and kicking in the Roman Catholic Church is another dysfunction and a wicked phenomenon that continues to exist to this day. There is so much for the Roman Catholic Church to repent. Their hope is that, following a few formulaic apologies, they will be left to carry on with no further consequences. My hope is that the governments of both north and south will determine that there needs to be more of an accounting and accountability for what has happened, and in the case of the Roman Catholic Church that will have to include substantial compensation in terms of change, practice, culture and, yes, money. The Church will not believe that it has done anything really wrong until they are made to feel it where it really hurts. They have already lost respect and trust. It is time for them to start to lose material things by expropriation, fines and compensation. I believe this is long overdue, and I believe it is an option that is seriously being talked about in government and society. Only then will the full import of what they inflicted on the people of the island of Ireland really come home to roost for these clerics. It is what would happen to any other institution, organisation or business that had done such wicked damage. It is long overdue.

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As long as we also seize the assets of BPAS, Marie Stopes, the NHS, the HSE and all the other abortionists, who are the contemporary version of mother and baby homes.

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I too feel very uncomfortable with the alacrity with which our societies terminate pregnancies – abort chidlren – to such a great degree. There will eventually be a reckoning. Future generations will look back and wonder what we were thinking and what we were doing. On this Holocaust Memorial Day, it is worth contemplating the millions of unborn lives that have been terminated – clinically, calculatingly, and coldly. There will have to be a reckoning. At the same time, I am not prepared to let a current tragedy diminish the guilt of what has happened in the past. There must be a reckoning for that too. I am not able to do very much about what is happening now in practical terms, especially given that in our democratic societies a majority of people have approved the legislation that allows abortion, except to make my voice and opinion heard where and when I can. I can make my voice heard about the tragedies of the past as well, which I think we can all agree were an egregious insult and harm to the women and children concerned. That we can do something about, at least in terms of fully accepting responsibility – not partially as Martin of Armagh seems to be trying to do in his wiggling excuses. As @ 8:56 has said, a reckoning for this may well have to include not just words but also actions and money. The reckoning should be painful in recompense for the pain done to so many. Otherwise it means very little.

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8.56: Revisionism- pure and simple. Read the FULL REPORTS published …. both North and South. Stop your biased interpretation – probably from gutter journals and feminist ideologues…

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@8:56.
I agree with everything you say. In particular I endorse state legal action to relieve the RCC from sufficient assets to make proper compensation to those wronged. Apologies, explanations and the like from the RCC will be but superficial platitudes. As you’ve said, squeeze the RCC “until the pips squeak.”
Why should the likes of bishop Treanor be allowed to continue living in a grand enclosed mansion like a feudal Lord? RCC properties like this should be confiscated, sold, and the finances used for compensation after giving back a sufficient portion ( as determined by a neutral objective panel) to let the episcopal “businesses ” obtain a site to carry out their functions.
MMM

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MMM, whose assets will be squeezed for Kincora and Baby P and the state children’s homes?

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1.10

Your post is a classic instance of deflection, and it is always the guilty who adopt it.

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A question for you, MMM. I believe that since the establishment of the post-war welfare state, if not before, social workers have a responsibilty to regulate and prevent abuse of children and vulnerable adults, and to regulate and inspect residential care settings and to oversee adoption. Where were they when it came to these places? Were they asleep at the wheel, did they look away, were they too bone idle to ask, or did they think it might be hypocritical to intervene, given what was going on in Kincora etc?
You opine on many matters, MMM. What do you think about Kincora? Who is at fault there?

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So, 1:45, the victims of Kincora etc do not matter? Is that it?
Naomi Long, the Presbyterian Minister of Justice in Stormont said the other day that there would be no state compensation for the Kincora and other state homes victims but they would seek to obtain redress funds from the churches (note plural). Such is the poor quality of Stormont MLAs that none of them queried why the state’s victims are excluded.

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1.46
Social workers had no authority and power equivalent to that wielded, and abused, by the Church of Rome.
Look deeper here. At the very foundation of this cesspit of human cruelty and degradation was this church and her unchristian attitude towards unmarried mothers and their babies.
This church was seminal in its moral influence, because it had both the power and the pharasaical zeal to be so. And it sought to influence others (and succeeded) with the passion of a fanatic.
No matter from what angle this human tragedy is studied, the Church of Rome, like some infectious moral miasma, will be found at its centre, especially in bishops like Eamon Martin.

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Thank you @1:46. I offer no opinion on Kincora as I have no direct knowledge other than from newspapers since returning to N.Ire. I’ve read that abuse there was by a number of paedophiles in positions of power both within the home and outwith it.
If I may offer a perspective:
Services to children and families now appear even more appallingly poor than when I retired almost 20 years ago in England. The UK government now proposes a widespread review. Patrick Butler writing in the Guardian today (Interviews & Opinion in Social Care section online) sums it up in a heading: “Children’s Social Care in Crisis. What is needed is more Cash, not Privatisation.”
Some figures he quotes: children Looked After by councils increased from 62500 in 2011 to 80000 in March 2020: those in “Child Protection Plans ” have increased by half in past decade. He says: “Residential Provision is a dysfunctional mess.”
I refer to Butler as a current knowledgeable journalist.
Consider his comments against a background of continuing massive cutbacks of all forms of social care resources, training, and the poorly paid insecure job prospects in the social care sector.
As another comment here today infers, social workers have only the authority, power, and significantly, the resources the state provides.
It is facile to consider a social worker’s role as portrayed by the media. Invariably the focus is on just ONE case that tragically went “wrong.” All too often hindsight judgements ignore 20 or 30+ similarly demanding critical cases each vying for limited attention from a stressed out worker. I’ve had to deal with staff breaking down under such pressures. For anyone genuinely interested in the reality of work in social care there’s plenty of information available.
That said: work pressures do not excuse or minimise poor, bad, or wilfully negligent practice. I have had occasion to discipline staff after fair consideration and consultation. All social care organisations need to have strong supervisory frameworks to promote best practices for vulnerable people.
MMM

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10.48am MM.
Rcc properties were funded by the laity. They used laity monies to fund their lifestyle and other BLING things. Yes I was sickened when I read here re BLING Treanor. In any business, sacking is usually the option of wastage of company funds. Its usually called ’empire buildimg’. Given the fact the Vatican couldn’t sack him cos he’s a Bishop with a history of binging the money.. Self gratification or whatever. First step for any laity in Treanor diocese is to stop givining or donating money to his diocese. If image that I were Pope Francis, I would fire him from the spot and sent him to a remote location rurally isolated place.

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10.48: MMM – you’re out of bed!! Awwwwww…Then you castigate the RCC for its negligence….your usual rant. Of course, you conveniently forget that your former profession of social worker was/is mired in episodes of giant negligence re: welfare of children, teenagers and families. Even today (The Guardian Newspaper today…) Despite your “knowledge” I’m quite certain that you, acting for the NHS DIDN’T ALWAYS prevent abuse. You say elsewhere today, you only had certain authority. Really? What an excuse to justify your inaction and that of fellow social workers. I, in my pastoral ministry, have witnessed disastrous social worker’s intrusion into family difficulties and have seen the desperate hurt, pain and suffering caused by their “superior” knowledge. Come on MMM….TRUTH.

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8.56
A good and courageous post.
Yes, priests will try to ‘slither’ their way out of this one. Indeed, they are already trying with Archbishop Eamon Martin’s transparent and cowardly attempt to apportion equal blame to society as a whole for the disgraceful and inhumane way unmarried mothers and their children were treated by Roman Catholic religious in the hellholes these warders ran and in which these mothers and their children were imprisoned and abused.

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10.51….All these women were rejected by society – perhaps by your parents, grandparents and relatives…All undoubtedly walked by these institutions in the knowledge that the women were dumped by the men who impregnated them, rejected by families, relatives and neighbours…Even you probably remained silent!! All in Church, State and Society WERE complicit in these crimes…..ALL. The Archbishop ecpressed a genuine apology. Sadlt, you are part of a hate Eamon brigade. Disgusting.

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12.26

Are you so unintelligent that you are incapable of looking deeper here?

If you were a GP, I’d avoid you, since you would treat only the symptoms of a serious illness, but be incapable of treating its cause.

What you referred to were merely the symptons of a society made morally sick by the insidious teachings of the Church of Rome, an institution obsessed with so-called ‘sexual sin’ that it ignored Jesus’ teaching on mercy, compassion and justice, and cultivated in society utter and unqualified disdain and judgement for unmarried vulnerable mothers and their babies.

If these women were rejected by society, it is because they were first stigmatised and rejected by the Church of Rome and its dark agents, priests and bishops.

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MMM comes out with the usual public sector demand for more taxpayer’s money. His defence of shoddy social work on the grounds that there isn’t enough money surely then exonerates the nuns, who operated on a shoestring.

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4.46: Well spoken. MMM is a contradiction and full of hypocrisy in relation to his own profession. He quotes from an article in The Guardian today highlighting the disastrous consequences of shoddy government priorities and practices in a sector he once headed up and practices. Does he shout loud now in retirement about the lack of priority re: child care policies. MMM – hypocrite. You quote lack of resources for past failures under your watch…Now where did we hear this excuse before…? As if lack of money justifies bad, abusive behaviour and negligence of children…

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The perfect example of why the criminal cult should not be allowed to blame their abuse on society etc. As moral leaders they should willingly take it on the chin and if they won’t should be forced to.

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If I were a GP I’d send him to Ward 15 in the Downshire Hospital. It’s only up the road from him.

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Which indicates perfectly why you would never be fit to practice on any medical register anywhere.

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1.23: You mean 12.52….What an ignoramus that commenter is!! Rewriting history to suit his anti church crap.

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12.52: Take the folders from your eyes. Have you read the REPORT fully? Obviously not. And don’t be worried about me being a doctor or not – I am quite intelligent. I generally read important documents fully and comprehensively before commenting. You should fo the same. The Report is quite balanced. I profoundly understand what went on behind high walls and – of course I care. Your faux brigade are nauseating…

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12.11
What a wasted opportunity to comment! You said much, but paradoxically, little or nothing at all. At best, amusing.
I HAVE read the report, in full, and it’s authors, unfortunately, lacked either the ability, or the inclination (or both), to look at the root cause of these human tragedies in Ireland, specifically the seminal, and almost universal, moral influence of the Church of Rome at the time.
The culture of disdain and dismissal in Irish society of unmarried mothers and their babies didn’t just happen, and it wasn’t historical happenchance.. Sociologically speaking, Catholics in particular, being by far the most numerous in Ireland, were encultered, conditioned deferentially, by not just the moral instruction of the Church of Rome, but by its neurotic obsession with, and overemphasis of, so-called ‘sexual sin’. By sheer preponderance in its moral teaching, the Church of Rome and its agents, bishops and priests, ensured that this ‘sin’ eclipsed all others in terms of moral significance and condemnation. Therefore the reaction of society as a whole, comprising largely Catholics at virtually every level, was as predictable as it was merciless.
The report failed the victims of these so-called ‘homes’, along with truth and history, by shrinking from calling out the insidious and baleful influence of the Church of Rome in this entire and harrowing chapter of Irish ecclesial history.

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The sixties were also a dark and lonely time for the queers too, Bp Pat. I was utterly isolated throughout my teenage years. The experience cast a shadow over my life. It amazes me how the young queers at Silverstream want to isolate themselves on purpose. They will regret it in the end.

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What kind of morals would someone have to have, when they are caught out in some crime, to keep insisting that other people are as bad as them and should also go down?
Gutter morals and the approach of mafiosi.
The comments above are disgusting.
Bring on the day when these criminals are controlled by law.

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Any update on who the Auxiliaries might be for Dublin yet. Wonder if anyone can predict the one for Ferns ? A few on here were correct about Dermot Farrell getting Dublin.

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Many of us have a keen interest in this important subject. We aspire to well researched, inside knowledge that can inform a wider readership. Mistakes will be made, however. I fear there are always correspondents who pretend to know much more than they actually do. Do not be dismayed by this feature of debate. They will be corrected as insightful commentary is restored. I wonder if Dublin’s VG would like to begin the debate?

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12.13pm anon.
Agree with you. Cos they signed up to a corrupt institution as they are only thinking for themselves, not us the people.
DF appointment isn’t exactly reassuring cos hes a company man. That all u need to know about it.
Why should we give him column inches in the press given his track record in maynooth and also he’s a relative of new ager ex maynooth Ledwith.

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Having assessed the vacancy in Glasgow, I am sure we can mull-over Irish candidates’ credentials. This will be a most interesting subject. Thank you for raising it.

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Mind you, I do think those correspondents who have sought to mislead readers about the Glasgow appointment should be brought to heal. There is much more to be said about it. Tall Brian, for example, will certainly have his name put into the at. No doubt about that.

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Mgr. Paul Callan will be Bishop of Ferns.
Archbishop Dermot Farrell will NOT be appointing Mgr. Ciaran O’Carroll or Fr. Kieran McDermott as his auxiliaries…as everyone expecting. They are closely associated with Diarmuid Martin’s clique therefore they are corrupt. Farrell will be smart NOT to appoint these vipers, he will choose his own men and start with a clean sheet.
As rector of Maynooth Dermott Farrell made sure Ciaran O’Carroll did not get the chair of history in Maynooth. Ciaran went for the job but Farrell opted to appoint a layman which caused major issues and friction and ultimately led to O’Carroll leaving Maynooth. There is HISTORY between Farrell and O’Carroll…pun and intended!

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Well, you tell us who will not be appointed and offer a highly speculative guess about who will take Ferns. Not terribly enlightening, I fear.

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2:32
I did predict the appointment of Dermot Farrell to Dublin and I also predicted where Diarmuid Martin would be living. I did this many months before they were publicly announced. Pat doubted my information at that time. I am not here to prove things to you, I am passing on information and you can choose to believe it or not. There is a difference between speculative guessing and inside knowledge. I do not know who the auxiliaries will be, as that is Dermot Farrell’s private decision. I do know that he will NOT use Diarmuid Martin’s brown-nose boys.

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Well that means that there is feck all of a chance for any of the morons on DM’s council of priests. The idiot council that sided with the selling of Clonliffe for a criminally low price. poor Joe must be weeping his eyes out, and as for Philip, I here he’s back on the drugs. and the evil twins Ciaran with a K and Kieran with a C are distraught firstly they aint the Archbishop and secondly they have a snowball’s chance in hell of being an Auxiliary. They just about scrape it as CoPP’s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emsTplGw5QM

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9.59am. Please don’t be blinded by your hatred of Eamon Martin. From your comments, it seems that you have not read the whole report? Eamon Martin doesn’t say ‘it’s ALL the fault of society’. Neither does the report from the independent commission. But from what I have heard and read, the report does reference, questions and comments on the role of the fathers, families, communities along with the church and state’s role in the existence and running of these mother and baby homes. Eamon acknowledges the terrible and horrific things that happened in these homes, has apologised and asks that the church and state, families and communities learn from what happened in our shameful dark past. So that it never happens again. I think this is a reasonable and wise approach and not the sign of an edgier or a dickhead.

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10.57: A good, balanced and intelligent comment. Some of the commenters today are revealing their long standing contempt and dislike for Archbishop Martin. Their obsession with expressing their contempt is a moral dysfunction on their part. You are right: before commenting, people should read the Report in full. Some are quoting anti church narratives and are therefore being biased, quite intentionally, as it furthers their hatred for the Catholic Church. The Report is a comprehensive, professional and authoritative Report. The findings do not sit well with the anti church brigade. I would ask these people to look at their conscience in light of the horrendous abortion figures, the extent of child poverty today, the awful struggles of parents with children with special needs, child beggars, homelessness at every level, detention centres for migrants. When you are active in the community re: social and justice issues, you begin to realise that it’s easy to condemn past abuses and horrible wrongs – which is the right thing to do and which must be done – but let us look at present abuses, wrongs and injustices too. I guarantee that those condemning the church are not out shouting about these relevant JUSTICE issues prevalent in our society. Various Church active charity and outreach groups are present with many of these people whom the State Agencies and society now ignore. Abuses, negligence, hurt and suffering are wrong and unacceptable in any era of history. Let us endeavour not to repeat past wrongs, hurts and failings. And let us move beyond laptop outrages!! Be pro-active with our compassion and care.

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All of the reasons you give are the perfect reason contraception should be available and medically safe termination should also be available. Otherwise women will go back to dying through back street abortion.

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If they don’t have back street abortions neither the mother nor the baby end up dying. It’s their choice to end their baby’s life, whether in a back street or a hospital (what an irony).
The number of such deaths was tiny and the number was grossly exaggerated and millions of babies have died because of that propaganda.

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2.40: Such nonsense. People should act RESPONSIBLY in relationships. There are precautions: RESPONSIBILITIES. Why should a human life – innocent – be discarded because of reckless irresponsibility?

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Pat, the comment at 5.07 is beyond disgraceful. Its author displays the mysogynistic attitude that prompted the historical abuse of unmarried mothers and their babies in Ireland.
I am requesting that you delete it.

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Don’t any of you bother hearing confessions any more?
During the height of RC domination of Ireland homes had to be set up for the unmarried mothers. You see, ‘fathers’, the real people with the morals are not you who tell people how to behave, feel free to ignore your own advice, and then punish the poor saps who are fool enough to listen to you.
The real morals are found in the world outside the church where we face head on the simple fact that people don’t, and never have, behaved the way you think they should. We seek to treat people with kindness and not punish them like you do.

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Junior Squaddie McKeown as he called himself, aka Derry Bishop Donal McKeown denies any knowledge of the events surrounding the Mother & Baby homes. He gives an interesting description of his job title and his excuse of his hear/see no evil is just simply pathetic.

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Mc Keown is a gobshite and talks like a gobshite, not sure if you know him Pat. He ignores scandals that people reveal to him. Hypocrite doesn’t cover it

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Did you see Fr Purcell, beloved of this blog, is leading a the St Declan’s Way walk with Mary McAleese and Leo Varadkar on RTÉ this weekend?

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Thanks for the warning about the Three Stooges. It would put your heart sideways if you hadn’t been warned and you flicked on Teilifís Éireann and had that beaming into your sitting room. There’s still a high risk that I’ll put my boot through the screen when I see them.

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3.54: No, two hags and a fag???😁😁😂😋🤣🤣😅💋💋💖💖💖👜👜👜👢👢👢…

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https://www.facebook.com/StDeclansWay/
I’m surprised Rawhide was able to fit this in during August what with his trips to the Boilerhouse sauna. Do you think Leo’s gaydar sniffed out Dickie’s proclivities ? Ballyrafter Woods? Now that sounds interesting ! Oh, I can’t wait for the programme.

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I hope Mary Mc washed her hands in Domestos after shaking hands with Rawhide and having her tea. He could be in to other things more raunchy than barebacking……?! And there’s no knowing where those hands have been where the sun don’t shine.

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Bishop Pat, that appalling funeral in Derry with crowds attending – that Priest was guilty of being a covid spreader. He should have shut down the whole thing.

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The Shinners would have kneecapped him. Did Gary Donegan CP, chaplain to SF do the funeral?
As I understand it, the priest asked the ushers to control entry to the church and he pleaded with the crowd outside to disperse and made that request over the external speakers for all the ‘Ra supporters to hear.
Inter alia, it’s grotesque to see SF raging about the mother and baby homes when they they are mad for abortion and their military wing killed children, disappeared mothers and created many an orphan.

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Donegan CP now that is a very interesting name in Crossgar living alongside the big end and can’t abide one another as they both have massive egos – there is the problem.

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@ 3.50pm Thank you. I am glad you have sincere rather than wandering views about these matters. That calls for respect. In relation to the Ferns and Dublin cases, you might well hear something said quietly, whispered even, and be sufficiently brave to place such information on this blog. It would be most welcome, allowing those of us who are placed similarly to hear snippets that add to a trail of great interest and a context within which our ideas can be tested vigorously. I for one and, am sure, many others look forward to your continuing engagement with this forum.

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I wonder whether any bets be placed in betting offices up and down the country between the time that the appointments to Ferns and Ossory are made and the time they are announced. A lucrative window of opportunity for an entrepreneurial cleric.

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Just like Trump had a button on his desk on the Oval Office which, when pressed, summoned a butler bearing a can of Diet Coke on a silver tray, Pat should have a stalker alert button added to the blog.

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Many of us in this bit of the world are seriously worried about the poor man. Is he well ? Has he had a breakdown ? Something else ? it’s very unusual for him not to be visible around the place. He never seems the most robust of men. So maybe this Corona business, and his St George’s ministry, and all his parochial responsibilities have taken their toll. The Canon is being very tight lipped. Something is up.

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As a reader of this blog, I do not quite understand who might be stalking whom and why. An explanation would be appreciated. Thank you.

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5.31 He is NOT MIA he is in the parish working hard and today he was saying a Requiem Mass.
Not all Funerals are Live Streamed.

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Pat what I love absolutely best on this blog is when the kooky kollared klub come up against someone with morals not dictated by them and go ballistic. It’s as good as when they get wild because you’re an independent Catholic. It just shows they’re about power and not love.

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7.52: Have you no sense of humour? 😉😁🤣🤣😎😎😘😅😅😁😁😆😆😗 .

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Oh God Pat, that interview with auld doll on UTV news at 6pm was a car crash. Can someone tell her not to open her gob

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6.01: Totally agree with you. What a disgusting comment to be printed! Shame that Pat allows and facilitates this and ither horrible, derogatory comments about men and women. This blog lacks a moral and ethical integrity. Disgusting comment.

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Actually the fact he published that comment has a valuable function- to show the gutter minds and morals of Cathbots and clergy. You may query that that could have been by anyone, but let’s face it, who else would be bothered to read this blog?
There are former RCs who comment here, but of course leaving the church can only be a renaissance in respect, manners, morals and culture.

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7.51: You seem confused.. Lots of people, including atheists, ex clerics and non clerics comment on this blog. The comment referred to proves the ignorance and misogyny of the commenter.

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Not confused at all. Some years ago the shift of Pat’s original blog changed slightly to higher emphasis on exposing church malfeasance. The people who will be interested in this blog are therefore the clergy because they want to see if they’ve been mentioned on it.

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Why do some people on this blog deviate from the topic. Yes, society was cruel (and it still is now) but please do not try and take away where this evil cruelty took place and at whose hands it was carried out by. So called “religious moral people” working in the employ of God (so they claim) tortured, abused and belittled these women and girls. Aided and abetted by state authorities they stole babies from mothers. My heart breaks for all those who had to endure this wickedness. I For one want none of their so called Christianity. How many more scandals must be exposed before people wise up to this shower of self righteous fools. They are an anaethma to everything Christ taught. Total and absolute charlatans.

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Yes. Luckily people are learning and one of the reasons they are so defensive is that donations and attendance both continue to fall in the west.
Nor has anything actually changed in the church’s attitude ( just look at the priests who comment here) so I am very reluctant to think that churches are safe places for children or anyone else.
The scandals of the last 30 years are only the start.

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One of the reasons that there is such a focus on blaming the nuns and priests rather than Irish society as a whole is that Irish people don’t want to confront a very dark aspect of their national character.
Just as the Irish Catholic church was the epicentre for clerical abuse, and it was a problem in Irish founded churches abroad, why are these laundries and homes an especially Irish phenomenon? The Catholic Church’s teachings were the same everywhere and other countries (eg Spain, Poland, Italy) were as church dominated as Ireland yet they seem not to have these problems.
What does that say about Ireland and the Irish? Perhaps that is too uncomfortable to ask?

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I think there’s a further nuance here which is the particular form of Catholicism the Irish exported elsewhere, which was heavily influenced by Jansenism. The particularly joyless nature of that heresy has contributed to the problems elsewhere.

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It says, you blind apologist for the Church of Rome, that the Irish are more deferential; that’s all. Even that odious little man, PE Benedict, acknowledged this in a letter addressing abuse by the agents of his church, priests and religious. He criticised the ‘excessive deference’ the Irish expressed to these people.

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There is a new Queer Bible, Bp Pat, should I send one to the queers at Silverstream? They might like a copy.

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I agree 7:40. These perpetrators should be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. How low does the RC church have to stoop before it becomes extinct. This church is run first and foremost by its own traditions and laws. I was just one of the unfortunate ones who happened to be born into its tradition. The actions and the attitude of its leaders, which continues to this day, is despicable. They aren’t interested in the victims. Their only interest is self preservation. Words of apology from them aren’t enough. These women/young girls deserve justice as soon as possible. Shame on everyone who played a part in this torture. May God forgive them. As a mere human being, I struggle to as they have not and never will be truly contrite

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Expressing all that viscious anger ad infinitum doesn’t seem to be doing Magna any good. In a year’s time think of the columns he’ll have written and the energy expended and all for the sake of controlling his demons. Not a pretty prospect for him.

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