ICYMI, there's a developing story out of Ireland about Catholic operated homes for unwed mothers and the discovery of a mass grave with the bodies of hundreds of children. I wrote about it here, after picking up the story from Charles P. Pierce. (Gwennedd also covered it.) The horror of it is difficult to overstate.
Well, NPR has a follow up report today, and it looks there are at least three more Church-run facilities with mass graves. Responses from various elements of the Catholic Church (The Archbishop of Tuam, Michael Neary, the Sisters of Bon Secours, The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary) fall rather short of the mark.
There were people who had to know what was happening but apparently did nothing and said nothing, there were people who should have known what was happening but apparently did nothing and said nothing, there were people who had to have condoned what was happening, and there are still living participants in this ongoing horror story, both victims and perpetrators. This is not the past; it's not even the dead past yet.
This chapter in the War on Women grows ever darker. Until it is fully acknowledged, until some effort is made towards whatever redemption is possible, the corruption will continue to fester and sprout new malignancies.
Full inquiry, full disclosure. Nothing less will do.
UPDATE: jakedog42 linked to an article in the Irish Times giving some idea of the reaction in Ireland. I did some further searching. I'm including a taste of it here, but have put quite a bit more together in a new post.
There's an update in the Irish Times in which Corless, who triggered the investigations with her work, has a video explaining more of the story. (video at http://bcove.me/...) The print story at the Irish Times also has some more context about the story.
There are some must-read opinion pieces as well: This time, the issue of mother and baby homes must be addressed - Even the story of Philomena Lee, as recounted in the film starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, did not stir the national conscience to action; Death devoid of dignity at Bon Secours home - Opinion: Every effort must be made to make proper burial arrangements for the children; If you don’t approve of the church then don’t take part in its rituals - Opinion: Each spring, thousands of non-believers allow their pre-pubescent daughters to don wedding dresses for their first communion.
A search of the Daily Mail has additional information and photos (albeit in tabloid style). Here's a June 2 report: Mass septic tank grave 'containing the skeletons of 800 babies' at site of Irish home for unmarried mothers. Here's another report which adds an extra dimension of horror: Thousands of children in Irish care homes at centre of 'baby graves scandal' were used in secret vaccine trials in the 1930s.
Scientists secretly vaccinated more than 2,000 children in religious-run homes in suspected illegal drug trials, it emerged today.The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.
Old medical records show that 2,051 children and babies in Irish care homes were given a one-shot diphtheria vaccine for international drugs giant Burroughs Wellcome between 1930 and 1936.
There is no evidence that consent was ever sought, nor any records of how many may have died or suffered debilitating side-effects as a result.
The scandal was revealed as Irish premier, Enda Kenny, ordered ministers to see whether there are more mass baby graves after the discovery that 800 infants may be buried in a septic tank outside a former mother and baby home in Tuam, Co. Galway.