World news – Strong criticism of how religious orders deal with infant deaths

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Sarah Mac Donald and Gabija Gataveckaite

The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has asked anyone with information about burial sites in maternity and baby homes to come forward and identify them so that they can be properly identified by their families

Archbishop Eamon Martin emphasized the Commission’s belief « that there might be people with more information about graves who have not come forward ».

Dr. Martin also said that the right of all survivors to access personal information about themselves should be fully respected, and he urged the state to ensure that any remaining obstacles are overcome.

Some of the orders that run maternal and baby homes were heavily criticized in the report for failing to keep records of the burials of children who died in their facilities.

Former Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, said that the Church and the religious orders involved should seek forgiveness from survivors.

He said it was « very easy » to apologize, but  » asking for forgiveness « blames the survivors.

When asked about the church that is helping to compensate the victims, he said on RTÉ’s Drivetime: » I heard the Taoiseach say that he will discuss the matter, and I think that’s the best way forward. « 

In response to the results of the report, the Congregation for the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary said the Bessborough in Cork as well as houses in Castlepollard, Co Westmeath and Sean Ross Abbey in Roscrea, Co Tipperary, presided that this was « a great thing to grieve for us that babies have died under our care ».

The community said it was « desperate and sad » that it was so difficult to prove for sure where many of these Children were buried.

The commission described itself as “at a loss” over a parishioner’s inability to identify the Bessborough children’s burial site and said it was “very difficult to believe that there is no one in this parish who has no knowledge ”. .

The commission also believes that there must be people in Tuam who know more about the burials there.

In a statement, the Daughters of Charity, Pelletstown / St. Patrick’s on Navan Road, said in Dublin, an institution of the Dublin Board of Guardians, that they « deeply » regretted that they « could not have done more to reduce the stress and suffering of these women ».

The Good Shepherd Sisters, who ran Ard Mhuire in Dunboyne, welcomed the report’s finding that there was no evidence of home abuse and that the Order was not directly involved in the adoption arrangements.

The Association of Missionaries and Religious Leaders of Ireland (AMRI ) said the report highlighted “a very unjust and dark time in our history when women who became pregnant out of wedlock were driven by a cruel society to secrecy, isolation and loneliness en in the extreme « .

It deplored » the culture of judgment of secrecy and shame that permeated the Church, marginalized women and went against the Gospel « .

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