Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Ireland admits it cooperated with Catholic church to enslave women and force them to work in sweatshop like conditions for over seventy years.

Courtesy of CBS:  

Ireland has admitted some responsibility for workhouses run by Catholic nuns that once kept thousands of women and teenage girls against their will in unpaid, forced labor. 

The apology comes after an expert panel found that Ireland should be legally responsible for the defunct Magdalene Laundries because authorities committed about one-quarter of the 10,012 women to the workhouses from 1922 to 1996, often in response to school truancy or homelessness. 

"To those residents who went through the Magdalene Laundries in a variety of ways, 26 percent of the time from state involvement, I am sorry for those people that they lived in that kind of environment," said Prime Minister Enda Kenny on behalf of the Irish government, according to Reuters. 

Survivors said they were unsatisfied with the prime minister's response. Steven O'Riordan, spokesperson for Magdalene Survivors Together, told Irish paper The Journal the apology was a "cop out." 

Ireland stigmatized those that had been committed as "fallen" women - prostitutes - but most were simply unwed mothers or their daughters. 

The report found that 15 percent lived in the workhouses for more than five years, and police caught and returned women who fled. They endured 12-hour work days of washing and ironing.

"I am sorry for those people that have lived in that kind of environment?" Treat women like slaves for decades, take away their freedoms, and force many of them to raise their children in a prison like environment, and they are supposed to be satisfied with "I am sorry?"

You know it is not surprising that the Catholic church treated women who they would have considered "sinners" like common slaves, their oppression of women is well documented, but the government had a responsibility to protect its citizens.

Personally I hope the survivors get together and sue both the Irish government and Catholic church for every thing that they've got.

I guess I should not even bother to ask (Yet again) WHY women would still consider themselves members of the Catholic church, but I remain completely confused by that.


  1. lostinmn3:33 PM

    The horrors visited on the people of Ireland by the Catholic church are nearly as bad as the horrors visited on the same people by the British. Paddy's Lament details the genocide perpetrated against the Irish during the potato famine. The potato's may have been bad but there was plenty of other food being grown, butchered or caught and shipped over to England. Disgraceful what the good godly people do to their followers.

    1. The Queen’s Fish; friends visited other friends in Scotland, and they learned that there would be no fishing off certain shores of Scotland, because those were The Queen’s Fish!

      I was kind of stunned…

  2. Leland3:36 PM

    I wonder how many priests came to "visit" with the "fallen ladies"?

  3. Anonymous3:57 PM

    My grandmother was in one of the laundries and my mother grew up in an Industrial School over there. Many of the children committed suicide later. The abuse and neglect was horrible. They were basically told they were pariahs and not fit for society. Yet both these women remained in the Church. Don't ask me why - I guess the indoctrination was too strong.

    1. Anonymous7:35 PM

      That is so horrible and yes, I'd say the indoctrination and debilitating guilt was too strong.

    2. Anonymous7:28 AM

      If you're trained to believe you're a piece of shit, you don't tend to complain when you find yourself in shitty conditions. You feel you "deserve" it because you've been told you're less than human.

      Again, it all comes down to firing our "gods." Every last one of them. Any being that needs YOU to sustain itself by giving it energy, money, devotion, and so on isn't almighty, anyway -- just an energy vampire. And by believing you're an evil rotten sinner, you'll never accomplish anything with this wonderful life you've been given or come into your full power as a spiritually sovereign being.

      Jennifer aka M Insider aka Lipstick Mystic

  4. Anonymous4:19 PM

    Seems this is an example of the need for separation of church and state....

  5. Anonymous4:19 PM

    How about the Palins apologizing for the women and young ladies that had performed sexual acts so that the Palin family could live in comfort?

    1. Anonymous5:33 PM

      FAT CHANCE! "Money money money by the pound!"

  6. Anonymous4:52 PM

    Check out the movie The Magdalene Sisters. Very powerful movie.

    1. AJ Billings5:12 PM

      I have a copy of that on DVD, and it never fails to impress me how much suffering those poor women went through.

      Some spent their entire lives in servitude in what amounted to little more than slavery.

      The movie is very graphic, hard hitting, and pulls no punches as it shows in brutal detail the cruelty of the oppressive nuns, and the physical and sexual abuse the girls suffered.

      Highly recommended movie, but not for children!

      Info on the movie is at


  7. I was hearing about this as I drove around Reno today; I had on the Sacramento NPR station. Gryphen, I know the world is terrible and always has been, but maybe the Dalai Lama is right when he thinks things are getting better. We now have IM to compare notes.

  8. There have been a lot of atrocities done in the name of God by religions/churches throughout the centuries! How many people are still Catholic after they know all of the sins that the church has committed against man/womankind! I can never do organized religion again. Horrible! Horrible!

  9. eclecticsandra5:56 PM

    I thought that was a fictitious name. What was the song where we heard that?

  10. Anonymous6:42 PM

    As someone who was raised Catholic (went to Catholic school for 12 years, too), I do not understand how ANY rational, sane, decent person would have anything to do with the Catholic church.

  11. Anonymous7:13 PM

    Does anyone know where you can find this movie? https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CFUQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cbsnews.com%2F2100-500164_162-40269.html&ei=K9IRUbXHN-aniAL5o4Fo&usg=AFQjCNFBS_azQ9p7er5mp0RpYVgZ1gPGUQ

  12. Anonymous7:16 PM

    here's the tinyurl for the above link about The Lost Children....---http://tinyurl.com/bk6p87u

  13. Anonymous7:36 PM

    Until 19-fucking-96? Seriously?

  14. Anonymous7:46 PM

    I found some books about The Lost Children, Children taken from familys in Britain to be slaves used for sex by the priests in Australia... I saw the special on CBS a long time ago..sickening, how could any Catholic stay in the church after seeing this.

    1. Anonymous6:47 AM

      7:46 -- I saw that CBS special as well. Here's an article from the Sydney Morning Herald about the Lost Children. Utterly heartbreaking.


  15. Anonymous8:00 PM

    This what they want for us in the future. Blind belief that allows this to happen. Religion in on everything

  16. Anita Winecooler8:05 PM

    Magdalene Laundries was a ruse. The real term was Magdalene Asylums, and the Catholic Church ran them in the USA, Australia, Canada, and Ireland.
    I remember seeing a documentary in the nineties called "In God's Name" about the Irish asylum. The irony was that it got discovered in the mid nineties because Catholic nuns put up a portion of property for sale, and on it was found a mass grave of unnamed victims, which the Church immediately unceremoniously dug up and cremated. But they forgot one, and it became the undoing of the entire enterprise.

    The women were deemed insane or possessed, and warehoused to do pennence for a sin they didn't commit.
    The church is notorious for their organized criminality, and yet people continue to "believe" the "Good" and deny the "Bad" citing statistics and statements that come from the vatican. How and Why, I'll never wrap my brain around.

  17. Anonymous9:44 PM

    Sinead O'Connor spent 18 months in one of these prisons in the 1970's.

    Sinead O'Connor in 2010:


    "To Sinead O'Connor, the pope's apology for sex abuse in Ireland seems hollow

    ... I experienced this personally. When I was a young girl, my mother -- an abusive, less-than-perfect parent -- encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored "Magdalene laundries," which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests' clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar.

    An Grianán was a product of the Irish government's relationship with the Vatican -- the church had a "special position" codified in our constitution until 1972. As recently as 2007, 98 percent of Irish schools were run by the Catholic Church."

    Sinead O'Connor on Saturday Night Live, October 3, 1992. Singing her version of Bob Marley's WAR, ending with her tearing up a picture of the pope. "Fight the real enemy."


  18. I just finished watching this movie and it was absolutely incredible! This is what happens when there is no separation of church and state. It is also what happens to women when their rights are obliterated by extremists whether they are the Taliban or the religious right posing as conservative, republican politicians in the US congress, as well as the likes of Lush Limbaugh and other far-right radio jocks and faux news.

    1. Anonymous7:51 AM

      Yes, don't think the Protestant church is free of appalling acts of abuse.

  19. Anonymous2:57 AM

    This isn't even the worst thing they have done, just watch HBO's Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, and have a barf bag read.

  20. Anonymous7:04 AM

    Oh gawd I watched the hbo documentary about the deaf boys who were raped by Father Murphy (Mea Maxima Culpa)...horrendous absolutely horrendous. How the catholic church has remained in BUSINESS is crazy.

  21. Anonymous7:32 AM

    And while we're making a "laundry list" (bad joke, I know), don't forget that the church was making good money off the babies the unwed mothers were producing.


    At least 300,000 babies stolen from "unfit mothers" and sold to wealthy adoptive parents in Spain from the 40's through the 90's. The mothers were often told the babies had died and weren't allowed to view the remains.

    Jennifer aka M Insider aka Lipstick Mystic

  22. ibwilliamsi7:45 AM

    In Ireland the Catholic Church has been inseparable from the government since Henry VIII.

    When I was a girl in Catholic school there was a nun teacher called Sister Mary Ellen Glenn. She was from some small town in Ireland, but came to Dublin then the USA. She was SO hard on the girls, particularly that we had better get an education and be happy that we would not end up in the streets and workhouses. She talked about them to us from time to time. This was the early 1970's. She was hard as nails, but I liked her. I knew that there was something in her that cared. I think many thought she was silly, like "I walked to school in the snow every day..." stuff. Especially the boys. But she was looking out for the girls because she knew how far women could be thrown down.

  23. Anonymous1:34 PM

    Here's one powerful take on this sad and shameful story:
    Joni Mitchell-The Magdalene Laundries



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