Churches buried evidence of their cruelty

Churches buried evidence of their cruelty

IN IRELAND, the bodies of around 800 babies who died of neglect at a Catholic workhouse for unmarried mothers were dumped in a septic tank.

And in Canada, an as yet unknown number of Mohawk children – victims of an alleged church/state genocide campaign – were buried at the oldest Indian residential school in Canada, the Anglican-run Mohawk Institute in Brantford, Ontario.

Details emerged this week of the grisly discovery at a home for “fallen” women in Tuam, a town in County Galway. The institution was run by the Bon Secours nuns between 1925 and 1961. Thousands of “fallen women” and their “illegitimate” children passed through the workhouse, known simply as The Home (pictured above).

More than five decades after the Home was closed and demolished to make way for a housing development and children’s playground, it was discovered that almost 800 children who had to be abandoned by their mothers, died of neglect and their bodies were piled into a massive septic tank at the back of the building.

 Catherine Corless

Catherine Corless

Local historian Catherine Corless, who uncovered the origins of the mass grave in a batch of never-before-released documents, told The Washington Post:

The bones are still there. The children who died in the Home, this was them.

The grim findings, which are being investigated by police, provide a glimpse into a particularly dark time for unmarried pregnant women in Ireland, where societal and religious mores stigmatized them. Without means to support themselves, women by the hundreds wound up at the Home.

Corless said:

When daughters became pregnant, they were ostracized completely. Families would be afraid of neighbors finding out, because to get pregnant out of marriage was the worst thing on Earth. It was the worst crime a woman could commit, even though a lot of the time it had been because of a rape.

The Home in Tuam

The Home in Tuam

Children of unmarried mothers were kept segregated from other kids in Tuam and disappeared by the age of nine, either adopted or dead.

Another investigation is now under way in Canada, where – in late 2011 in Brantford, Ontario – forensic evidence emerged of the burial of children at the oldest Indian residential school in Canada during an initial excavation of the site.

The Mohawk Institute – dubbed the “Mush Hole” by the Mohawk people – was established in 1832 by the Crown and Church of England. Records indicate that on average 40 percent of the children who entered the Institute – which was shut in 1970 – died.

According to a lengthy report published by the International Tribunal into Crimes of Church and State, further excavations at the site were halted in the face of strong opposition from the Canadian authorities and the Anglican and Catholic Churches – all alleged to have been complicit in the genocide of 50,000 children across the country.

However, a fresh team is now to investigate the site, the ITCCS report says.

According to this report, the main purported role of residential schools such as the Mohawk Institute was to:

Christianize and civilize.

What impact did this goal have on the Indigenous peoples of Canada?  This is a difficult question to answer and has not been largely addressed academically.  Many survivors retell the difficulties in returning to their homes after residential schools.  Many had lost skills needed to survive in the community, including the ability to speak their native tongue.  

One of the major repercussions of residential schools is the near death of many Indigenous languages (Barman, 1995). Students were forces to learned English and punished for speaking their own languages.

• The picture at the top of the page Canadian children pictured praying at one of many residential schools set up to ‘Christianise’ youngsters.

Hat tip: Angela K and Robert Stovold

71 responses to “Churches buried evidence of their cruelty”

  1. Broga says:

    The Irish Government are “considering” an enquiry. Only “considering?” What other organisation could have 800 children killed by neglect and cruelty and dumped in a sceptic tank and not beheld to account? This scandal must be investigated with energy, determination and speed and people brought before the courts. This one is too grisly and massive to ignore.

  2. John the Drunkard says:

    Evidently, no attempt EVER made to establish paternity. The amount of rape and incest represented by these ‘Homes,’ by the slave laundries, by the ‘Industrial Schools’ may never be assessed.

    While the abuse and neglect of children by large institutions is worth comparing, each story needs to be considered of itself. In Ireland, we have a clear example of the behavior of religious authorities when they are given the power they demand.

    Also. Cause of death has not been established, the author found records of 796 deaths, with causes listed including malnutrition. The mortality figures for Irish ‘homes’ are Medieval, and investigation will probably reveal the levels of neglect and abuse that make such death rates possible. But it is still premature to say that ALL 796 were killed by abuse.

    Of course, we don’t know how many bodies the Garda will find as they investigate.

  3. Robster says:

    Quote from the post above regarding babies: “who had to be abandoned by their mothers”. Why did they “have to be abandoned”? The pack of evil nasty nuns “looking after” the babies and their mothers would have made the decision to remove/kill the unwanted babies and toss their little bodies into a septic tank! Jesus f’n Christ, Does it get any more evil that that? Nuns are infamous for their “care”, here’s proof. Nuns should all be labelled as crooks and watched very carefully.

  4. Matt Westwood says:

    And we thought Lowood School was an anomaly. See, Charlotte Bronte was right on the money.

  5. Matt Westwood says:

    It happens at school. “Children, you have a new classmate.” With scorn injected in his voice: “His father’s in *prison*. You know how we treat nasty children whose fathers are in prison now, don’t we, children? Yes, that’s right! We *persecute* them!”

  6. Matt Westwood says:

    The real WTF is learning your history, physics, medicine and social anthropology from old Westerns.

  7. Matt Westwood says:

    No no no, you don’t *actively* kill the babies. You just Don’t Feed Them. (This is accomplished by not giving them to their mother’s breast.) So it’s not *you* that has killed the baby, it’s *God*, who has chosen to do so in his Mysterious Way.

  8. Paul Cook says:

    What I find really contemptible is that local people have started a fund to build a memorial. Why do they need to do that?

    With all that money in the rcc [which we know is going to waste on gowns, fish hats, palaces, marketing, gold trinkets and rubbish] why oh why isn’t there a memorial there already?

  9. Broga says:

    @Matt Westwood: As in criminal psychopathic murderers transformed into heroic fast guns by Westerns.

  10. andrewm031 says:

    Peter over on PotD has also highlighted this. I’d like to say I was gobsmacked by the priest’s hypocritical claim that we should the past by different standards.But it’s really just par for the course. No. Murder is murder and this should be fully investigated.
    What the priest was really saying is that the Catholic Church could get away with things then that it can’t get away with now. I’ll say a small alleluia to that.

  11. Club Secretary says:

    I can see the Irish Governments point, what would an enquiry achieve?

    Those directly responsible are either very old or long dead, the Catholic Church will do its usual hand wringing exercise and come up with the usual excuses.

    It will just end up an expensive exercise for which the Irish tax payer will have to foot the bill as well as them, no doubt, having to pay for the children’s bodies to be buried.

    Of course at said burial the Catholic Church will turn out in force in full regalia, the hypocritical bunch of bastards that they are.

    They will probably also bill the government for their attendance at the burials.

    The Irish Government can take no real action, it’s has too many papal arse lickers.

  12. Agent Cormac says:

    Idle No More actually feels like a movement that’s gathering some traction. It has also generated some great imagery.

  13. barriejohn says:

    Sometimes the religious really puzzle me. Rationalists are supposed to have “flexible” moral standards, whereas THEIRS are “absolute” and “unchanging”, yet mention something like the Inquisition, or the cruel punishments employed by the Church in past years, and they’ll tell you that “times have changed and we have moved on now”!

  14. bear47 says:

    Matt, I’m not disagreeing with you, but in my opinion, slowly killing a baby by starvation IS murder. “Mysterious ways” my ass!
    They killed those babies.

  15. 1859 says:

    BBC World News ran the story last night. And there was the black frocked fuckwit of a rc priest saying “of course we have to be careful not to judge things done in the past” .
    How dislocated these idiots are from remorse, from shame, from guilt. 800 children are dead because of the catholic church and he warns us not to condemn it??? It happened over a period of 36 years – not suddenly in a famine or outbreak of disease – so it had to be premeditated. Premeditated what? Manslaughter? No such thing. Premeditated infanticide? It was the murder of innocent, who had done nothing ‘wrong’ except be born. I would like to spit in this dumb priest’s face for what he said. Over a period of 36 years the nuns must all have known what was going on – this just shows how grotesque religious delusion can become – to take a baby born out side marriage, knowingly let it die and put it on a pile of corpses in a septic tank. How the fuck did these nuns sleep at night knowing what was in the back yard? What did they say to their god?

  16. Stephen Mynett says:

    The disgusting tragedy is that most of the nuns will not have considered they had done anything wrong, In their perverted and brainwashed state they were protecting society from evil. Regardless of the fact many of the children were thought to be products of rape the mothers were still seen by the church as immoral.
    The children were also sinners, after all we are all born guilty according to the church, so they too were not good members of society and the nuns will consider their deaths the will of their god and that they were doing his work.
    You are right, it makes you sick and the more I see priests and hear their excuses the more I despise them.

  17. Angela_K says:

    The BBC “Bible Broadcasting Corporation” has been slow to take up this story due it its usual toadying to religion, but now even Radio 4’s “Today” programme has covered the story. Cue the wails from the Mary worshippers of anti-Catholicism..

  18. andrewm031 says:

    It’s a card they all know they have. Try to take over a state schools,get found out, your opponents are automatically “Islamophobic.”

  19. Broga says:

    The Irish P.M. has said there is to be an enquiry and I think it is needed. Even if many of the nuns have gone to hell an enquiry will expose and hold up for examination their infamy and that of their church. I heard a man interviewed this morning who had escaped their satanic (I’m in religious mode) clutches when he was three. He went to loving foster parents. He remembered being beaten by the hell women and said he was so terrified that he hid under the table at his foster parents.
    We need the research, in detail, to describe what went on in this Irish Belsen and what these monstrous women did.

  20. Agent Cormac says:

    I completely agree, Broga. This cannot be allowed to just get swept under the carpet and while any enquiry will be retrospective in nature, the evil perpetrated by the catholic church must be exposed in full. Their usual ‘that was then, this is now’ excuse will not wash any more – it’s the same church, based on the same dogma, run by the same crooks. It’s only because Western society has changed that they aren’t getting away with this sort of wickedness here any more.

  21. Paul Cook says:


    The bible contains clear references how to deal with ones slaves. And for the slaves how to be subservient to their masters. How to stone people to death for not following jesus. etc etc etc etc etc

    All direct from gods mouth according to millions of people. The inerrant word of god

    Does the same black frocked clown say too of these ‘parts’ of the bible ‘from the ‘past’……”of course we have to be careful not to judge things done [written] in the past” because it is convenient?