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Forced adoptions: Catholic Church sorry for wrecked lives

Forced adoptions: Catholic Church sorry for wrecked lives

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, above, head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales has apologised for its part in the ‘hurt’ caused to young unmarried women who were pressured into handing over their babies for adoption in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Nichols acknowledged the “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”, adding:

Sadly for unmarried mothers, adoption was considered to be in the best interests of the mother and child because of the associated stigma and the lack of support for lone parents.

A documentary telling the stories of some of the women – who gave up an estimated half a million children during a period when the Catholic Church, the Church of England and the Salvation Army ran “mother and baby homes” and adoption agencies in the UK – is to be broadcast on ITV on 9 November.

In a statement at the end of the programme, Nichols apologises for the church’s role, saying:

The practices of all adoption agencies, whether religious, charitable or state, reflected these attitudes and were sometimes lacking in care and sensitivity. We apologise for the hurt caused by agencies acting in the name of the Catholic Church.

The documentary, Britain’s Adoption Scandal: Breaking the Silence, relates the stories of several women whose babies were given up for adoption over the 30-year period. Adoption reached a peak in 1968, when more than 16,000 babies born to unmarried mothers were handed over to new families.

Some women in the programme said they were offered no alternative to adoption and were sometimes mistreated. The women speak of their shame and guilt, but add that decisions were taken about them and their children without proper, informed consultation.

Alison, one of the women in the documentary, said:

Because I was young, I felt I had to do what I was told.

Angela, who became pregnant at 18 and was sent to a Catholic mother and baby home in Essex, said:

You had committed the ultimate sin, and as a Catholic it was the worst thing that could possibly have happened to you. So, yes, it did feel like punishment.

Another young mother, Margaret, who was sent to a Salvation Army maternity home in Leeds, said:

First of all, I’d like people to know that you didn’t give your babies away. They were taken from you, and you didn’t have a choice.

The Church of England also expressed regret for the hurt caused in a statement given to the Guardian.A spokesman said:

What was thought to be the right thing to do at the time has caused great hurt. That is a matter of great regret.

The issue was highlighted in the 2013 film Philomena, starring Judi Dench. It told the true story of Philomena Lee, an Irish woman who searched for her son for 50 years after being pressured by nuns to hand him over for adoption in 1952, when she was a teenager.

In 2011, the Catholic Church in Australia apologised for the forced adoption of 150,000 babies in Catholic-run hospitals.

Carolynn Gallwey, of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, is one of a team of lawyers demanding an inquiry into the handling of adoptions up to 1976.

These women … are entitled to have their experiences recognised, and the only way to that is through a public inquiry.

Responding to the account by one of the women featured in the television documentary, the Salvation Army said:

We sincerely sympathise with Margaret’s painful memories and can only confirm that her experiences would be different today.

12 responses to “Forced adoptions: Catholic Church sorry for wrecked lives”

  1. L.Long says:

    A criminal group apologies for being criminal while continuing to be criminal! Makes me feel so happy for them!!

  2. Dianne Leonard says:

    How about the RCC apologizing for the myriad of young women who were forced to back-alley abortionists before 1973 (in the US) and died as a result? And for still trying that in altogether too many places? Don’t think they’ll do it? Neither do I. Pope Girls-Are-Icky isn’t about to change anything. Woman hating is their raison d’etre.

  3. Trevor Blake says:

    The essence of religion is child sacrifice.

  4. lonbo says:

    How about both the RCC and the Starvation Army apologize for their god’s nonexistence, their own sorry existence and then do something about it.

  5. AgentCormac says:

    Another day, another apology required from the rcc. No doubt Bill Donohue will be apoplectic and claim angrily that there were no such adoptions.

  6. Daz says:

    Funny how they felt no need to apologise until their misdeeds were about to be broadcast on national TV.

  7. Barty says:

    As usual the pious rcc liars wrap things up in a way to push the blame elsewhere. Just study what Nichols said …
    Nichols acknowledged the “the grief and pain caused by the giving up of a child through adoption”, adding:
    “Sadly for unmarried mothers, adoption was considered to be in the best interests of the mother and child because of the associated stigma and the lack of support for lone parents”.

    So its the fault of the ‘associated stigma’of having premarital sex, that is to blame. But where does the stigma come from? Yes, thats right from the ‘teaching’ (indoctrination) of the rcc that said no sex before marriage because marriage is a very lucrative and controlling thing for them. If you have sex before we say you can we will say you are dirty and sinful and make your life and that of your child a misery by turning everyone against you … you dirty sinner.

    Once again the rcc try to obscure the truth like some second rate magician whose sleight of hand isn’t quite as convincing as it ought to be. And they think we are too stupid to notice.

    And dont forget the PREMARITAL sex enjoyed by catholic preists and cardinals who actually consider the raping of children their rightful reward for a life of poverty and abstinence.

    Its just fine for a priest to fuck a child and ruin its life but its dirty and sinful for a woman to have sex before marriage. Oh and by the way you can’t use contraception either so you will get pregnant and then we can class you as an outcast make your life hell as a punishment to deter others so we can trouser the money.

    Totally EVIL DISHONEST BIGOTTED BASTARDS.

  8. Angela_K says:

    Vincent Nichols has apologised for the “hurt” Well that’s alight then, he can go to meet his non-existent god with a clear conscience. These contemptible buffoons have no shame.

  9. Steven H says:

    Yeah. Here the religious bastards make excuses for their in human treatment of young vulnerable women/girls. This can be added to the hundreds of thousands of young, under-aged boys and girls that these holy hypocritical bastard sexually abused for hundreds of years.
    ANYONE who takes there children to such places should have there heads read!

  10. Patti says:

    I WOULD NOT TRUST ANY CLERIC MEMBER,OF THE “HOLY”ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES , IT IS PROFOUNDLY OBVIOUS, THE MEMBERS OF THE “HOLY” ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL ONLY ADMIT TO GUILT, WHEN THEIR BACKS ARE TO THE WALL ,AND, THEY ARE UNABLE TO SQUIRM OUT OF THE SITUATION THEY FIND THEMSELVE IN.

  11. Robster says:

    Perhaps Frank the pope, his crack Vatican team, the “leaders” of the various Vatican flavoured outposts around the planet and the other Jesus tainted organisations should just apologise for just about everything, including the theft of children, the rape of children, the protection of child rapists and the extensive litany of sins including the wholesale selling of lies as truth that fills the rest of their guilt sheet. That’ll keep ’em busy for a long time, enabling the rest of us to just get on with it.