Thursday, 5 October 2017

Shamanism - Why it Works

Accountability still Missing from the Irish Catholic Church by Owen Felix O'Neil

This post is by Owen Felix O'Neil. 

                               Accountability still Missing from the Irish Catholic Church.
The sexual abuse and rape of millions of children worldwide by Clerics of the Catholic Church is arguably the most acute crisis Catholicism has faced since the Reformation. The prevalence of Clergy sexual abuse and rape and its shocking cover-up by senior Church Officials have obscured the largely untold story of the legal system’s remarkable success in bringing the scandal to light, focusing attention on the need for institutional reform, and spurring Church Leaders and public officials into action. 

Cardinal Newman famously said in 1865;-
“The Catholic Church holds it better for the Sun and Moon to drop from Heaven, for the earth to fail, and for all the many millions on it to die from starvation in extremest agony … than that one soul, I will not say, should be lost, but should commit one single venial sin, should tell one wilful untruth, or should steal one poor farthing without excuse”.

And as the great late Christopher Hitchens  paraphrased;- 

“As we have recently been forcibly reminded, the Irish Catholic Church holds it better for the cries of raped and violated children to be ignored, and for the excuses and alibis of their rapists and torturers indulged, and for a host of dirty and wilful untruths to be manufactured wholesale, and for the funds raised ostensibly for the poor to be paid out in hush money and shameful bribery, rather than that one tiny indignity or inconvenience be visited on the robed majesty of a man-made church or any limit set to its self-proclaimed right to be judge in its own cause”.

The Roman Catholic authorities from Ireland to Germany to Australia to Belgium to the United States and Canada were being confronted with the fallout of decades of sexual rape, murder, floggings, and slavery and their subsequent denials. Worse still and closer to home the putrid state of the Catholic Church in Ireland and why was this not considered a matter for the Irish police and the Irish courts? Why had almost no offending Catholic Priest, Nun or Bishop faced justice, and even then usually after a long period of protection from the Catholic Church's own "courts"? (Canon Law)

The Irish Police must rise from their notorious lethargy and raid some ecclesiastical offices, Convents and Industrial Schools in search of evidence that’s being concealed, the evidence of the murder, attempted murder, rape, beatings and torture of thousands of women and children in its care. In addition the concealment of thousands of more bodies of babies and their mothers in unmarked graves, and septic tanks on its premises, Convents, Hospitals, Mother and Baby Homes, Magdalene Laundries  and Industrial Schools in Ireland. A little application of simple earthly justice is all that is required to correct the gross transgressions, misdeeds of the unrestrained Irish Catholic Church. If we take another Institution like say “McDonald’s" which has 82 outlets in Ireland and if one or two babies bodies were found flushed in its septic tanks, or buried in a secret grave in its parking lots, all the “McDonald's" in Ireland would be closed immediately, and all the McDonald managers prosecuted and jailed within a few weeks. The righteous public outrage, fury and resentful anger would be world-wide, McDonalds and the McDonald brand would be destroyed forever, but not the unimpeded Catholic Church. Yet the unhampered, murderous Irish Catholic Church has thousands of babies and women flushed in its septic tanks, and buried in secret graves on their many premises, well over two hundred Institutions in Ireland alone, and nothing happens, and I mean nothing. What the heck is wrong here!! why is this even allowed. 
The degenerate Irish Catholic Church still fails to completely comprehend the depth of spiritual and mental damage done to Survivors. The truth is simple, the courage and resilience of the ordinary Survivors shines through as good, decent people who cannot comprehend why they were being treated and continually, mentally raped, humiliated and violated again and again by the same immoral Irish Catholic Church. For many of the Magdalene women and their children, the memory was something they sublimated and never spoke about to their husbands, partners or their children. In reality many callow Irish Catholic Priests were serial rapist, even pedophiles while their counterparts the Nuns, who many were sadistic, frustrated virgin women, who derived pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering, and humiliation on fellow women and their children. Many Survivors were more or less told by either a Nun or Priest or Religious Brother, “You are in my power now. So think about that and behave accordingly.” as they were been sexually abused by the Clerics. To this day, many Survivors are living in constant fright and fear of their past, their present and their future. 
 In the Irish Industrial Schools sexual assault, rape, and floggings were carried out in a sickeningly systematic manner by the Irish Christian Brothers. The hideous spectre of multiple rape was condoned and carried out by the Irish Catholic Church, in most Religious run Institutions in Ireland. Rape was often accompanied by torture and floggings and in some cases, the child was bludgeoned to death. The raging violence by some within the Religious Orders was undiscriminating. The insistence on the Christian Brothers watching the rapes were deliberate Industrial School policy, intended 'to underline the humiliation’ on the boy and the boys forced to watch the humiliation. The Christian Brothers eliminated pity, and abandoned any constraint in the Religious run Institutions they oversaw, human decency was ripped up and underlying all this foul inhumanity was the cheering Irish Catholic Church.
The privileged status of Priests, Nuns and other Religious Orders in the Irish community, put all of them “on a pedestal” and in positions of power and trust, in which the Irish Religious Orders took full advantage of, as they roamed the Irish countryside like wolf packs, the Catholic Church’s army of clerical rapists, to rape, kidnap, torture and sexual abused at will, and under the clear protection of their Church, atrocities so terrible were openly committed in the Religious run Institutions. In the eyes of women and children and many within the Irish population, the Irish Clerics represented God. The Irish Clergy, particularly in practicing celibacy, prevented them, the Clergy from maturing emotionally, sexually and psychologically. The rape, beating, torture and murder, is a testament of the brutality committed by the Religious Orders on the children found, dumped into Ireland’s secret graves and septic tanks and is our “national shame” . The issues of religious freedom” does not give the Catholic Church the right to sexually abuse children or even the right to murder children. It is not a sacred duty or trust to rape and murder children, Melbourne Archbishop says he'd rather go to jail than report child abuse heard in confession. 
Confession, the Archbishop added, was “perhaps the only opportunity where a person who has raped a child, can seek absolution, without the fear of arrest or imprisonment, and also where a pedophile has an opportunity for broader advice,”.  And another Catholic Archbishop, from Brisbane in Australia said “the relationship between priest and penitent in the sacrament of penance is unlike any other relationship, because the penitent speaks not to the priest but to God, with the priest only a mediator”.
What the two Archbishops said speaks for itself, it’s craven, from feeble minds, but let’s be clear here what Survivors are seeking, is recognition of their suffering, validation of the facts in their horrendous sufferings, and belief in their word against powerful persons or Religious Institutions and structures that denied, defied, and at times humiliated and abused them further. An apology would have been comforting and healing, but a regretful acknowledgement is not nearly enough, Survivors pleas and pain were never heard. “Never before has the Irish legal system played such an influential role in educating the Irish public and encouraging massive change in the way children are protected.” The fight is never easy, the resistance and denial from the Irish Bishops, Irish Cardinals has proved truly Machiavellian. There is no question that the Survivors justice organisations made a difference, their cases brought to civil and criminal litigation, and Irish and International media accounts blasted into public attention were the driving forces that has resulted in whatever positive movement Irish Catholic authorities have taken. There is still no clear, moral, and independent leadership from within the Irish Catholic Church moving it toward with full transparency and accountability. But the legal system has held Irish Catholic Religious Institutional ‘feet to the fire’ by exposing pleadings, depositions, and documents that extricated a refined “confession” of an institution in moral meltdown. As a American Catholic Priest said;- "The church will not change until it is faced with bankruptcy.
Hugh payments have caught the Irish Catholic Church’s attention, but the Clerics continue to resist basic reforms even under the pressure of threatened bankruptcy. Money is the  real issue for the Irish Catholic Church that is a renewal resource. But the pressure of the legal system that will continue to hold Irish Bishops accountable for their behaviour, that of Catholic Priests, Nuns and employees holds continued promise of eventual inevitable reform of a system co opted by its dedication to image and secrecy. An evil undiscovered is an evil unpunished. We need to know this, that the Irish Catholic Church is now truly in a constant state of fear, in which there is no escape. The Irish Catholic Church are now trapped in a nightmare of their own lies.
Their past misdeeds are slowly been discovered, fear was a thing that the Irish Catholic Church hardly knew, itself, yet fear and loathing it unleashed, ruthlessly and held over the Irish population like the personification of death itself, it preached religious intolerance, parochialism, and false dogmatism. The authoritarianism of the Catholic Hierarchy was seen as grim reapers with their verbal fanaticism, lay as a dead chauvinism on the strangled throat of Ireland.  A solemn-looking Catholic Church, as in its zealotry of the narcissistic Religious Orders, The dangers of religious fanaticism in Priests, fulfils the role of the psychopomp, carrying a scythe, many are often seen en masse, waiting outside every home of the dying, to rip the vulnerable person’s soul violently from its still living body, as though they were harvesting grain. 
You see fear has finally come to the unscrupulous Irish Catholic Church, and it has come to stay, to grow and will keep on growing, devouring, coming into existence and developing as more and more salacious details with their factitious disorders imposed on a whole population. You see their sin is a spiritual and moral malignancy, which is now the dry rot at the heart of the decadent Irish Catholic Church, truth marches forward. For truly the game is up, the plays were made, by their pathological lies, that exhibit arousal, stress and guilt from their constant deception. Fear clings to the immoral Irish Catholic Church like a cement overcoat, a death shadow across the land, fear of the footsteps in the dark, fear of retribution in all forms. In reality, fear will turn their hateful world upside down and into a living hell, but a silhouette of brave Survivors are stepping into the light of truth, out of darkness cometh light, with self realisation and enlightenment, in this way the shackles of evil falls apart as Survivors have discovered their voices in the invigorating light, that is truth, all have horrendous stories to tell and a willing public ready to listen and re- examine the evil that was and is the licentious Irish Catholic Church. 
Owen Felix O’Neill

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Secrets and lies

I don't know whether I mentioned this in a post before or not but a friend of mine once asked me,

"What did you get told off for most when you were a child?" 

Such an odd question but one that didn't take long to answer with a another question,

and therein lay the answer. 

"For asking questions..." was my immediate response. 

"Oh it's just that's probably your natural talent and the thing you should do more often as an adult." A question worth considering yourself dear reader ;-)

I was told off time and time again for asking questions. Something I learn't to control very early on in my development as the asking always seemed to cause such discomfort. It happened so often and I was punished so much, that it actually caused me to stop asking any questions at all. Over the years that's changed, of course and I've reached the stage where I have to keep asking the questions regardless but with absolute clarity and intention; even if I don't get the answers or if the answers come at a really unexpected time, the asking seems to be the important thing.

One of the probing questions I've asked recently is of myself.

Why are you still involved with this subject 'Tuam Babies?'

Of course there are so many outstanding injustices and truths that need to be addressed, there's so much I can still give to this cause and there's so much that correlates to every aspect of society that still affects us all today but I really don't have one definitive answer, other than the motivation that comes from the heart which is an unfathomable thing.

In August, I got into discussion with another friend who told me she'd just had an astrological chart done. It's something I've longed to do but the right person hadn't presented themselves, the person she described seemed ideal, so I set about seeking my birth records in order to find out the exact time of my birth (a requirement for the chart.) Naturally, I have lots of questions concerning my entry into the world and it's time to seek the answers.

What did actually happen at my birth?

According to my father; my mother was never the same woman after it (there's room for several jokes here but we'll keep to the point); mental illness plagued her for the rest of her life and her South African family maintain she was a very balanced woman when she left Cape Town. Hoping to track down my mothers medical records, I sent off a request for information. Quite a lengthy process, I finally got confirmation that I'd receive a document in the post. Weeks passed and the anticipation grew but I was told it could take up to 40 days; unable to sit it out another fortnight, I got in touch with Data Access and disclosure yesterday, only to be told that:

We have had a look in the areas that we would expect the records to be held but unfortunately there was not anything available. This is likely to be due to the date of the records as we do not have to keep records after a certain amount of time, as explained in the Data Protection Act 1998. With maternity records, it is recommended that they are kept for 25 years after birth.
I apologise that we have not been able to comply with your request this time. 

                                      I GOT SUCH A LAND!!! 

One of the most pressing things that survivors have to face is the constant disappointment in searching for their records, either the lies they are told by various departments sending them on a wild goose chase or the blatant refusal to hand them over. I didn't expect to be met with the same result and it makes my blood boil.

So, I'm back to asking the questions,

Why aren't my birth details available?

Why does the data protection act of 1998 only keep records for a certain amount of time?

Why was I given the impression that my birth details could be found if there's a clear cut off point after 25 years? 

Why mislead?

I know for a fact that many people in Ireland and the UK have been able to access their records (people much older than myself) so, 

Why have I met this particular block?

I've been coy about writing about my own experiences since I started research on Tuam but I know that by seeking ways to heal collectively, I'm also doing it for myself. Now is the time to share some of the reasons which keep me so present with this subject as there's such a massive correlation and I find I'm now asking the survivors for their advice.  

"So many secrets and lies brought us to this point in our history and it's only by uncovering them do we have the key to unlocking our future," says another friend (I feel blessed by the loving support in my life).

What next?
Who knows?

but I'm going to keep asking until I find out.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

The Clann Project


Clann: Ireland’s Unmarried Mothers and their Children: Gathering the Data (‘Clann’) is a joint initiative by Adoption Rights Alliance (ARA) and JFM Research (JFMR). The purpose of Clann is to help establish the truth of what happened to unmarried mothers and their children in 20th century Ireland.
  • Clann will also anonymise shared statements, and will gather documentary and archival materials, in order to make a public group report to (1) the Commission of Investigation, (2) the Irish Government, and (3) international human rights bodies.
  • Clann will also disseminate archival and contemporary documentary materials via this website.
As part of the Clann initiative, ARA and JFMR are working with Hogan Lovells, a global law firm which is providing pro bono (free) assistance to us in compiling statements, documentary materials and legal analysis.
You can find detailed information here on how Clann can assist you and how you can contribute to the Clann group report if you wish. We also strongly encourage you to read our Guide to the Commission of Investigation which is available here.
The Clann project is led by Maeve O’Rourke and Claire McGettrick (hereafter ‘the Clann Project Team’), who have developed its policies and procedures in cooperation with Hogan Lovells over the past year. They have overall responsibility for the administration and coordination of the project. Where there are any changes to the Project Team, this document will be revised to reflect those changes.
JFMR and ARA are committed to ensuring that the confidentiality of witnesses is upheld and we therefore undertake to strictly adhere to our Ethical Protocols, which are available here.

Read more on their website -

Monday, 2 October 2017

JP Rodgers by author Fred Barbash.

For the love of my mother by JP Rodgers
Among the bitter images of his childhood at “the Home for Mothers and Babies” in Tuam, Ireland, two stand out as particularly wrenching to John Pascal Rodgers.
Of the first, he has no independent recollection as he was only a year and a half old. His mother told him 48 years later about it. One day at Tuam, she explained, she found out that she was about to be separated from her son by the nuns who ran the home, perhaps forever. So she came in and “cut off a lock of my hair as a memento.”
The nuns then sent her to an institution then called “the Magdalene Asylum” in Galway, he said. She was 17-years-old. “The key was turned in the door and she remained there 15 years until she got the courage to escape.”
Of the second image, some four years later, he does have independent knowledge because he was older then and it was so painful.
He was standing in the shadow of  the home’s 10-foot walls, utterly alone and friendless. Never mind that there might have been 100 or 150 other children on the “so-called playground,” as he described it.
He stood alone deliberately because he had already learned in his short life that even though you made a friend, you wouldn’t keep a friend, not among the children at Tuam.
“I’d become friends with one or two of them and they’d disappear one after the other,” Rodgers recalled in a phone interview with The Washington Post.
41fajpRC1xL._UY200_(Courtesy John P. Rodgers)
“And I cried. And a week later, I might have gotten over that, and then I’d become friendly with another little chap,” he said. “And he’d disappear. And I cried.”
Eventually he stopped trying to have friends, Rodgers said. He “stopped trusting.”
What became of those children who disappeared?
“If he was a healthy little boy, he was probably just bought for a price and shipped off to America or Australia,” he said. “Most went to America.”
And of the ones who were not healthy?
“There were children who were extremely ill,” he said. “And they would disappear, too. But that was all kept from view. I wouldn’t have known about those underground vaults and passageways,” he said. “They were accessible only to the nuns.”

Children’s Home, Dublin Road, Tuam, Ireland circa 1950. (Courtesy of Catherine Corless/Tuam Historical Society)
The memories of the “mother and baby” home at Tuam, operated by the Sisters of Bon Secours in Ireland from 1922 to 1961, known to him just as “The Home,” all came rushing back to Rodgers, 69, on March 3.
That was the day a government commission investigating what had been a theory — that as many as 796 children born of unmarried mothers who had died at the home had been left in what appeared to be a disused underground waste facility — determined that it was very likely a reality.
A dig and a forensic examination revealed a structure composed of 17 underground chambers, containing “significant quantities of human remains,” the remnants of children who would have been anywhere from 35 fetal weeks old, as the commission put it, to 3 years old, dating from 1925 to 1961.
The concentration of samples, said the commission’s report, was “likely to date from the 1950s,” just when John Rodgers was living there.
Ireland is still absorbing the shock of what Prime Minister Enda Kenny called a “chamber of horrors.”
There are calls now for a broader, wider investigation into all the homes used by all of Ireland’s counties to hide away unwed mothers and their children in the care of the Catholic Church, which then separated them for life, farming the children out to foster homes for a fee or making them available for adoption to affluent Americans, also for a fee.
Since the news broke, Ireland has been awash in guilt and shame, just as it has many times before as old wounds have been lanced, with the knowledge that the scandal at Tuam, and perhaps elsewhere, wasn’t that much of a secret but rather something everybody knew or should have known, but from which they looked away.
“No nuns broke into our homes to kidnap our children,” Kenny said after the revelations. “We gave them up to what we convinced ourselves was the nuns’ care.”
“From my own point of view,” Lindsey Earner-Byrne, a social historian at University College Dublin said Saturday on RTE’s Marian Finucane show, “I would have a problem with the characterization of the story as an element of our hidden history. Because I think in fact it’s just the history we haven’t been willing to acknowledge.
“They knew that the institutionalization of these infants would leave them much more vulnerable to infectious diseases and so on,” she said, and that “the price of that cultural and moral discrimination, if you like, was that these babies … died at a rate six times that of other babies.”
Rodgers’s account of the home supports the fact that these homes were breeding grounds for infectious diseases.
“They had old, horrible outdoor toilets on the playground,” Rodgers said. “They were constantly full because there were so many children on the playground, to me it looked like 150, and only half a dozen toilets. The bowls were constantly full. I remember going in a corner” to avoid them. “The only reason for my being there 5½ years is I was a walking skeleton. And anyone who came in to pick up a nice infant, they wanted someone who was healthy.”
It was the painstaking research of Catherine Corless, a local historian with no academic affiliation, that led to the establishment of the investigative commission. It was known that a graveyard for children had once been on the grounds of the home, and Corless, as part of an effort to raise money for a proper memorial, began doing intensive research on who, exactly, was buried there.
She obtained the death records of 796 children, ranging from newborns to 9-year-olds, who had died of a variety of illnesses at the home. Yet she could find none of the names of those children among the records of those buried in any nearby cemetery. She learned that two boys playing in the area in 1975 reported stumbling across what appeared to be human skeletons in a pit. And using old maps of the homes, she determined that the spot where the boys made their gruesome discovery was also the site where a septic sewage tank had been located when the home was a workhouse in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Her theory attracted international publicity in 2014 and then, in equal measure, disbelief.
“I was a bit skeptical myself” about Corless’s story, said Rodgers, 69, the author of a moving book about his mother, titled “For the Love of My Mother.”
“I thought, ‘How could that be possible?’ It broke my heart when it was confirmed as being true. It was an awful thing to have to digest,” he said. And “it reawakened so many memories. It was confirmation of everything my mother told me,” he said, his voice breaking with sorrow.
Rodgers himself was finally removed at age 6 by foster parents, an older couple, he said, looking “for someone to help them with their chores.”
But he had not heard the last of his mother, an indomitable figure named Bridget Norah Rodgers, whom Rodgers calls “Bridey.”
She ultimately tracked him down and came to see him at the home of the foster parents. They advised her to flee to England before the police found her and recaptured her. His foster father, Rodgers recalled, gave her the boat fare.
That experience of his mother fleeing, as if a criminal, left a deep impression and not a good one, Rodgers said.
“I thought she was a woman of ill repute, running away from the police, running away from the nuns. Being a young boy, I didn’t know what this meant. I was horrified. Thereafter I disowned my mother completely for about 25 years. I didn’t love her. I didn’t understand her.”
Rodgers, at age 16, moved to Manchester, England, and worked in construction. His mother tracked him down there as well, “wanting to take care of me,” he said. “To keep away from my mother, I went as far as Australia. And I left specific instructions to people I knew to write a letter to my mother Bridey and tell her they didn’t know where I’d gone.” Finally, he said, at 23, he met a “lovely lady,” bought a house, had three children and settled down in Galway.
Then, in 1985, he started having recurring dreams about his mother. In the dream, she was down and out in London, Rodgers said, “going through litter bins, looking for letters with her son’s name on it. If you dream about this once, that’s one thing,” he said. “You dream about it three times, and you’re cracking up or see it as a message.”
“When it happened the third time, I got up and said, ‘I’m going to England to look for my mother.'” He had no luck finding her at first, until he placed an ad in a paper in the “rewards’ section. “Three days later, I arrived home in Ireland and my wife says, ‘There’s a telegram on the table for you.’ And the telegram was from my mother.”
“That,” he said, “was the best day of my life.”
“We communicated. We phoned. We wrote every week. And then her and her husband came to meet me for the first time in 20 years. It was a very emotional  occasion. One moment she didn’t have a living relative. And then all of a sudden she had a son, a beautiful daughter-in-law and three lovely grandchildren.
“And during this reunification, the most moving moment was when my mother Bridey went through her suitcase and presented this lock of hair to my wife,” Rodgers said, choking with emotion as he recounted his mother’s words to his wife:
“‘Julie, darling. I regret I wasn’t here to give my son away when you got married. I’m releasing him now. He’s yours.’” Six years later, she died. And Rodgers, who had promised her to keep her secrets until her death, began to tell her story.

Link to article

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Sarah Hampson's compelling article for the Globe and Mail

Ireland's 'house of tears': Why Tuam's survivors want justice for lost and abused children

A harrowing discovery in Ireland casts light on the Catholic Church's history of abusing unwed mothers and their babies – and emboldened survivors to demand accountability. Sarah Hampson reports

The St. Mary’s home for babies in Tuam, Ireland, was one of several facilities to deal with the perceived shame of ‘illegitimate’ children set up by the Irish government and run by Catholic religious orders. At this site in Tuam, on the former St. Mary’s grounds, excavations uncovered a mass grave where it is thought that 800 babies are buried. 

Sarah Hampson is feature writer for the Globe and Mail