Ireland Says 9,000 Babies Died in Catholic Homes but It Was Society’s Fault Not the Church – By Barbie Latza Nadeau (Daily Beast) / January 12, 2021
From 1920s to the 1990s thousands of pregnant unwed mothers were sent to 18 church-run state homes where their babies were either given up for adoption or died mysteriously.
ROME—The Irish government has issued a controversial report seeking to explain why it was OK that tens of thousands of unwed mothers were forced into state-funded Catholic homes to give up their babies for adoption between the 1920s and 1990s. The report states that as many as 9,000 children died in 14 homes run by Catholic nuns but gives scant reason why. In the nearly 3,000-page tome, the government blames the unwed mothers, their families, and society at large, angering a number of victims who have called it a “whitewash.”
Some reports have suggested that the original report was 4,000 pages and that 1,000 pages were cut before its release to the public.
“The women in mother and baby homes should not have been there. They should have been at home with their families,” the report by Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes Commission states. “However, the reality is that most had no choice—they were, or expected to be, rejected by their families and they needed a place to stay. Most were unable to provide for the baby. They were not ‘incarcerated’ in the strict meaning of the word but, in the earlier years at least, with some justification, they thought they were. They were always free to leave if they took their child.”
The lengthy report is full of grim details about the homes’ residents. One, referred to as “Resident (A)” was raped by her boyfriend and became pregnant at 18. “She told the commission she saw ‘about 10’ deceased babies being sent for burial in what appeared to be shoeboxes.”