In October of last year the IRSP released a statement condemning the state and the Catholic Church for attempts to conceal the truth regarding the unspeakable exploitation and abuse carried out by that church in its ‘Mother and Baby Homes’. The IRSP has been one of few quarters in Ireland to have been consistently critical in its position on the behaviour of the Catholic church here long before that was acceptable or popular.
The recent release of the report which the state had sought to subdue has heralded stark figures, outlining a reported 9000 deaths of young children in Mother and Baby Homes during their existence. This is a heinous statistic; but does not come close to an accurate reflection of the overall societal damage that the behaviour of the Catholic Church in Ireland has done throughout the 20th century and into this century alone.
Wishful thinkers and those with an interest in the peaceable resolution of this matter are keen to characterise this report as a historical matter. It is not historical: the Catholic Church has continued to heap pain on families and loved ones through prevarication and obfuscation. This is reflective of their behaviour throughout the world going right to the top of the institution and the fortunes it spends on covering the tracks of its abusers.
The commission which released the report containing these statistics was keen to downplay the church’s culpability, and to diminish the responsibility of the state also. They wished to draw on the actions or inaction of families and the broader public as being partially responsible. Yet this is far removed from the reality that public figures and elements of the general public who did dare to challenge these abuses were hounded by both the church and state. It also ignores the prevailing societal attitudes influenced by the church and state which resulted in unmarried mothers and others being viewed as lesser or undeserving of basic rights.
True to form, the gombeen political clique in Ireland rushed to the defence of its long-time ally. The church and state in Ireland have long shared a parasitical exploitative relationship whereby the Church and its hierarchy are granted a position of prestige whilst reinforcing submissiveness and fealty to the state. Nowhere has that been proven clearer than in the determination of Micheal Martin of Fianna Fáil whose predecessors were complicit in this abuse also to levy the blame on the public as a whole rather than to lay it squarely where it belongs at the feet of a rotten institution and its complicit political allies.
The IRSP reiterates its position that the behaviour of the Church and State is one of continuing abominable cruelty to survivors of institutional abuse and the memory of its victims. The only correct action to be taken by the church and its gombeen political allies is full disclosure, full accountability, and full compensation of survivors and families. It is unlikely we will ever see such whilst we live under a system which relies on exploitation and the subservience encouraged by spiritual coercion.