Boycott Mass. Pass it On.


Magdalene Further to the news that the four religious orders that Martin McAleese investigated – the Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters – are refusing to contribute to the Magdalene Laundry redress scheme, which is estimated to cost €58million, the Magdalene Survivors Together group is calling on Catholics to boycott mass.

RTÉ reports:

Irish Catholics have been urged to boycott weekend Masses in protest at the refusal of the congregations of nuns which owned Magdalene laundries to contribute to the redress fund for survivors of the institutions.”

“The call has been made by the Magdalene Survivors Together group which also accuses Taoiseach Enda Kenny of siding with the orders on the issue.”

“In a statement, the group’s spokesman, Steven O’Riordan, said survivors need the public’s support because the Government is “totally out of its depth”.

“He also called on ministers to exempt the women from the Statute of Limitations so that they can sue the four congregations concerned.”


Catholics urged to boycott mass over Magdalene fund (RTÉ)

Pic: Gloucester Street Magdalenes via Limerick Museum

94 thoughts on “Boycott Mass. Pass it On.

  1. Jockstrap

    The Constant Catholics will keep going and claim that they are praying for the victims of the laundries and for the Pope to guide them out of this awful time.

    In other words, they don’t care about abuse victims and think they deserved all they got.

      1. Jockstrap

        I see them every Sunday, Sunday best on, chests out, pious and making sure the right people see them going to mass.

        Pillars of the community. Even get masses said in their livings rooms if they are well in the parish priest.

        ‘Respectable’ types who never knew about the abuse. Some even still pretend they don’t believe it ever happened.

        Catholicism for some is a form of networking, to be seen to be respectable and dependable. The civil service was one place where being a good mass goer would work in your favour. You just never know when there’s an Opus Dei knocking around.

        1. the-bag

          That has nothing to do with your previous statement (nor any basis in reality). I hope your real personality isn’t as repulsive as your online pseudo-personality, or else you’re a bitter, miserable and quite badly informed fella. Don’t worry, I’ll light a candle for you on Sunday.

    1. ABM

      As if the people who are going to “boycott Mass” (i.e. politicise the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass) go to Mass anyway.

      1. well

        “politicise the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass” What about those people that want to excommunicate everyone that supports abortion?

        1. Blobster

          Practically nobody wants to do this. Any bishops asked about it are quick to explicity say that they don’t want to politicise the eucharist.
          The media is salivating at the prospect of a politician being turned away at the altar…..but it won’t happen.

        2. Blobster

          Practically nobody wants to do this. Any bishops asked about it are quick to explicity say that they don’t want to politicise the eucharist.
          The media is salivating at the prospect of a politician being turned away at the altar…..but it won’t happen.

    2. bobo

      What the organisers of the boycott don’t seem to understand is that priests, bishops etc don’t control religious orders. These orders of sisters are independent and autonomous.

      Further more although the fund should be like the residential schools fund. Those who were abused get compensation but those who weren’t don’t. Most of adult women in these homes were their under their free will. Many under 18 were there but if they had custody they weren’t entitled to leave willy nilly. Its no difference to today.

  2. whatTheF

    Not very christian of the nuns to not give them the compensation they deserve. And I thought nuns made a vow of poverty? Why were they making a fortune during the boom?

    1. PK

      “However, most of the assets comprise property and buildings in use as schools, hospitals, facilities for health and disability services, making it impossible for the value of the assets to be realised. Some of the assets are held in trust, making transfer problematic. With the property market depressed, 2009 values no longer stand, and attempts to dispose of land have not been successful.”

      1. Huh?

        You left out the part of that article that stated the millions they did have in liquid assets. Must have been a mistake.

      2. Lizard Man

        It doesn’t mention the millions they made from the sites that were sold at the height of the boom.

    2. Bob

      They’re not Christian. They’re Catholic. One group worships god and the other worships a golden calf in the Vatican.

        1. Tom

          Weekly, Kildare – most occasions at least 2/3 full, sometime standing room only, depending on the Mass. Dublin would be a lower attendance rate but the idea of empty churches everywhere isn’t accurate.

          Queue spate of ageist comments.

          1. Lights

            And what are the statistics on how many of them are going through the motions? Going to mass because it’s ‘tradition’? Doing it for the kids? Or perhaps it’s just the elderly praying to their sky wizard that he reserves them a nice place in his cloud kingdom?

          2. Paul2

            Attendances are only going one way Tom, churchs may not be empty, but the numbers of people, number of masses and number of priests are well down.

          3. Bacchus

            this is Tom who recently claimed to be atheist or agnostic? Did Jeebus ask you to lie for him? Do you hear his dulcet holy voice right now? Do you even understand Arabic?

          4. Am I still on This Island

            Tom you are actually disagreeing with the church as they say both attendances and vocations have dropped dramatically in the last 10 years?

  3. Tom

    It seems to me like the nuns should contribute – but talk of boycotting Mass and the Eucharist – the source and summit of Catholic life – as part of a political battle is regrettable.

    1. SBY

      Attend the bloody mass so and simply divert the collection money you’d normally give to the redress fund.

    2. Mick Flavin

      The Eucharist: the source and summit of Catholic life, eh?
      Not living a good life, being kind to others, attempting to atone for the wrongs we’ve committed, empathising with those facing difficult decisions rather than rushing to judgement?
      No, a ritual eating of a wafer which has “literally” changed into the flesh of a man who died almost two thousand years ago is the centrepiece of your faith. Good man yourself…

      1. Tom

        I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here Mick and guess that (a) you couldn’t care less about the meaning of Catholicism and
        (b) have done little or nothing to find out about the meaning of Catholicism.

        So you’ll excuse my if I search elsewhere for theological guidance.

        1. Mick Flavin

          Wrong on both counts Tom. I was raised a Catholic, struggled with what it meant, read a lot. After much thought, retained some useful christian trappings of my previous faith, but discarded the mind-numbing rituals and took some personal responsibility for my moral choices, rather than have them outlined for me by a corrupt and pernicious organisation. How’s that?

          1. Tom

            Virtually everyone on this island was raised a Catholic Mick. Your previous post indicated a thoroughly emaciated understanding of the eucharist – as if a Catholic can divorce the body of Christ from the moral and spiritual life – so whatever thinking you did that post doesn’t reflect it.

            I’m still happy to go elsewhere for theological reflection, with due respect.

          2. Mick Flavin

            Tom, I would certainly consider my understanding of how those things work to be emaciated at this stage, and I’m not ashamed of that fact. I just don’t believe in ritualisation being needed to tie together the will to live well. I can do it (or try to at any rate) without the Eucharist, which I personally find ridiculous, but respect your need to participate. We’re coming from opposing starting premises and we’ll never agree on these things, but I bet we could meet and be quite civil to each other.

    3. Pidgeon

      Regrettable maybe but also maybe the only way to show them that this is a serious issue for people, not something they can thumb their noses at

    4. Lights

      Boycotting these meaningless rituals is exactly what will spur the catholic church into action.

    5. Bacchus

      It’s not a political battle Tom, it’s a moral one. The Nuns are kinda liable here.

      1. Tom

        Yes Bacchus this is a moral issue, absolutely. I just don’t see something as profoundly spiritual and sacred as Mass as reducible to a form of moral megaphonics. There are other ways to get justice on this issue.

        1. Bacchus

          so we’re agreed justice needs to be done? Good.
          The nuns may well claim that they only have property as assets (I don’t believe them but anyway… ) they are just a branch of a very lucrative multi-national operation and they certainly have access to enough funds to pay compensation to the women they exploited so cruelly. It was slavery under the guise of compassion.
          Details of the Pope’s Visa card number would be a good start.

          1. Tom

            assets can always be voluntarily liquidated of course, so that in itself should be no barrier to contributing. Perhaps trusts are a barrier but I’d assume if the will was there …

          1. scottser

            dunno about that, john. folks go to mass for all kinds of reasons – it’s wrong to imply that all massgoers agree with those organisations in not paying compensation simply because they attend.

            while i’d rarely agree with tom, he is bang on here – this is a legislative issue and the government need to grow a pair and deal with it.

  4. Bangalore

    Anyone still attending that organisations meetings has a skewed moral compass in my opinion.

    1. Friday

      Or a sleeping one. My parents still go – Mam cos Dad wants her to go, and Dad cos “it’s the right thing to do”. They truly believe they’re doing the right thing, even if they’ve put no thought into it. For my Dad, it’s the right thing to do and that’s where the thought and argument ends.

    2. bobo


      Hardly so. Catholics don’t go to mass to worship random orders of sisters. The church is an active community. We all get scapegoated when someone messes up but morally only a few have culpability.

    1. John

      It parishioners stood up to the church, demanded action and stopped paying their weekly dues then maybe they’d change.

      1. Helen

        teresa, ah sure when she wasn’t hanging out with Papa Doc and other Latin American fascists, she was grand. And Regan, she had a soft spot for him too. great woman.

        1. Nicelives

          She was, actually I think she was friends with everyone and didn’t do enemies… strange

      2. Fill3rup

        Mother Teresa was basically a thief masquerading as a Saint… if Hell actually existed ,she would be roasting down there…

        (Sorry,i just cant top Helens’ fantastic comment)

      3. bobo

        Mother Teresa did more to end human suffering then 1000 average people. Despite Hitchen’s volume of red herrings her work has stood the test of time.

    1. Jack Charlton

      Unbelievable! I hadn’t seen you in a while pal. Get your ass back in gear, there are loads of articles that need some Helenic spice.

  5. SOMK

    I’ll Boycott trips to Pluto whilst I’m at it.

    I don’t think they know what a Boycott is.

    If they want it to be a proper boycott they need to go all out, people should refuse to serve priests, nuns, and especially Bishops in shops, pubs, let them on public transport, refuse to service their residences, and so on.

    A simple message, pay for your crimes or GTFO.

      1. Lights

        No thats what a boycott actually is. It’s not avoiding something, its actively making the subject a social outcast.

        I think it’s a great plan :)

  6. Derval

    They’re asking people to condemn themselves to eternal raging hell fires.
    Isn’t not going to mass on Sunday a mortal sin?

  7. Tom

    @ Bacchus – I’m not the only Tom that posts here. Have never claimed to be an atheist or agnostic (currently) – have stated that I believe in the God of Jesus Christ. God isn’t confined to Arabic, by the way.

    1. Bacchus

      and Jesus, if he existed, wasn’t a white guy with a neat beard and a hippie hairdo.

        1. Bacchus

          Well if I was the almighty powerful Jesus Christ I’d be doing a dapper Omar Sharif impression. Can I get a hallelujah?

    2. Sido

      @ Tom – So you are a sort of Holy Binity then?
      Or you have many identities, but at heart, remain a man of perpetual bullshit?

      It’s OK to tell us about your personalities Tom – Honest.

    3. Yuphrum

      Why do you even bother coming to this site anymore if it goes against your beliefs? You’re not going to change how anyone here feels about the Catholic church or anyones views on abortion?

      Unless of course you get some weird thrill from it…?
      It would be like me constantly going to a creationists website to prove that they’re wrong; a waste of everyones time

      1. Sido

        I think its probably to do with whether you live on the right hand side of God or the left hand side of God, when you get to heaven.

        By investing in spiritual property Tom is stealing a lead on those who would foolishly sneer at him.

        That right Tom??

      2. Goosey Lucy

        ….plenty on both sides seemed to get some sort of strange ego boost telling others off for weeks now. Sigh

    1. Am I still on This Island

      “but the idea of empty churches everywhere isn’t accurate” – According to church this sentence you typed is not accurate, they are consolidating parishes and closing churches.

      “A 2012 survey of Irish Catholics undertaken by the Association of Catholic Priests found In 2011, it was reported that weekly Mass attendance in Dublin was on average 18%, with it being lower among younger generations and in some areas less than 2%] In 2012 the weekly mass attendance rate to be 35% on an all-island basis, while daily mass attendance was reported at 3%” At its peak it was 95% These are the RC churches figures not mine!

      1. Tom

        While typing that post were you even conscious? It nowhere indicates that there are “empty churches everywhere”? Don’t always try to manufacture disagreement Island, we can agree on some things y’know.

      2. bobo

        18% to 35% is an impressive number and shows the deep faith still is in Ireland despite secular trends and peak levels of commercialism.

    1. Am I Still on This Island

      Poorly light,subjects not fully in frame and taken at an angle. Technically a terrible photo

    2. scottser

      it’d look well beside your photo-shopped print of JPII in suspenders. in fact i reckon you have the kinkiest w@nk bank on broadsheet

  8. John Cassidy

    Ah sh!t, I’ve boycotted mass for the last 27 years. Don’t think I’ll start getting back into the whole fcucking ‘thing’ anytime soon.

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