From top: At the residence of the Papal Nuncio’s residence in Dublin on Saturday; Pope Francis with Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone, of the Coalition of Mother and Baby Homes Survivors; abuse survivor Marie Collins and Clodagh with the pope; a note on Mr Redmond’s book The Adoption Machine which was given to Pope Francis; and a baby shoe which was also given to the pontiff
Representatives of the Coalition of Mother and Baby homes Survivors Paul Redmond and Clodagh Malone met with Pope Francis along with six survivors of clerical sex abuse for a private meeting which lasted 90 minutes.
Paul and Clodagh write:
“The meeting was informal and Redmond and Malone went first. The Pope was presented with a copy of Redmond’s book, The Adoption Machine, as well as a blue baby shoe with black mourning ribbon on behalf of the ‘Baby Shoes Remember’ project, to symbolise the innocence of all the babies and children who have suffered at the hands of the Catholic Church both in institutions and as victims of sexual abuse by clerics.
“…Another survivor who spoke to the Pope addressed the issue of Industrial Schools and Magdalene Laundries but the Pope was unfamiliar with these institutions.
“Paul Redmond spent a few minutes giving the Pope a crash course about the role of institutions in Ireland. Ireland, uniquely, retained its large scale institutions while the rest of the world closed them down from around 1900. In Ireland they lasted well into the 1980s and 1990s.
“The Pope was informed that 150,000 women and children went through the various institutions, that at least 6,000 babies were neglected to death in the Mother and Baby homes alone, that 3,000 babies were effectively sold to rich Americans, that hundreds of babies were used as guinea pigs for vaccine trials by big pharma and, that the nuns “donated” almost 500 bodies of dead babies to medical science to save themselves the cost of undertakers and burials.
“The Pope was clearly shocked by the revelations and lifted his hands to his head in disbelief.
“The Pope drew parallels between what occurred in Ireland and what happened in Argentina and how the “Grandmothers of the Disappeared” were still searching for their grandchildren.”
Pope Francis meeting Philomena Lee and Steve Coogan following a Vatican screening of Philomena.
Could it be that Mother & Baby Homes just didn’t come up in conversation? pic.twitter.com/N3C3k6dLcn
— Philip Boucher-Hayes (@boucherhayes) August 27, 2018