Category Archives: Good Shepherd Sisters

Laundries survivor: We were slaves


Laundries survivor: We were slaves

From the link: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-21334882

A report published today is expected to detail Irish government knowledge of what went on in Magdalene Laundries.

The laundries were Catholic-run workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s.

Girls considered “troubled” or what were then called “fallen women” were sent there by families or the courts.

Ellen Murphy, a survivor of the Magdalene Laundries, told the Today programme’s John Humphrys that she was put to work using large washing machines.

“You had to do that or die with starvation,” she explained.

Speaking of her restrictive ordeal at the Laundries, Ms Murphy said: “You never went out, you were locked in all the time… you never saw the world.”

“We were slaves from one end of the day to the other,” she added.

Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums


Roman Catholic Horrors: Magdalene Launderies and Asylums

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls • First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809 • Envisaged as short-term refuges for 'fallen women' they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises • They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused • The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them • Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland • Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries • The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages • The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996 • The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

• Originally termed Magdalene Asylums the first in Ireland was opened in Dublin in 1765, for Protestant girls
• First Catholic home was founded in Cork in 1809
• Envisaged as short-term refuges for ‘fallen women’ they became long-term institutions and penitents were required to work, mostly in laundries on the premises
• They extended to take in unmarried mothers, women with learning difficulties and girls who had been abused
• The facilities were self-supporting and the money generated by the laundries paid for them
• Between 1922 and 1996 there were 10 such laundries in the Republic of Ireland
• Many Irish institutions, such as the army, government departments, hotels and even Guinness had contracts with Magdalene laundries
• The women toiled behind locked doors unable to leave after being admitted and while the laundries were paid, they received no wages
• The last Magdalene asylum in Ireland, in Waterford, closed in 1996
• The congregations which ran them were the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy, the Religious Sisters of Charity and the Sisters of the Good Shepherd

 

Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996


Catholic Church enslaved 30,000 Irish women as forced unpaid labor in Magdalene Laundries until 1996

2/6/2013 8:00am by

From the link: http://americablog.com/2013/02/magdalen-laundries-catholic-ireland-irish-apology.html

What a horrific story.  The Irish Prime Minister gave a partial apology today for the government’s role in a 74-year scandal in which, a new official government report says, over 10,000 women were forced to work without pay at commercial laundries called Magdalene Laundries, operated by the Catholic Church for “crimes” as small as not paying a train ticket.

In Northern Ireland, a parellel investigation is currently under way, although it, oddly, is so far refusing to include that country’s Magdalene Laundries in the investigation.

Wikipedia notes that the estimate of the number of women who were used as forced slave labor by the Catholic Church in Ireland alone goes as high as 30,000 over the entire time the Magdalene laundries were in operation.

The last Magdalene laundry closed in 1996.

Women were locked in, couldn’t leave Magdalene Laundries for months, sometimes years

The women were locked in and not permitted to leave.  And if they tried to get away, the cops would catch them and bring them back. They were quite literally Catholic slave labor working for the government and even Guinness, which would pay the laundries for the women’s slave labor.

Half of the girls enslaved in these Catholic Church prisons were under the age of 23.  The youngest entrant was 9 years old.

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Girls and women working in Catholic Church’s Magdalene Laundry in Ireland in the early 20th century. Public domain photo in the US, via Wikipedia. (PD-US-1923-ABROAD)

Singer Sinead O’Connor was perhaps the most famous Magdalene Laundry slave

Singer Sinead O’Connor was forced to work in a Magdalene Laundry in Dublin:

When I was a young girl, my mother — an abusive, less-than-perfect parent — encouraged me to shoplift. After being caught once too often, I spent 18 months in An Grianán Training Centre, an institution in Dublin for girls with behavioral problems, at the recommendation of a social worker. An Grianán was one of the now-infamous church-sponsored “Magdalene laundries,” which housed pregnant teenagers and uncooperative young women. We worked in the basement, washing priests’ clothes in sinks with cold water and bars of soap. We studied math and typing. We had limited contact with our families. We earned no wages. One of the nuns, at least, was kind to me and gave me my first guitar.

No apology from the Catholic Church

Absent from any of the media reports on the scandal that I could find was an apology from the Catholic Church which operated the Magdalene laundries and made handsome profits from contracts with government and hotels.  Oh, found one. It seems the Catholic Church blew the women off.  I know, you’re as surprised as I am:

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Irish Catholic Church have received an apology and compensation, but no one has taken responsibility for what happened in the laundries. Cardinal Sean Brady, the most senior Catholic cleric in Ireland, met with Justice for Magdalenes in 2010. He said “by today’s standards much of what happened at that time is difficult to comprehend” but that it was a matter for the religious orders who ran the laundries to deal with. The religious orders have declined to meet the women.

The Irish Cardinal wasn’t interested in hearing from people who were hurt and abused — if not sexually, certainly physically and mentally, by the Catholic Church.  And it’s not the Catholic Church’s fault. Where have we heard that story before?

The laundries were run by nuns, many of whom treated the women sent to work there as slaves:

Senator McAleese’s inquiry found that half of the girls and women put to work in the laundries were under the age of 23 and 40%, more than 4,000, spent more than a year incarcerated.

Fifteen percent spent more than five years in the laundries while the average stay was calculated at seven months.

The youngest death on record was 15, and the oldest 95, the report found.

The Irish state is also implicated in the scandal because the police would take women to the asylums after arresting them for trivial offenses and would return runaways.

The story of the Magdalene laundries shows what happens when an institution — in this case the church and the government — is considered beyond criticism. It probably isn’t a coincidence that the last of the laundries closed in 1996, shortly after the first wave of the Catholic pedophile priest scandals hit Ireland.

Let me reiterate that for a moment.  The Catholic Church had slaves as late as 1996.

“It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”

Here are some of the testimonials of the women who served as forced Catholic slaves.  You can find them in the official report:

“The only thing was I had appendicitis and asked [named nun] could I go to bed and she wouldn’t let me”.

Some, but not all women reported that their hair had been cut on entry to the laundry. Some described this as an upsetting and degrading experience.

“T’was the ultimate humiliation for you. It changed me as a person to authority, God forgive me I learned to hate people then”.

One woman said that in the Magdalene Laundry in which she was, “You could write once a month but the nun would read the letters”.

This is one is pure torture:

Another very common grievance of the women who shared their stories with the Committee – particularly those who had previously been in Industrial or Reformatory Schools – was that there was a complete lack of information about why they were there and when they would get out. None of these women were aware of the period of supervision which followed discharge from industrial or reformatory school.

Due to this lack of information and the fact that they had been placed in an institution among many older women, a large number of the women spoke of a very real fear that they would remain in the Magdalene Laundry for the rest of their lives. Even if they left the Laundries after a very short time, some women told the Committee that they were never able to fully free themselves
of this fear and uncertainty.

Victims reject Irish PM’s apology

The victims have rejected the Prime Minster’s “apology,” which does sound somewhat lame:

“To those residents who went into the Magdalene Laundries through a variety of ways, 26pc from state intervention or state involvement, I am sorry for those people that they lived in that kind of environment,” Mr Kenny said in parliament in Dublin today.

“I want to see that those women who are still with us, anywhere between 800 and 1000 at max, that we should see that the state provides for them with the very best of facilities and supports that they need in their lives.”

Did your defense lawyer write that one up for you?

Here’s Joni Mitchell singing about the Magdalene Laundries:

Catholic child abuse analysed


Catholic child abuse analysed

Andrew Brown Blog
Saturday 21 May 2011

From the link: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/andrewbrown/2011/may/21/child-abuse-catholicism-johnjayinstitute

The John Jay Institute report on the child abuse scandals in the USA has been published. It will surprise and discomfort all sides

The big report of the independent criminologists of the John Jay institute into child abuse in the American Catholic church has now been published. There is something in it to upset everyone. For a start there are many cases of child abuse – and though the report does not go into this – there was a great deal of covering up done. But we knew that. What’s new in the report is the detailed examination of the causes and of the statistics involved.

The pattern that the investigators have to explain is a steep rise in cases of child abuse though the sixties and seventies, followed by a steady decline but a simultaneous rise in reports of earlier incidents in the late Eighties and early Nineties. That, too, has declined towards the present day.

This is an unusual pattern both of reporting and of offending. For comparison I have extracted from the government’s web site the Swedish figures for sex crimes against children under 15 and they show no decline at all since 1991. I’ll come back to those later.

The other notorious and unusual thing about the American Catholic cases is that the great majority of them involved boys – something like 83%. The secular pattern is entirely different.

There are three popular explanations for the figures, depending on your view of the Catholic church: if you are a liberal Christian you are inclined to blame celibacy; if you are a conservative, you blame it all on gays; and if you’re not a Christian at all you just assume they are all rotten, always have been, and still are.

I don’t think this last explanation stands up, for two reasons. The first is that even at its height child abuse was a pretty uncommon crime. The John Jay Institute helpfully compares the number of reported offences with the number of confirmation candidates, to get a rough figure of reported assaults per 100,000. This will tend to overestimate the frequency, because obviously a priest has access to many more children than just confirmation candidates. But it is a consistent measure by which to compare year with year.

So in 1992, when the worst was over, the rate was 15 incidents of reported abuse per 100,000 confirmations. By 2001 it had dropped to of 5 incidents of abuse per 100,000 confirmations in the Catholic Church. There was a similar drop in American society as a whole but less steep and from a consistently higher rate.

For comparison, the Swedish figures for reported sex crimes against all children under 15 was 142/100,000 children in 1992, and 169/100,000 in 2001.

These figures suggest that during the 1990s a child in Sweden, possibly the most secularised country in Europe, was between 10 and 30 times more likely to be sexually assaulted than an American Catholic was by his priest. Even making allowances for the considerable margin of error that must be built into these figures, it’s clear that what went on in US Catholic churches was terrible but rather less terrible than what went on at the same time in many other places where Catholicism was not involved. If the US Catholic church is a hotbed of child rape, Sweden is an awful lot worse. (Just to be clear here, I think the idea that Sweden is a dangerous country for children is entirely absurd.)

I picked Sweden for comparison largely because I know my way round the crime statistics there. But the US government figures quoted in the John Jay report show also that Alaska has a rate of reported child abuse that dwarfs Sweden’s – 788/100,000 in 2001, or 140 times the incidence of reported child abuse in the US Catholic church at the same period. So there is nothing uniquely rotten about the American Catholic church.

The second reason is sociological. The statistics do show a clear and steady decline in reported cases for the last 30 years, even though much of the reporting did not come in until long after the event. If you want to believe that the level of crime has stayed steady while the number of reports has dropped, you would have to come up with some reason why American Catholics (unlike Alaskans or Swedes) would become less likely to report a crime in a period when the social stigma for doing so has almost disappeared and in some cases considerable financial compensation has been on offer.

Which leaves the other two hypotheses. Was it the fault of the gays? The argument in favour is that the victims were overwhelmingly boys and the perpetrators exclusively men. But the John Jay study rejects this, on two grounds. The first, again, is based on the decline in the number of reported incidents. That coincides with what most people agree has been an increase in the number of gay men in the priesthood. So if gay priests were the problem, you would expect the figure for reported assaults to rise, as they did in Sweden and Alaska. This hasn’t happened.

Nor is it the case that men who had had sex with other men before training for the priesthood abused boys in any greater numbers than men who had had sex with women before.

“Priests with pre-ordination same-sex sexual behaviour were significantly more likely to participate in post-ordination sexual behaviour, but these priests were more likely to participate in sexual behaviour with adults than minors. Same-sex sexual behaviour prior to ordination did not significantly predict the sexual abuse of minors.”

But gay priests of this sort, if they did abuse, showed a marked preference for male victims.

So perhaps it was celibacy, after all. The trouble with this theory is the same decline in incidence of abuse as was noted before. That was not accompanied by any relaxation in the celibacy rules. It’s possible that the discipline of celibacy has simply collapsed in the USA. But the report doesn’t suggest this; nor, for that matter does anecdotal (or any other) evidence.

Which leaves the “Woodstock” hypothesis: that it was all the consequence of rapid social change. The combined impact of the sexual revolution outside the Church, and of the Vatican II reforms inside simply broke down the traditional self-discipline of the priesthood along with much of its traditional authority. This is the hypothesis that the report itself favours. But there is a subtlety with this view: if it were only the morals of the surrounding society which made a difference, then – again – the incidence of abuse would hardly have gone down. American society is not more sexually puritanical now than it was in 1975. So, the report argues, it was the impact of the sexual revolution on men who had not been trained to withstand it which was the decisive factor.

Two controversies remain. The first is the report’s definition of “paedophile” as someone who only has sex with children under 10. By this definition, less than one in twenty of abusing priests were paedophiles. But it’s clear from the figures that there were a lot of abusing priests who did not much care whether their victims were pre-pubescent or not. Nearly one in three of the multiple offenders had at least one victim who was 12 or younger as well as one who was older than 15.

The second is the response of the authorities. This has been historically feeble and sometimes much worse. But that’s a subject for another post.

A life unlived: 35 years of slavery in a Magdalene Laundry


A life unlived: 35 years of slavery in a Magdalene Laundry

One woman tells the story of her mother who was sent to a Laundry in Dublin at the age of 16 – and died there at the age of 51.

Sep 30 1:00 PM

From the Link: http://www.thejournal.ie/magdalene-laundry-true-story-margaret-bullen-samantha-long-614350-Sep2012/

THE TREATMENT OF women incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries – and the level of State involvement in these Church-run institutions – has been highlighted yet again this month. There was disappointment among survivors and relatives of those kept in the Laundries when it was announced that a State committee’s final report into the matter would be delayed until the end of the year.

To reiterate the urgency of revealing the inter-departmental findings, the Justice for Magdalene advocacy group last week distributed some redacted statements of women detailing their lives in such institutions. (The group claims that there was State involvement in the operation of the Laundries as places to send women considered to be “problem girls”, due to poverty or pregnancy outside marriage for example.)

Samantha Long’s mother Margaret Bullen was placed in Gloucester Street (now Sean McDermott Street) Laundry c.1967 and died 35 years later, never having been released into society and her own home. Margaret died of an illness known as Goodpasture Syndrome, a disease of the kidneys and liver – one of the causes is exposure to industrial-strength chemicals such as those used in the Laundries.

Samantha made a lengthy statement to the interdepartmental committee, led by Senator Martin McAleese, about her mother’s life. Margaret Bullen had a tragic start in life: she was born in a mental institution in Grangegorman, Dublin to a mother who already had six children, Margaret being the youngest. Margaret was sent home to Kimmage to live with her siblings and father, where she remained until she was three years old. At that point, Margaret’s brother was sent to Artane industrial school and Margaret and her sister closest to her in age sent to the notorious High Park industrial school and Laundry in Drumcondra. That, as Samantha says of her mother, “was the end of her and the outside world”.

A second statement sent to Senator McAleese’s committee from a former Laundry inmate who remembers Margaret and her sister recounts how Margaret suffered fits as a young child but that they were ignored by the nuns there (then known as the Sisters of Charity of Refuge, now the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity).

Margaret appears to have been moved in her early teens to a special school called St Teresa’s in Blackrock, after she was certified mentally unfit for education, but fit for work. Her daughter Samantha says in her own statement:

She was assessed at age thirteen as being mentally challenged because on the day that they measured her, they said that she had an IQ of fifty, which I dispute after meeting her, even after all those years of institutionalisation.. And I think that if you’re hungry and tired from your slavery, your IQ wouldn’t be very sharp, or your skills on any given moment mightn’t be sharp. You would be probably just pulled into this room – “now we’re going to measure your IQ” – so even the shock of that wouldn’t, you know, you could shut down.

At roughly the age of 16, Margaret was sent to the Magdalene Laundry at Gloucester Street. The exact time and circumstances of her move there are not clear because Samantha and her sister are still waiting on full records to be supplied to them on their mother’s past.

She became pregnant – twice – with Samantha and her twin sister Etta, and later with another daughter, while officially under the care of the Gloucester Street nuns. The circumstances of these conceptions are again shrouded in mystery but Samantha says her conversations in later life with her mother when they were reunited led her to believe that Margaret had been the victim of sexual abuse and predators several times.

There was no education, no education and I, you know, I honestly believe for a long time she didn’t know how she got pregnant, she just knew that somebody hurt her once and then she had babies. I really believe that. She didn’t make that connection, I know that for sure. She was no, she didn’t have a boyfriend, let’s put it that way. And that’s the politest way that I can say that.

Some of the more harrowing details of Samantha’s testimony recount how her mother was denied society, education, wages and other basic rights for most of her life. This extract recalls Samantha and Etta’s first meeting with Margaret in the Gresham Hotel when they were 23 and had traced her as their biological mother. (Samantha and Etta were adopted by a loving couple in Dublin and later moved to Sligo in childhood.)

Margaret was only 42 at the time but looked much older. She was carrying a handbag but it was completely empty, because she didn’t own anything nor did she have any money. Samantha recalls:

And, she was just lovely, and she was asking extremely innocent questions like, she, it was the first time she ever had coffee and it was very exciting for her to have coffee and she hadn’t seen brown sugar before either and obviously in the Gresham there was brown and white sugar cubes on the table and it was all very fancy to her. And she was just overjoyed to be there and absolutely wowed by everything.

She looked, she looked like a pensioner. I couldn’t believe she was forty-two, I kept looking, I kept looking into her face to find a forty-two year old and I couldn’t, because she had the face of hard work, that face that you see in so many women that have just had to work too hard and have never had a rest and have never had anyone to take care of them or tell them to put their feet up, and who have just, just worked too hard. Because, as I said on the radio a few years ago, this was slavery and I don’t use that term lightly and I’m not an emotive person but slavery is a form of work for which you get no pay and you can’t leave and these were the white slaves of Ireland and they were never emancipated. And nobody stood up for them until now, until you guys (Justice for Magdalenes) did.

Samantha Long was asked by Senator McAleese’s commission what she would like the State to do to redress any wrongs committed against the women in Magdalene Laundries. She answered:

I would like the state to apologise for keeping those young girls behind bars, literally and figuratively. I would like the church and state to apologise for forcing them to do slave labour.I would like the church, the state and society to redress their reputations and apologise for keeping them down, for denying them education, freedom, money, their babies and their lives, all of those things.

And I would like that the circumstances that they find themselves in, through the missing pieces that the rest of us get in life, because they had no education, so how could they make it?

They were sitting ducks, keep them down, keep them unaware of their rights, keep them without money, keep the roof over their head, feed them a little bit, keep them alive, just enough for work. Give them their wages now, give them their wages.

A life unlived: 35 years of slavery in a Magdalene Laundry


A life unlived: 35 years of slavery in a Magdalene Laundry

One woman tells the story of her mother who was sent to a Laundry in Dublin at the age of 16 – and died there at the age of 51.

From the link: http://www.thejournal.ie/magdalene-laundry-true-story-margaret-bullen-samantha-long-614350-Sep2012/

THE TREATMENT OF women incarcerated in Magdalene Laundries – and the level of State involvement in these Church-run institutions – has been highlighted yet again this month. There was disappointment among survivors and relatives of those kept in the Laundries when it was announced that a State committee’s final report into the matter would be delayed until the end of the year.

To reiterate the urgency of revealing the inter-departmental findings, the Justice for Magdalene advocacy group last week distributed some redacted statements of women detailing their lives in such institutions. (The group claims that there was State involvement in the operation of the Laundries as places to send women considered to be “problem girls”, due to poverty or pregnancy outside marriage for example.)

Samantha Long’s mother Margaret Bullen was placed in Gloucester Street (now Sean McDermott Street) Laundry c.1967 and died 35 years later, never having been released into society and her own home. Margaret died of an illness known as Goodpasture Syndrome, a disease of the kidneys and liver – one of the causes is exposure to industrial-strength chemicals such as those used in the Laundries.

Samantha made a lengthy statement to the interdepartmental committee, led by Senator Martin McAleese, about her mother’s life. Margaret Bullen had a tragic start in life: she was born in a mental institution in Grangegorman, Dublin to a mother who already had six children, Margaret being the youngest. Margaret was sent home to Kimmage to live with her siblings and father, where she remained until she was three years old. At that point, Margaret’s brother was sent to Artane industrial school and Margaret and her sister closest to her in age sent to the notorious High Park industrial school and Laundry in Drumcondra. That, as Samantha says of her mother, “was the end of her and the outside world”.

A second statement sent to Senator McAleese’s committee from a former Laundry inmate who remembers Margaret and her sister recounts how Margaret suffered fits as a young child but that they were ignored by the nuns there (then known as the Sisters of Charity of Refuge, now the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity).

Margaret appears to have been moved in her early teens to a special school called St Teresa’s in Blackrock, after she was certified mentally unfit for education, but fit for work. Her daughter Samantha says in her own statement:

She was assessed at age thirteen as being mentally challenged because on the day that they measured her, they said that she had an IQ of fifty, which I dispute after meeting her, even after all those years of institutionalisation.. And I think that if you’re hungry and tired from your slavery, your IQ wouldn’t be very sharp, or your skills on any given moment mightn’t be sharp. You would be probably just pulled into this room – “now we’re going to measure your IQ” – so even the shock of that wouldn’t, you know, you could shut down.

At roughly the age of 16, Margaret was sent to the Magdalene Laundry at Gloucester Street. The exact time and circumstances of her move there are not clear because Samantha and her sister are still waiting on full records to be supplied to them on their mother’s past.

She became pregnant – twice – with Samantha and her twin sister Etta, and later with another daughter, while officially under the care of the Gloucester Street nuns. The circumstances of these conceptions are again shrouded in mystery but Samantha says her conversations in later life with her mother when they were reunited led her to believe that Margaret had been the victim of sexual abuse and predators several times.

There was no education, no education and I, you know, I honestly believe for a long time she didn’t know how she got pregnant, she just knew that somebody hurt her once and then she had babies. I really believe that. She didn’t make that connection, I know that for sure. She was no, she didn’t have a boyfriend, let’s put it that way. And that’s the politest way that I can say that.

Some of the more harrowing details of Samantha’s testimony recount how her mother was denied society, education, wages and other basic rights for most of her life. This extract recalls Samantha and Etta’s first meeting with Margaret in the Gresham Hotel when they were 23 and had traced her as their biological mother. (Samantha and Etta were adopted by a loving couple in Dublin and later moved to Sligo in childhood.)

Margaret was only 42 at the time but looked much older. She was carrying a handbag but it was completely empty, because she didn’t own anything nor did she have any money. Samantha recalls:

And, she was just lovely, and she was asking extremely innocent questions like, she, it was the first time she ever had coffee and it was very exciting for her to have coffee and she hadn’t seen brown sugar before either and obviously in the Gresham there was brown and white sugar cubes on the table and it was all very fancy to her. And she was just overjoyed to be there and absolutely wowed by everything.

She looked, she looked like a pensioner. I couldn’t believe she was forty-two, I kept looking, I kept looking into her face to find a forty-two year old and I couldn’t, because she had the face of hard work, that face that you see in so many women that have just had to work too hard and have never had a rest and have never had anyone to take care of them or tell them to put their feet up, and who have just, just worked too hard. Because, as I said on the radio a few years ago, this was slavery and I don’t use that term lightly and I’m not an emotive person but slavery is a form of work for which you get no pay and you can’t leave and these were the white slaves of Ireland and they were never emancipated. And nobody stood up for them until now, until you guys (Justice for Magdalenes) did.

Samantha Long was asked by Senator McAleese’s commission what she would like the State to do to redress any wrongs committed against the women in Magdalene Laundries. She answered:

I would like the state to apologise for keeping those young girls behind bars, literally and figuratively. I would like the church and state to apologise for forcing them to do slave labour. 

I would like the church, the state and society to redress their reputations and apologise for keeping them down, for denying them education, freedom, money, their babies and their lives, all of those things.

And I would like that the circumstances that they find themselves in, through the missing pieces that the rest of us get in life, because they had no education, so how could they make it?

They were sitting ducks, keep them down, keep them unaware of their rights, keep them without money, keep the roof over their head, feed them a little bit, keep them alive, just enough for work. Give them their wages now, give them their wages.

Irish religious orders confirm they will not pay Magdalene Laundry victims


Irish religious orders confirm they will not pay Magdalene Laundry victims

From the link: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Irish-nuns-orders-confirm-they-will-not-pay-Magdalene-Laundry-victims.html

Young girls at work in a Magdalene Laundry. Waiting out the clock as elderly victims see their hopes fade.

Young girls at work in a Magdalene Laundry. Waiting out the clock as elderly victims see their hopes fade.

 

In a completely enraging move, two of the four religious orders that once ran Magdalene laundries in Ireland have again refused to contribute any money toward compensating the surviving women.

Over a year after the Irish Taoiseach (Prime minister) Enda Kenny gave a heartfelt State apology to the tens of thousands of women who had been cruelly incarcerated in Magdalene laundries, the Irish government’s repeated attempts to hold the orders financially accountable have met with blank refusals.

All four orders, which include The Sisters of Mercy, Sisters of Our Lady of Charity of Refuge, the Good Shepherd Sisters, and the Sisters of Charity have, at various times, publicly refused to contribute financially to the proposed compensation scheme.

According to recent reports in the Irish press, the four orders, which ran the Magdalene laundries, made almost $415 million in property deals during the Irish economic boom. Given those eye-popping figures, the refusal to offer one thin dime in compensation can be seen in its proper light.

It hasn’t quite been two decades since the last Magdalene Laundry in Ireland closed in 1996. That’s well within the living memory of young adults. All those decades of unpaid drudgery, with moral opprobrium added on top, and the orders don’t feel they have a case to answer?

Clearly they are hoping that even now most Irish people would prefer to look the other way – exactly the way they used to when these for-profit gulags were in operation.

Recall that the Irish government had to be brow beaten for years by a group of committed former inmates and their offspring before they finally offered the women a full apology. That apology was only offered in February 2013, by the way.

So the deep Irish reluctance to face up to the legacy of exploitation and widespread physical and sexual abuse within the church has been one of the most remarkable aspects of the now three decade long crisis.

Instead of principled stock-taking, denial, defensiveness and withholding have been the standard responses.

What fascinates me is what happens to a nation that fails to confront its own traumas? Will it hand them on to the next generation without comment? These orders profited for decades from indentured servitude. The women they incarcerated had to pay their own way out.

Now, flush with cash from their extensive property deals, they are withholding all material support from the women they once treated as chattel.

It is estimated that 600 Irish women who were once incarcerated in one of the laundries run by the four orders are still alive. All of them are elderly. The orders may hope that time turns the page on their stories and the nation forgets them. Waiting out the clock, they may be right.

A Priest Rape Survivor told to count his blessings…ok.


I was told by a few Christians that instead of being pissed off at God and Jesus for all the wrongs done to me by those claiming to be followers of theirs, to count my blessings. The gist goes…If I count my blessings and then count the wrongs…the blessings will far rise above the wrongs.

So I took a few days to ponder this weighty question. Here is my answer:

First let me quantify something here. Even though I hate God and Jesus….it is NOT the kind of God and Jesus I read about and believe in somewhere deep down inside of me…it is the ones those whom Jesus said of: “For many shall call themselves by my name, but their hearts and minds are far from my teachings.”…that I do NOT accept nor will I EVER bow my knee down to. I do love the teachings of Jesus Christ.as I do all great teachers of peace, love, hope, charity..though I do have a problem with some of them, I believe it is those teachings in the bible that ring wrong with me…that were changed by Constantine and the council of hackers whom produced the first bible for use. So I do not really pay attention to them.

But what gets me about this story of this guy named Jesus…without all the extraneous bullshit…like the virgin birth, etc…was his core principle teaching and commandments (with my own revision because I truly believe that the original Hebrew translation…which was in the first King James but subsequently taken out stated: We made them in our image, male and female we made them like unto us. This would mean that there HAS to be a male and a female God…for a male God cannot make a female…it is not in his likeness, nor can a female God make a male…it is not in her likeness):

Love the Lord your God and Goddess with all of your heart and soul, and the second is like it…love your neighbor as you do yourself. On these two commands should hang all the laws.

Yet I am going to combine in judging my list here of the blessings and wrongs by both standards…mine and what these Christians tell me their God and Jesus are all about. I am going to use the bible too as a guide and what it says to make my list.

So here goes.

BLESSINGS:
1. My two sons top this list. Joshua and Austin are my most important blessings. Even though they were taken away from me by their cruel mothers and an evil system designed to destroy fathers for the sake of a buck….the two biggest blessings in my life are Joshua Michael LaFerriere-Fifer and Austin LaFerriere. There is a LOT of things I would have changed…but the birth of my two beautiful sons….nope.

2. My loving and caring “family” and friends. I have a lot of brothers and sisters from other mothers. They are much more blood to me than my own blood relations. Most of them are also survivors of the evil that I too went through. Most of them were raped, beaten, abused, by either a religious person or a supposedly loving family member. We all have survived some of the worst horrors, some of the most brutal degradations done to a child or a teenager. Yet we have somehow survived without becoming the evil that has tried it’s hardest to destroy us. We are good, kind, loving souls with generous hearts. We love each other because we have experienced the same things in life. We survived through horrendous ordeals to come to the point we are today, and we offer each other things that NO ONE has EVER offered us in our lives before…true love, without exception or condition….not based on a perverted, evil concept of love…if you want to call what these people did to us love…..we offer each other support and acceptance….and we stand tall together…when one of us is falling into another Dark Night of the Soul…where we feel no hope.

My true friends and family are a blessing to me.

3. My love and my skills as a nature photographer are a blessing to me. The fact that I can wander around in a forest, taking pictures of all the beauty I see around me, and then able to share it…well that is a blessing to me. The reality to me, that I can go anywhere in a forest and not feel fear of it? That I have admired the stars far too long to be afraid of the dark? To be able to say that I am NOT an evil person because I have actually had wildlife come right up to me and let me pet them? Or take pics of them? Yeah if I were evil….then they would NOT come near me. One thing I have learned from tramping in the woods and being around peoples pets…animals can tell when someone is evil…VERY RARELY have I EVER had an animal react strangely around me…or in fear of me…and that was more dogs whom were abused and are afraid of EVERYONE.

But my photography also blesses me because it brings me incredible peace and joy. In the forest I have no real fear…except for humans…so through my photography and being outdoors…it is a blessing.

4.  Music. Next to my photography, music to me is a blessing.

5. That I am even alive is a blessing. I think about all the times I should be dead. From almost drowning because of my stupidity at Bow Lake when I was 16, to that murdering rapist whom picked me up and drugged me and I woke up to raping me in the back of his RV, to my dedicated drug overdoses, especially when I dissolved all those pills in that glass of vodka, drank it….if it were not for that girl showing up that night…and knowing what to do….I would be dead. Or the other suicide attempts where I should be dead? The fact that I am still even alive…is sort of a blessing one would say. They would say I am here for a reason…if I tried to kill myself like this or survived these things….but hey…..look into the curse section too lol.

Well that is about all I can really think of for blessings. I mean hey…I am really trying…you know…even though I do go starving at least I do eat….or even though I am homeless…I have a friend whom is letting me crash on her couch til next week…but I cannot stay any longer as it would NOT be fair to her….it is my responsibility and if I cannot afford to live in my own place…then I gotta go live in my tent until I do. The biggest problem is security deposits…and anyone whom knows me…thinks that Catholic Charities is going to help me? After what I say about their Pedophile Pimps? Not in this lifetime.

Now honestly lets look at the negatives:

CURSES:

1. Even though my sons are the greatest blessings in my life….their mothers have been the greatest curses of my life. To have done to me what was done to me at the hands of their mothers…should be illegal. To have done to me what was done to me by Holly Hepp of the CPS in Ohio…she should be in prison for the rest of her life so she can never harm another father or their children ever again. Yet I am made out to be the one whom is wrong, the one to blame, the evil one, the one whom would rape his own sons or abuse them as Holly Hepp said to me.

No one can seem to understand the Catch-22 I am in here with my soul over this..as well as my life. Sure with Josh I got to be with him maybe a total of two months after his birth, but with Austin, hell I haven’t even been able to tell him I love him. Not even kiss him. Nothing. So here it is…I think about them and it destroys me. So I try to put them out of my mind to retain my sanity and it is even more of a curse on me…because what kind of father am I to not want to think about my sons? I love looking at their pictures, they bring me joy, but they also bring me incredible pain, because of all the loss…and then I hide the pic for a while so I do not have to look at them and then again condemn myself for it because…what kind of loving, caring father does this?

2. I guess I am supposed to consider being raped by a priest, to have my soul destroyed and taken from me and all the living hell I went through and been through because of it…and because of now standing up about it and demanding the Pedophile Pimps…hell anyone whom participated in these evils against us…be put where they belong…in prison….is a BLESSING? OK about the ONLY blessing I can consider coming from this is the fact I made some beautiful friends and family from it. Otherwise ANYONE whom got raped by a priest…or by any pastor, minister or supposed Holy Person…..would consider it a curse and evil and a HUGE NEGATIVE.

3. How about that scumbag whom picked me up hitch-hiking and drugged and raped me? Nope…I sure would NOT consider that a blessing…even in disguise!! Why did you NOT just kill me that day and get it done and over with?

4. The last scumbag, whom picked me up hitch-hiking….showed me those gay books, would NOT take no for an answer…drove down the dirt road before the Gloucester bridge and in MY MIND I was about to be raped again when he pulled out his knife. Well I guess being arrested when I flagged down that cop car and told him what happened, and the scumbag jerk being in the back seat of that car, and then pressing charges against me for assault with a deadly weapon, attempted armed robbery etc…well that is supposed to be a blessing too?

5.  My blood family turning their backs on me. Ok let me get this straight. Was I a problem kid? Freaking right I was. Did I steal cigs from my parents to smoke? Yuppers. Did I steal a check from my dad, cash it, bought a carton of cigs? Yuppers. I believe those were really my worse crimes. Yeah I skipped school….but hey….ya know? Did I steal porn mags from the local book store and sell them to my friends? Guilty! I wonder how many of us actually did this as kids? I know at least my older brother used to steal cigs and drink and smoke dope…but hey that was him…..the freaking hypocrite…and oh yeah…he did have a chance to get his girlfriend knocked up at such a young age….but hey I don’t have all the facts to judge him…but even though he does not have all the facts…he can judge me.

Yet in my older brothers eyes….that made me Hitler…hell that made me worse than Hitler.

When my life fell apart after the priest rape, or anything else…it did not matter to any of them….I was the black sheep of the family…well the ONLY one whom it mattered to was my father and mother…..and I damn well know my father…loved me and so did my mother. But to my brothers and sister…I am still the evil black sheep of the family, without one redeeming quality, bound for hell….so I got that going for me.

I ALWAYS thought that family…blood family…though they could get pissed off at the wrongs you did….unless you truly were a rapist, a murderer, etc….but come on…for this shit????? They were supposed to at least never disown you for this kind of crap. So yeah…I would consider the loss of my family…though I did wrong…this was NOT deserving….and I consider it a major negative. Yeah my older self righteous brother thinks I am such a Hitler that I should be banned from any family reunions that he may be at….and have me arrested if I decide to come. Gotta love older brothers like that. Should I BELIEVE what my mother used to say about him to me…how he was such a defender and protector of me when I was sick, had all those operations and was blind for a while because I had to wear eye patches? Nah.

6. Donohue and the whole Catholic Church. THEY ARE A CURSE TO ME. Need I say more? Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, George Pell, Donald Wuerl, Justin Rigali, Bernard Law, Roger Mahony and the whole lot of them…they are a curse not only to me…but to all mankind. They preferred to protect their pedophile priests over us whom were being raped and abused by them….and became Pedophile Pimps. They then became LYING PEDOPHILE PIMPS. when they all signed those Promise to Protect Pledge to Heal charters, the Dallas Charter and all the Charters with the United Nations on children’s rights. They became LYING PEDOPHILE PIMPS when they PROMISED to help us victims…then attacked us at every chance they could, saying they wanted to beat us with baseball bats, or we were to blame for our own rapes, or we were the seducers of these disgusting scumbag rapists. Or we are liars, gold diggers out looking for a payday. Or how we are Anti-Catholic bigot scum for daring to challenge them. Yeah this whole thing is a curse to me, a double edged sword.

For if I walk away…I am no better, hell I am even worse than they are. See I have a soul, I have a conscious…something people like Dolan, Donohue, Law and the rest do not have…I feel real pain when a victim comes to me with their story, or I read their stories. I feel real pain when I see what the scumbag Pedophile Pimps and their buddies are doing to us…when all we want is justice and healing…all they give us is more pain and suffering. Well they are a curse…and they deserve to be cursed.

I could no sooner walk away from this, or helping others whom were harmed by these scumbags as I could live without breathing. But it is a curse, a double curse…because this is also destroying what is left of my soul…..for my soul cannot take this evil much longer.

7. Christianists. Always telling me what to do…be like them!!! What? A bigoted, self righteous, hate filled scumbag? Well thanks but no thanks…you people have instilled enough hate in my heart for you that you make it almost impossible to do what your own Jesus tells you to do….love thy neighbor as thyself….for if I do like these Christianists do…I could rape a child, cover it up and say….oh I did not know it was a crime…and even if it is…..you should just forgive and turn the other cheek.

I also love their hatred towards women, gays, etc….They demonstrate to me the truth when Jesus said…Many shall call themselves by my name but their hearts and minds are far from my teachings.

I seem to attract these psycho, freak Christianists in my life in droves…why am I such a magnet for these psychos? Oh…it is because I tell the truth about them and it pisses them off.

8. MY LIFE OF ABJECT POVERTY. Oh Jesus and God….I am supposed to count as a blessing the abject poverty I have lived through in my life eh? Now wait a minute….I thought you guys were supposed to bless good people and curse bad people. That you all slammed these religious holy people living off the fat of the land? That you were supposed to punish the bad and reward the good. Oh I haven’t been being good just for the reward….like most of those Christianists attempt to portray they do…but fail miserably….I’ve done good because it is the right thing to do. Besides…that Spirit that is inside of me? Each and every time I claim I must be evil because of all the evil things that happen to me……it says NO I AM GOOD AND NOT EVIL. Yet again…in the bible, it says…As you sow…so shall you reap.

So hey…not to brag….but I have sowed a lot of good things…some incredible things….so how come????

I tried and tried to sell my photography…I do not want a hand out…I want a hand up. Yet nada for 7 years. I bust my ass to work and I do not deserve any pay for it? While your religious leaders basically sit on their asses, raping children, covering up the rapes of children, murdering children and burying them in septic systems…..and do all kinds of other evils…then go to their church on Sunday and you forgive them for all their evil…but you still shit on us? Oh and how rich do they have to be? Before some of that trickles down to us? They do not earn their pay…but you sure give it to them in stacks of $100s!!!

I am supposed to bow down and worship this type of God and his Son? REALLY? I am supposed to be grateful? I am supposed to count abject poverty where at the end of the month…like the last two weeks…I am lucky to eat one meal a day? While those fat pigs whom raped us and covered up the rapes of us look like they have not missed a meal in decades? Oh and then if I bitch about it…not only does that mean I am an ungrateful little prick….I get shoved deeper into poverty to see what it is like to have even less? I am supposed to thank you and love you for this? When I see you barely lift a finger to help me? But you sure the HELL lift your big fat hands to make those whom did these evils to us…not want for ANYTHING?

Yeah abject poverty…now I consider that a real BLESSING….not!!!

7.  That I am even alive. I have suffered so damn much. Jesus and God must think I am Superman times two. They really must. Look at all the loss I have suffered…if I look at it…my life is the life of Job in a way. Trouble is….there is a saying in the bible that goes…Suffer the children that they may come unto me. REALLY?

Unrelenting suffering is a way to make someone come to you? Raping them is a way to make them come unto you? Forcing them to live in abject poverty is the way to make someone come to you? Taking away their children and giving them to their evil mothers…that too is how you make someone come to you?

Listen bozos…I’ve tried….oh how I’ve tried…to come to you. I have begged you, I have screamed at you, I have threatened you, I have cried to you, I have pleaded with you…to help me…to show me God and Jesus Christ that YOU are worthy…of my love and faith…but you have NOT SHOWN ME ANY OF THIS!!!! You keep saying to have faith? Faith in what? That one day you are going to find that I have suffered enough? That I have lived in abject poverty, loss and suffering enough? When will that be please? I sure would LOVE to pencil it in on my calender. That I have been denied justice for the crimes done to me? Your sure did punish the living shit out of me when I broke into that hotel room and stole the wallet from the car. You sure punished the living shit out of me with a five year prison term over that utter and complete bullshit over my son Josh. You are even punishing the shit outta me for standing up to Pig Face Donohue.

So which is it Bozos? Do you truly hate evil like you say? God…you say you cannot stand the sight of evil. Jesus…you say it would be better for you to tie a huge millstone around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.

Seems though….you do the exact opposite. You punish the good and you reward the evil.

Again…I am supposed to love you, follow you, bend my knee to you? Be like those whom proclaim to follow you and then do all manners of evil against humanity…and then claim they are doing it in your names and then you do not punish them….like you promised to do…but you sure the FUCK punish us when we stand up and fight it…like you supposedly tell us to do. Do you not tell us to fight this evil? Oh wait…I guess there is a caviat to this rule eh?

Those whom do fight this evil will be destroyed…is that not what you said? We whom fight this evil will be murdered, thrown into prison, slaughtered and butchered????

Wow… now you are making me wonder….why should I not join the bad guys if this is what you are going to do and allow to be done to the good guys. I thought God and Jesus were supposed to defend the righteous, to fight on our side…but hey…look honestly and realistically at it…if they are real…man are you guys dropping the ball.

So I would say essentially though my life is a blessing…it is more of a curse. I have been made to suffer some of the most evil things that can be done to another…and still to this day…I am still suffering.

Put it bluntly there God and Jesus…do I want to be rich? Yeah…I do not want to ever worry about putting a roof over my head, or food in my stomach…or wait until my clothes totally disintegrate before I can spend 5 bucks on a used pair of pants. I want to give my sons some beautiful things. I want to help many others whom have been harmed by your followers. I want to set up a foundation that truly and honestly helps the religious abuse survivor with their needs….but I guess this is wrong to ask for in your eyes isn’t it?

Because God and Jesus….you would rather make those religious freaks all fat and sassy and rich….than the children you supposedly love…but I guess we are the ones whom are supposed to suffer for truly wanting to follow you. While the hypocrite Pharisee and Sadducee get all the help they need from you. Oh wait a minute…I forgot….

I am not supposed to blame you…I am not supposed to blame YOU God or YOU Jesus for turning your backs on us….I am supposed to blame Satan and his followers….I guess this then all goes to prove…that when it comes time to fighting Satan and his followers….you arm your combatants with nothing and expect them to do everything for you…but give them NOT one drop of help…because I guess that would be messing with our free will again…wouldn’t it? Our free will to be raped, destroyed and live in abject poverty……because you deem that more fit for us…than you do for the scum whom did this to us…in YOUR names.

SO IN CLOSING…I COULD POST MORE NEGATIVES…BUT HEY THIS IS MORE THAN ENOUGH…TO SAY TO THOSE CHRISTIANS WHOM SAY IF I COUNT MY BLESSINGS AND MY CURSES I WOULD FIND THAT MY LIFE IS MUCH MORE BLESSED THAN CURSED….YOU’RE WRONG.

THEN AGAIN…MAYBE YOU CHRISTIANISTS WHOM SAY THIS TO ME…CAN PROVIDE ME WITH WHAT I NEED….CAUSE YOUR GOD YOU WANT ME TO FOLLOW SURE ISN’T. AGAIN…..I DO NOT WANT A HAND OUT…I WANT A HAND UP.

 

Time has come for all good people to take a stand!!


We arrest, we try, we convict and we imprison and execute, people whom rape children and murder children. This is the supposed norm of what we do to those whom prey on children. Yet we allow one religious organization, to rape children, to murder children, to destroy children with impunity, without going after them, without arresting them, without prosecuting them, without imprisoning them or executing them in the most horrible and gruesome fashion we can think of, because when you rape or murder a child, this is exactly what you deserve….but hey…the

UNHOLY, ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH OF PEDOPHILE PIMP LEADERS, PEDOPHILE PRIESTS, PSYCHO ABUSIVE NUNS, AND FREAK PARISHIONERS WHOM LOVE THESE PEOPLE WHOM RAPE AND MURDER THEIR OWN CHILDREN ARE ABOVE THE FUCKING LAW.

We have overwhelming, concrete, irrefutable proof, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if this evidence was heard by a jury, these scumbags would be convicted of their crimes….that the leaders of the Unholy Roman Catholic Church of Pedophiles…have moved rapist priests from parish to parish, state to state, country to country and are STILL DOING THIS TO THIS VERY DAY.

We have overwhelming, concrete, irrefutable proof, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that if this evidence was heard by a jury, these scumbags would be convicted of their crimes, that these leaders and others of the Roman Catholic Church have in fact murdered children. We have the bodies and the graves to prove it. Yet again, the Unholy Roman Catholic Church seems to be above the law and not one of these evil leaders have every been arrested nor prosecuted for their crimes.

IT IS TIME, FOR ALL THE GOOD PEOPLE, THE GOOD, DECENT, HONEST, MORAL PEOPLE OF THE WORLD TO GATHER TOGETHER AND JUST LIKE IN THE MOVIE NETWORK….SAY WE ARE MAD AS HELL AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANY LONGER!!!

WE NEED REAL PEOPLE TO FINALLY SAY…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, WE WILL NOT ALLOW ONE MORE OF OUR CHILDREN TO BE RAPED, TO BE ABUSED, TO BE MURDERED BY THESE SCUM OF THE UNHOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.

WE AS A PEOPLE, NEED TO COME TOGETHER, TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN FROM THESE EVIL, SOULESS, MONSTERS WHOM HIDE BEHIND RELIGIOUS ROBES….AND WE MUST DESTROY THEM AS A PEOPLE. WE MUST TAKE A STAND.

WE MUST STAND UP FOR OUR CHILDREN…WE MUST PLACE THE LIVES OF OUR CHILDREN FIRST, ABOVE THESE RELIGIOUS, SADISTIC, PSYCHOTIC FREAKS. WE MUST DESTROY COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY THESE PEOPLE OF SATAN, WHOM DESTROY LIVES.

ONLY UNTIL WE HAVE CARDINALS SUCH AS TIMOTHY DOLAN, BERNARD LAW, JUSTIN RIGALI, ROGER MAHONY, DOLAND WUERL, POPE EMERITUS BENEDICT AND ALL THE OTHERS, THEIR BODIES ROTTING WHILE SWINGING ON ROPES, HANGED IN FRONT OF THEIR VATICAN AND IN ST PETERS SQUARE FOR ALL TO SEE….THAT WE WILL NO LONGER PUT UP WITH THEIR POPES, CARDINALS, BISHOPS, ARCHBISHOPS, PRIESTS AND NUNS…RAPING OUR CHILDREN, MURDERING OUR CHILDREN AND THINKING THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW BECAUSE THEY ARE THE LEADERS OF THIS PSYCHOTIC RELIGIOUS SECT.

WE EXECUTE CHILD RAPISTS AND MURDERERS ALL THE TIME, WE IMPRISON FOR LIFE EVIL, SOULESS, MORALESS, SCUMBAGS LIKE THIS ALL THE TIME.

WELL IT IS TIME TO START DOING THE SAME THING WITH THE PEDOPHILE PIMPS, PRIESTS, NUNS AND THE SCUM OF THE UNHOLY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.

Support the victims not the victimizers


Frank LaFerriere: Support the victims not the victimizers

Published Date Thursday, April 24,2014
From the Link: http://www.berlindailysun.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49465:frank-laferriere-support-the-victims-not-the-victimizers&catid=73:letter&Itemid=428

To the editor:

If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization…though there are others….that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it’s membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.

While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?

There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.

There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.

1. All credibly accused leaders, from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, to Cardinals like Timothy Dolan, Donald Wuerl, Roger Mahony, Bernard Law, George Pell, and many others, against whom there is overwhelming evidence, through commission reports, grand jury testimonies and the churches own documents, must be fired. They must be arrested and prosecuted. We do this to other criminals, we demand this of any rapist or those whom cover up the rapes and abuses of children. They may be leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, but these men are criminals and deserve to be arrested and prosecuted and the victims deserve their day in court and justice for the crimes committed against them because of these leaders actions.

2. Abide by the Pledge to Protect, Promise to Heal charter all of the diocese of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States signed. All attacks against the victims must stop. We are not responsible for our rapes, we did not enjoy being raped. We are not homosexuals because we were raped by a male priest. We are not liars, gold diggers who are out looking for a payday from the Roman Catholic Church.

We are your sons, we are your daughters, who want justice, whom want those who perpetrated these crimes against us punished, whom went through one of the most horrifying and terrifying experiences a human being can go through. We trusted these priests and nuns and they destroyed that trust with their evil crimes against us. We were raped, we were beaten, we had our souls, our hearts stolen from us, we had our bodies destroyed and abused. We did not deserve this, we were not willing participants and we refuse to remain silent while those whom are responsible for these crimes against us go free while we still remain trapped inside the prisons they created for us.

3. No matter what….put your children before your leaders. Protect and stand up and defend your children….not the leaders whom committed these evils against us. Your children should come first. Stand up for the victims of these crimes, whom are your own children. You may know one. Again, we are your sons, your daughters, your nieces and nephews, your God children, whom you vowed and promised to protect and defend.

I started going back to church. I even started photographing St Annes, an incredibly beautiful place of worship. I had no choice though, I had to stop because I felt like such a hypocrite. Far too many of us whom were victims still see those responsible for these evils against us in their positions as if nothing in the world is wrong. We victims are still being attacked, by people like Bill Donohue, President of the Catholic League. We are still being attacked by parishioners whom have called me a liar to my face and how dare I spread lies and rumors and false accusations and gossip against the leaders. Well, sadly, I am not spreading lies, rumors and false accusations, these statements I have made can all be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law if it were allowed.

Yet while these leaders whom perpetrated these crimes against us are still in power, I cannot in good conscious go into the church. I cannot be part of a church where the leadership covered up the crimes of child abuse, child rape and put the church before the children and are still in power, for that makes me a hypocrite in my eyes.

I would love to go on a regular basis to St Anne, to be among the other worshipers, some of whom I made acquaintance and even friends with, especially Fr Kyle, but I cannot, for while the wolves are still in control….someone must stand outside the door for the defense and protection of the children and the victims.

Sin is one thing…sin can be forgiven when there is true repentance from the sin. There has been no true repentance among the leadership whom covered up these crimes. There have been staged acts of contrition, but no true repentance. For if they are to truly repent they must also submit to prosecution for the crimes they committed. They must not hide behind their robes of religion. If they seek to make laws for man like they do, they also must submit to the laws of man and be arrested and prosecuted for their crimes. No one, not even religious leaders, should be allowed to get away with crimes against children. They should not be above the law!

When it comes time to the crimes of the rapes and abuses of children and teens and the cover up of these crimes by the leadership…only justice in a court of law, where the victims may have their day in court to see those responsible for the crimes against them be tried and if found guilty sentenced to prison…that is true justice. The Roman Catholic Church promised this to victims and to prosecuting attorneys…but have failed to deliver on this promise. Instead they still fight the victims and hide behind the statue of limitations to deny justice to the victims. Ask yourself is this true justice? If you were raped would you say this is true justice?

In closing whom do you think Jesus Christ will stand up for in the end?

Those whom perpetrated these crimes against children and teens…or the children and teen victims?

Here is a clue: “For it would be better for you to tie a huge boulder around your neck and throw yourself into the deepest of lakes than to harm a single hair on the head of a child.”

Well the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church did a lot more than harm a hair on the head of a child. Whom are you going to stand besides? The ones Jesus Christ would stand up for? Or the ones He would toss into the pit of hell for their evils against children?

Frank LaFerriere, Berlin