A Movie That Reveals Some Evils of the Church.

I saw the movie, Philomena, based on a true story.

The Catholic Church in Ireland has been rocked with terrible scandals.  In all the scandals there seems to be sex and money.

Catholic readers, here, often point to Catholic-run homes for girls who become pregnant.  The movie, Philomena, shows some of these homes have had a dark side.

In this Irish Catholic home, pregnant girls, some as young as 14, signed away all rights to their babies.  In birth, there was no doctor nor pain medication.  Some died. Pain was punishment for the sin of sex.

In the home, the babies bonded with the young mothers until about two years of age and then were adopted out for money paid to the home.  The distraught Philomena was haunted by knowing she had a son somewhere and spent 50 years wondering about him.

The nuns told her all records had been destroyed in an accident and would not help her.  A journalist found the son had been adopted by a couple in the U. S.

The adult son, prominent in Washington, DC, knew of his Irish link and came to the nuns in search of his biological mother. The nuns knew his mother, who lived nearby, but lied to son (and the mother) they had no information about the other.  He died before they could be united.

The reason given for not helping to reunite them was the sin of sex out of marriage.  All touched by this sin should suffer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/12/fashion/Philomena-True-Story-Michael-Hess.html?_r=0

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years.
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56 Responses to A Movie That Reveals Some Evils of the Church.

  1. Avatar of realist realist says:

    I have not seen this movie so I am shocked to know that catholic homes for unwed mothers used to withhold pain meds. What a cruel thing to have done! I wonder if that still goes on? Surely not, but who knows?

  2. entech says:

    How long before some one says:
    that is old history, time to move on we don’t do that anymore, or,
    think of all the good things that out way the odd thing, or,
    others did worse, or,
    lots and lots of things rather than straight out admit that Ireland suffered badly from the dominance of the church, virtual slavery of young girls in convent run laundries, rampant cover up of paedophilia (how often was it just a sexual sickness and how often a means to dominate in a particularly brutal way).

    OK, awful things have been done,
    the Catholic Church is not the only one,
    but it can’t and shouldn’t be hidden,
    all the talk about how “we have improved” means nothing until it is out in the open and a “confession” is the basis for making sure it can never happen again.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 1:17 “How long before someone says: that is old history, time to move on we don’t do that anymore..”

      This story is anything but ancient history. The child died in 1995 at the age of 43. His name after coming to the U. S. was Michael Hess. He made three trips over to the Sean Ross Abbey trying to find his birth mother. The last in the 1990′s. She visited there also trying to find him. The cruel housing of pregnant girls had ended but the cruel practice of treating the former girls and their babies as shameful sinners deserving no information or apology had not.

      Michael Hess had was Senior Legal Council to the Republican National Committee during the Reagan years.

      I see that Sean Ross Abbey still exists but ended its home for pregnant women operation in 1970.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sean_Ross_Abbey

  3. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Rumor has it a local OBGYN who also had a home for unwed mothers named after him, would also withhold all pain meds from the teen girls whose children he delivered at the home. As I understand it, the ‘home’ is still operating, but since the stigma of being an unwed mother is virtually non-existent, the home pretty much only serves girls with other severe issues (addiction, abuse and so forth) who also happen to be pregnant.

    • Michael Ross says:

      Are you referring to Dr. David Perry? He didn’t name anything after himself. The Perry Center was named after Dr. Perry and his wife Judy after they were killed in an auto accident. I was acquainted with the Perrys but never heard anything that he was delivering babies in his home. He had a large home on north Broadway and took girls in until there babies were born. He opened his home to the needy. Does your doctor do that?

      • Avatar of realist realist says:

        A little defensive, are we, Michael? I don’t really expect any doctor to take in pregnant girls. It’s just too easy for them to be exploited in that kind of a situation. Some kind of oversight should be in place.

        • Adam Heckathorn says:

          The key word here I believe is “rumor”. As human beings We judge the world around Us as best We can.We make assumptions repeat things We hear that seem likely true. And with God on our side leading Us with His Holy Spirit maybe even murder each other. The ironic thing about the Salem Witch Trials is the ones they murdered were really proved to be honest and trusting in their God. If You admitted You were a Witch You could repent and Be forgiven (after all what kind of cold hearted Christian would not forgive a repentant sinner?) but if You had the Audacity to reject Gods mercy when We know Your guilty through evident demonstrations of the holy spirit The accusations of three teenage girls the admissions of these repentant witches whom They also accused well You as much as damned yourself to death now and torture in an everlasting hell later.

  4. Henry says:

    The Catholic Church in Ireland performed a great service for these women, the children, and the families that received them.

    Much is being made of this pain control for political effect. The reality is that pain control is still not used unless one wants it. I am told from my resident expert that there was regret in using epidurals on the first few after experiencing no pain medication on the last.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Henry 2:48 Ireland had Catholic scandals that dwarf what we have had in the U. S. It has involved, “hundreds of priests and thousands of children”. The Abbey abuse of girls was just one small part of a nation-wide corrupt organization.

      It was so bad that today, Irish politicans feel free to distance themselves from the Catholic Church, something you do not see in the U.S.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_sexual_abuse_scandal_in_Ireland

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        On another topic, I can’t help being a little snarky over the Super Bowl outcome.

        Recently, the Bishop of the Fargo Diocese, Bishop Aquila, left to become Bishop of the Denver Diocese. Our local paper reported he held a special mass for the Catholic football players of the Denver Broncos. But, the Broncos were CRUSHED!

        Now I read half the U. S. population believes God determines the outcome of the Super Bowl. Might we read into this something about Bishop Aquila’s standing with the god?
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/super-bowl-prayer_n_4605665.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

        • Henry says:

          Jon, your implication is that the one who prays loses. Your implication does not hold up:
          http://nwcatholic.org/local-news/571-seahawks-priest

        • Michael Ross says:

          The Broncos dumped Tim Teabow. This must have displeased God and the Seahawks are the rod of His chastisement.

        • RCCforLife says:

          Seriously Jon, You speak quite often about not judging others…and here you are encouraging others to judge a man’s standing with God. Archbishop Aquila celebrated Mass for any of the Broncos players and coaching staff who freely chose to worship God together. Any practicing Catholic knows that that the intention for the celebration of the Mass was not for the victory outcome of the Super Bowl, the celebration of the Mass is always for the glorification of God, who is One and Three, regardless of who wins! Why do you care so much about God, and give God so much attention, if You don’t even believe He exists?

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            RCCforLife 4:11 “Why do you care so much about God, and give God so much attention…”

            It’s not actually me who focus’ on God, it is press releases about mass before the games and players pointing upwards and/or going into fake prayer after touchdowns. I assume they believe their touchdown was a gift from God for not sinning. Those who sin more get fewer touchdowns. All I know is what I see and hear.

            If the mass was not about winning, players would have mass on Sunday with everyone else. I understand well why they have mass and point to God.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            The RCC has Mass every day of the week.

        • Avatar of realist realist says:

          I think the Pope himself put Bishop Aquila in the spotlight when he said that all this talk of abortion while still within church doctrine, should be supplanted by concern for the poor and other issues of justice. I am sure Aquila has dropped a few notches in status since the new pope was selected. No wonder his super bowl prayers were ignored. :)

    • entech says:

      Welcome back Henry, you were the one I had mainly in mind @ 1:17. As long as we keep getting these stupid excuses and justifications we will keep getting repeats.

      • Henry says:

        What I said does not excuse the wrongs. You are reading too much into what I said to formulate your usual attacks.

        • entech says:

          The Catholic Church in Ireland performed a great service for these women, the children, and the families that received them.
          A truly great service would be sympathy and unconditional love, Christians all seem to love the dubious story in John where Jesus forgives the woman supposedly caught in adultery. Let those without sin casts the first stones, except it is more like being dumped on by a huge cement mixer than stone throwing.

          Perhaps you would care to explain further what you meant by the “great service” and the cost. I suppose it is better than the Anne Lovett story, dying alone in a grotto dedicated to the VirginMary because too afraid to do other.
          On Saturday night, the 4th of February 1984, Ireland’s most popular television show was coming to an end, when the host read this headline from the next days’ Sunday Tribune Newspaper: “Girl, 15, Dies Giving Birth In A Field”.
          With the words “Nothing terribly exciting there”, the newspaper was cast down on the studio floor by the ‘Late Late Show’ host, Gay Byrne.
          This moment marked the first introduction the world had to the story of Ann Lovett and her newborn child.

          Not actually an attack Henry, just a reference to your history of making excuses for some of the atrocious things done by the Church. The attacks mainly come from you with so many references to “The Atheist”, as if to not believe as you do makes someone less than human.

          • Henry says:

            entech:“Let those without sin casts the first stones, except it is more like being dumped on by a huge cement mixer than stone throwing.
            Perhaps you would care to explain further what you meant by the “great service” and the cost.”

            I would agree that it would be difficult to cast stones. Great difficulty is experienced when one tries to analyze the “great service” the modern day atheist movement was providing at/near the time of the Irish Catholic atrocities.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Madalyn_Murray_O%27Hair&oldid=349111638#Personal
            Did the modern atheist movement when serving in Baltimore, house and feed needy pregnant women? Maybe they did.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 3:21 “when one trys to analyze the great service the modern day atheist movement was providing at the time of the Irish Catholic atrocities.”

            Madalyn Murray did our country a service by keeping government religion out of public schools. Over in Ireland, I would hope atheists would not have seen their pregnant teen age girls as sinners and dumped them off on an evil set of nuns. Atheists were not among the evil nuns I presume, that was a service to humankind as well.

          • entech says:

            Henry 3:21 Interesting that when you talk about being attacked you almost always retaliate with something about atheists and frequently Ms O’Hare. I frequently try to point out that the bad acts of the one do not excuse the bad acts of the other. You act as if the evil done by the nun’s is somehow excusable, is somehow a “great service”; I expect that you consider the torture and burning at the stake in centuries past was also a great service, I think the reasoning is that it was better to cause agony and a conversion now to avoid the possibility of an eternity later. There is evidence to point to the pain and horror inflicted by religious people now but none to point to the (Christian) invention of an actual fire and brimstone hell.

            If you were to show me evidence of atrocities committed by atheists (or other none Christians) I would agree that they should be condemned and that all efforts should (must) be made to prevent the re-occurrence.
            Your attitude of exoneration and excuses on the basis that others have been as bad or worse is not only wrong but, as does the cover ups by the hierarchy in Ireland, makes you an accessory before the fact in giving a blessing for it to continue. For the great service to be perpetuated.

            Two wrongs never have and never will make a right.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Madelyne O’Hare did not run an orphanage, tear children from their mothers and sell them. She did not marshall troops and kill her enemies. Christians did these things, and most importantly, did them in THE NAME of Christianity.

            That also differentiated Christians from Stalin and Hitler. Hitler claimed to be a Catholic and the Catholic Church claimed him. Nevertheless, he mostly did not say what he was doing was in the name of God or Jesus. They were done on behalf of political ideas, one being the superiority of the “German race”.

            Stalin, et al, did their dispicable deeds also were for political ideas, equal income, etc. They did not do them to honor atheism, though to a large, not total extent, they were atheists.

            O’Hare, Hitler and Stalin are different than the nuns. The nuns thought what they were doing was for Jesus. They were headed for heaven for destroying young girls.

          • Henry says:

            entech:“You act as if the evil done by the nun’s is somehow excusable, is somehow a “great service”;”

            Again, you read way too much into what one writes. Your mind runs wild. In no way did I say the atrocities were acceptable. I even acknowledged the modern day atheist movement maybe did do a “great service”.

          • entech says:

            Not at all you write in such a convoluted way, trying to trick people and being able to say “I didn’t say that” to score points, that it is often impossible to know what you actually mean.

            I frequently doubt that you mean what you appear to say and know that I should just keep out and not waste my time in futility, but I admit I am week, it is like a mosquito bite you know you shouldn’t scratch but the temptation is sometimes too great. Get the behind me Henry, but not too close.

          • Henry says:

            Jon, your 2:08 indicates you may be a little sensitive to the point you have decided to engage in Godwin’s law.

            All I have been saying is that the Catholic Church in Ireland provided a great service, and I acknowledge that some atrocities did occur.

            You and your sidekick are all over the place on this issue.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Henry 2:17 “All I have been saying…,.”

            And then you brought up Madelyne O’Hare, as if she did something like the nuns who tore children away from their mothers and sold them. You would do well to acknowledge O’Hare did not harm anyone.

          • Henry says:

            Jon, again, I would agree. It would be difficult to cast stones at the fledgling modern day atheist movement in Baltimore. I am trying to agree with you, and you are attacking.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            One wonders where O’Hare got all those hundreds of thousands of dollars, and why she didn’t give it to the needy. The type of question asked quite often here.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 4:12 “where did O’Hare get all those hundreds of thousands of books, and why she didn’t give it to the needy.”

            She got her considerable money from memberships in American Atheists and publishing books about atheism which no one else was doing at the time. Of course, she and her son were murdered by someone who wanted that money.

            She might have been better off herself to have given it away as it turned out. One has to admit she did not use is to harm children like the nuns in Ireland.

          • Henry says:

            Wanna:“The type of question asked quite often here.”

            I am starting to get the impression that Jon and sidekick can dish it out (cast stones) but can’t take it, even when stones aren’t really being lobbed at them. Perhaps some kind of guilty conscience is making them unnecessarily defensive, but who am I to condemn? I don’t expect anything to change, their wrath being exacted onto the Christian.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            But she didn’t give it to the needy. Which we hear so often here.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            I get the impression that if she hadn’t been killed by fellow atheists, she would have kept the money anyway.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            So how did she accumulate that money. By charging “dues” paid to the American Atheists, I would guess. That would be considered “defined contributions”, in the form of non-traceable gold coins? as compared to voluntary contributions. Or did she “convert” checks to gold coins. One wonders.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            …”Publishing books about atheism”; How come we hear complaints about Christians publishing books for profit, but not a peep on O’Hare’s activity. It must have been very profitable.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Maybe she made some of it by speaking engagements. She could have made a bundle at Yankee’s Stadium. That had been done before by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1958.

          • entech says:

            Henry from 2:17 pm onwards you could not have proved my point better if you tried.

            I still don’t know what you mean by a “great service” and you continually forced the subject back onto the “evil” atheists.

            @ 5:08
            Great line about dish it out but can’t take it.
            This comes up so often I think you actually believe it –
            Church has been wrong about something, O’Hare:
            any response gives us – ha, ha you can’t take it, in many cases there is nothing to take and you look quite juvenile.
            Why is it always O’Hare, isn’t there any other, the internet is full of religious leaders convicted of crimes.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_religious_leaders_convicted_of_crimes
            this is a very short list.

            making them unnecessarily defensive thank you for the endorsement, I don’t really think I have been feeling guilty, but thanks for saying I don’t need to.
            Guilt is actually a Christian thing, born in sin, guilty until proved dead and then the trial begins ?
            This little boy stopped feeling guilty when he stopped being a Christian.

            Actually this little “sidekick” had never heard of O’Hare until you kept bringing it up over the last couple of years. But I see you have acquired a “sidekick” of your own, yelping round the edges and poking with a pointed stick.

            I am surprised that Wanna would fall into your web, I am even more surprised that Jon would fall into the trap of responding to the O’Hare jibes. On the other hand I suppose that as the blogger he doesn’t have the same privilege as you so often take for yourself “Henry is losing the plot and the discussion, Henry will just go away and wait another day”.

            I still don’t know what you mean by a “great service”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; @ my 4:12; You misquoted me. I said “dollars”, not books.
            Re. O’Hare. Just some questions, and considerations.. All valid.

          • Henry says:

            entec, you seem paranoid and irrational in your 10:45.

          • entech says:

            You should recognize the symptoms, they are in the mirror every time you project your failings onto others and play your stupid games.

            And I still don’t know what you mean by “great service” which is, after all, where it started before you started running up and down the primrose path and pointing everywhere else.

          • Henry says:

            I sense anger from you, entech. A bad day?

          • entech says:

            Bad day, au contraire, beautiful sunny day 82 degrees and a lovely lunch with charming French lady who visits once a year to see her son.

            It is not anger you sense, you must know that for someone to capable of invoking anger they must be someone for whom you have respect. You spend so much time playing stupid word games (and playing badly) that it is obvious that even you does not have respect for you.
            What you sense is frustration, you deliberately say something provocative about a “great service” and refuse to elaborate or explain.

          • Henry says:

            entech, you are not reading very closely. I clearly indicated why the Irish Catholic church would have been considered to provide a great service. I even acknowledged the modern day atheist movement maybe did do a great service. Maybe, I don’t know. They very well could have fed and housed babies and pregnant women, although I have yet to find a record of that.

    • Jinx says:

      Henry, spoken like a man who has never carried and delivered a baby……especially a first birth by a terrified teen mother. Irish girls were forced to give up their kids after bonding with them for 2 years and that is beyond cruel.

  5. Wanna B Sure says:

    In the 40′s, G K Chesterton, a RCC convert, apologist for the RCC in particular, and apologist for Christianity in general wrote several “Father Brown Mysteries”. In one of those books, he presented a story based on much of the same circumstances and abuses contained in Philomena. In the story, (if I remember right), the nun in charge of the abby was killed by the lady that had her baby stolen from her. Chesterton was widely read in the UK. There is little doubt that there were similar real time events that was the inspiration for the book.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      PS: I think I can fairly add that the death of the nun in charge of that Abby, as presented was (shall we say) “well earned”, as the result of her behavior. Right or wrong. The girl victim and murderer was discovered and sent to prison.

  6. H.P.Drifter says:

    Jon

    I have been reading about the treatment of the women in Roscrea in the European Newspapers for sometime, the saddest sickest thing I have ever read about the modern day Catholic Church. The treatment of the women as slave laborers in the laundry really is almost beyond my comprehension (and the terrorizing of the children) Of the course the Church is run by a fellow who is often quoted as saying “Who I am I to judge” pretty much sums up what is happening in the Church world wide. A sick group now and a sick group of people through out history hiding behind the cloth. No excuses and no absolution for these people, the highway to hell in right here man made, it is a paved road they need to run down it as fast as they can and jump right into oblivion. Think what you may, hell is right here on earth and is a creation of the Catholic Church and Protesant Churches ( sub species passing themselves as human)

    Freeze or fry, nature is on its way to take these people away. The good people are going right along with these idiots, too bad the world of man kind didn’t wake up sooner, rather than later. To all good people that are religious out there, bad luck, bad timing, good news you will never know what hit you. Nature is a smooth operator, you have enjoyed its benefits, now you will know its wrath and pay the ultimate price for not thinking.

    H.P.D

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      H. P. D. 4:47 The decades long abuse in the Irish Catholic Church remains a current issue. In the last few days there was a ruling the Irish government is on the hook for damages from a child rape several years ago. It is on the hook because of an obligaion to regulate such facilities. I’m sure it was politically unpopular to regulate church run places so the government did not look into allegations.

      One would have to guess there are many more such cases and the money yet to be awarded may stagger the government.

      For those who say, “A little religion in government is a good thing,” may want to figure out how religion is stopped once it gets its foot in the door. The evil Catholic Church in Ireland is what results.

    • Jinx says:

      HPD, yes, the movie and book was based on the the Magdaline Laundry business run by the church. Surely, the nuns and clergy involved qualify foe placement in Dante’s 9th circle of hell…..realize the sperm donor suffered no consequences at all.

    • Adam Heckathorn says:

      But really tell Us how You feel.( I’m sorry I’m in a agreement but I felt compelled to write that last sentence).

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