Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sisters of Mercy: Magdalene Laundries


Please take the time to study this updated post for I would like to introduce you to a documentary at the end of this that sheds further light on the shameful goings on in the Magdalene Laundries, the rank hypocrisy of the Catholic Church and the dangers of the unholy alliance of church and state.


Film: The Magdalene Sisters.

Before I elaborate let me give you the opinion of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. needless to say a Catholic organisation.

From their webpage concerning the film


In the supercharged atmosphere of the abuse scandals, Peter Mullan’s film The Magdalene Sisters is a sensationalist melodrama that only adds fuel to the fire.

Through the use of pungent emotionalism and hyperbole, the movie develops a style that becomes hard to classify. It is called a semi-fictionalized true account but the distinction between fiction and reality appear constantly blurred. It is billed as a scathing social commentary but it is laden with stereotyped depictions devoid of any nuance. Its shoddy theology ignores the basics of any kind of Catholic spirituality.

Indeed Mr. Mullan’s portrayal of the Catholic reformatory could not be more merciless. He treats the sisters with all the cruelty that he imagines they treated the girls under their care. The convent becomes a ruthless slave labor camp complete with its evil warden, sadistic guards and wronged convicts. The Mother Superior is a greedy fiend counting piles of money made from the toil of the unfortunate girls. It is easy to see why Vatican radio characterized the film as an “angry and rancorous provocation.”

“I was appalled to read how every nun, priest or person in authority was presented as evil,” commented America Needs Fatima director Robert Ritchie who is coordinating the protest. “It seems to ignore all the good that nuns have done throughout the centuries.”


I am aware that neither the movie nor the link is exactly hot off the press but the subject matter of the dark days of Irish Catholicism and it's lasting effects is not something that is a stranger to me.

If you have never watched the film you could do worse than to try and seek it out at the video store. Rather than me try to explain the goings on in the Magdalene Laundries, that task is already done in this flash. The text accompanying the images will give you a good insight into the long shameful history of Ireland and the accepted institute of the Laundries.

Although there still exists great pockets of piety in Irish society, Ireland as a whole has done more to enlighten itself over the last three decades than it has over the last three centuries, helped in doing so, more by those that would try to maintain the status quo and their grasp on power and influence, the boy buggerers, the Catholic Church.

I have talked to numerous people who, though outwardly might continue to go through the motions expected of them in a Catholic society, now reject all the influence and control that the church would have previously held over their lives, the rejection almost universally resulting in the making public the decades of sexual abuse by the priesthood.

There is short footage from the film here,

So now having a small insight to the Laundries dark history and read how an American Catholic organisation goes about attacking the film and defending the good Sisters of Mercy, (this post was originally entitled "Idolaters And Boy Buggerers Defend The Indefensible") OK non too subtle I will grant you, let me then introduce this fifty minute documentary based solely on the first hand experiences of the participants. There is a lot of original footage of mid Twentieth Century Ireland and the Laundry institutions themselves.

Update: Links re-upped and Part One of The Magdalene Laundries here. (posted by elfgirl12)

Sex In a Cold Climate.

Fifty minutes

26 comments:

mary margaret said...

this holocaust of young girls can have no excuse for doing this to these victims by church nuns

Anonymous said...

IT IS PAST DUE FOR PERSONAL CRIMES TO BE TRIED IN A COURT OF JUSTICE INSTEADE OF HIDING BEHIND CONVENT WALLS, THESE GIRLS HAD ABSOLUTELT NO ONE TO DEFEND THEM MARY MARGARET

Himself said...

Thank you for your comments.
I have fixed the link and posted a link to The Magdalene Laundries Movie.

Anonymous said...

i have given our priest an offering to have a mass offered for all magdalene laundry girls as they had no respect shown them. personally i call them god's lily of the valleys to give them dignity they deserve

Anonymous said...

jesus's blessings love and heal with tenderness all magdalene laundry girls-your special lilies of the valley mary margaret

Anonymous said...

mass for magdalene laundry girls will be may 4th 2009 12 noon at st. marys lowertown st. paul, minnesota. please uniite in giving respect to these abused girls wherever you may live, thank you so much. mary margaret

Anonymous said...

at least mercy nuns apologiged but good shepherd nuns with 10 institutions in world and more in world never even remotely apologized and threatened to sue a radio station?after abusing 30,000 girls/ thank you peter mullan for a movie making us aware of girls being exploited. we the people now know what went on behind convent walls . mmk

Anonymous said...

is there no lawyer in this entire world who is tough enough to take these good shepherd nuns to court? if not there is a way we the people can! all that abuse and exploitation and to get away with it is wrong big time where are our strong lawyers? mmk

Anonymous said...

hmmmm- no lawyer response i wonder if all these corruption cases in misuse of money big time have a right to hire a lawyer because any money their lawyer gets it seems could be money they got thru corruption so mhow can they give money to a lawyer to defend them? better to spend their time helping abused magdalene girls i think! mmk

Anonymous said...

mass today 12 noon st. marys lowertown st.paul for all magdalene laundry girls. most never had a funeral so give this mass today for them.

Anonymous said...

during mass for magdalene girls i felt a rush of a huge water fall come ovwer me and what joy i felt. truly the holy spirit and girls were present at this mass.mmk

Mary Elizabeth said...

Dear Mary Margaret, Himself and Anonymous,

My given name is Mary Elizabeth. I do not know how to use this function on my computer nor how to answer all of you but I will try. Earlier today when I discovered "Only in America" it was because I'd read in this morning's paper an article written by Henry Chu with the LA Times. It was referencing a study done in Ireland which was recently completed I belive. It was an investigation on the Homes of Good Shepherd and their commercial laundries staffed by forced, unpaid child labor. I vomited after reading Mr. Chu's report. You see, I too was locked away in a Home of Good Shepherd located at 931 Blair, St. Paul, Minnesota from September 1962 to October 1964 I'd have given anything to have known about the Mass on May 4th. I'd have flown in to be there within a second's notice. Trying earlier today to write you all, somehow I found myself someplace on the internet where I was guided to complete information about myself - and open up the availability for discussions. A 'Blog'? I've tried to find it again as I did complete everything I was supposed to but now can't find it. In that place, I provided just a bit of information in order to find my other 12 Graduating Classmates from 1964. All my life I've been full of hate and rage. I'm a recovering alcoholic; sober since 1995. Drink wasn't strong enough to wipe away my horrors & nightmares which still haunt me to this day. I can visually recall in my mind every detail of the campus, the buildings, rooms, furnishings, but especially the laundry. I almost lost a foot from an injury crawling under a mangle to clean the concrete floor while working in their laundry and was refused medical care for over a year. I don't have to close my eyes to see the faces of the nuns who treated me to worst. I hated them then and more so now for multiple reasons that I won't go into. This is way too long but I must thank you for your concerns and for caring about strangers. I'd no one to care or love me until my third husband - and then it took 25 years before we were actually loving husband and wife. Where ever that form I filled out today - a 'Blog' thingy reached from a link on Mr. Himself's Only in America site - you can see three photos of me and my very dear family. Looking at me, it's not obvious I've so much anger and hurt inside me that I'm being devoured by it. I'm reaching out to all of you and wrapping my arms around each one of you - giving you big hugs for showing me there are strangers in this world who love and care for those they don't even know nor would ever have an opportunity to meet. I hope you can find me and help me learn how to do this computer stuff. I want to find my 12 other classmates somehow. Warmest regards,
Maryrothwell600@msn.com

Mary Elizabeth said...

Dear Everyone,
Can you see this? Your link says I'm a Blogger named Mary Elizabeth. Maybe you can really find me, because I sure can't! Nevertheless, if you hear from others like me who you think could be helped from the ability to contact one of her own in the Good Shep grads, give her my email address if she wants it. with much appreciation, Mary Elizabeth 5/23 4:43 AM

Himself said...

Mary Elizabeth, thank you so much for sharing, if I may I will contact by email a little later in the day.

Perhaps I misunderstand you but is it this you are looking for?

homeofgoodshepherd931blairPeace be with you.
Regards.
Himself

Anonymous said...

m grandmother was in an ireland good shep. home suffered terrible also. i am concerned about all these girls and any girl or boy or adult abused . thus the mass offered. i am an individual . i am not a nun. acyually i was refused any application to convent in 1960"s because my parents were divorced. i am a lover of all people and their rights. mmk

Anonymous said...

NEW GOOD SHEPHERD HOME IS IN NORTH OAKS NO LONGER ON BLAIR. 5100 NHODGSON NORTH OAKS. A PRESTIGEOUS AREA. NORTH OAKS MINNESOTA. THEY MOVED FROM BLAIR IN ST. PAUL MANY YEARS BACK. GOD BLESS YOU MARY ELIZABETH FROM MARY MARGARET

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU "himself" FOR THIS BLOG AND WEBSITE. MOST GRATEFUL MMK

Himself said...

MMK you are most welcome and thank you.

Anonymous said...

p.s. good?shepherds in north oaks no longer have any girls from courts etc. they have employees for a day care tho and last year closed "rose center" housing for young women. that was in st.paul. they have 5 nuns i think clistered called magdalene sisters the rest are aged in infirmary or adminisration peace to you himself and mary elizabeth. mmk

Anonymous said...

Magdalene group urges action

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper
/breaking/2012/0524/breaking44
.html#.T75etZGcuXk.twitter

Prof Jim Smith of Boston College presented a detailed 27-page report to the TDs and Senators which established “overwhelming evidence of State interaction” with the 10 Magdalene Laundries in the Republic

Himself said...

10 worst abusers attacked an average of 36 children each - Dublin Catholic Archdiocese report

http://bit.ly/LjCjZn

Anonymous said...

Report to highlight cruelty in Irish Magdalene Laundries

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21333475

Anonymous said...

Taoiseach says he is 'sorry' about way Magdalene residents were treated


http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2013/0205/breaking48.html

Himself said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21326221

Expanded article.

Himself said...

http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0206/366412-magdalene-laundries/

Anonymous said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/19/ireland-apologises-slave-labour-magdalene-laundries