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.