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Feb 06 2013

A long history of involvement

A post by Jadehawk pointed me to an article from 2011 in the Irish Times, posted by Paddy Doyle.

TWO OF the religious congregations which ran Magdalene laundries in the State set up and continue to run the Dublin-based Ruhama agency, which is funded by the State and works “with women affected by prostitution and other forms of commercial sexual exploitation”.

According to its website, the agency receives funding from the Department of Health and the Department of Justice.

Ruhama, which means “renewed life” in Hebrew, is described as “a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution”.

Uh oh. You would think the Irish state would get around to not giving money to church projects any more, given the history. Yes, the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity do have a long history of involvement with marginalised women, and a very bad sinister cruel history it is. Choose someone else to help marginalized women, if women involved in prostitution even want that kind of help, which they probably don’t now that churchy morality doesn’t keep them marginalized in quite the way it used to.

Both congregations refused to meet Justice for Magdalenes, a support group for women who had been in the laundries, including those run by the Good Shepherd Sisters at Limerick, Cork, Waterford and New Ross, and those run by the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity at High Park in Drumcondra and Seán MacDermott Street in Dublin.

That’s not nice. It’s not kind or generous or helpful or merciful or remorseful. It’s just ordinary-human – selfish, indifferent, hard of heart.

Ireland really needs to learn the value of the separation of church and state.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Argle Bargle

    Both congregations refused to meet Justice for Magdalenes

    Is anyone surprised?

  2. 2
    Maureen Brian

    Not surprised at all! Interesting to note, though, that Irish legislators could sit through the night in order to liquidate a bank but cannot bestir themselves to say or do anything useful for the women among their citizens!

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/9854290/Ireland-votes-to-liquidate-Anglo-Irish-Bank.html

  3. 3
    yahweh

    At the risk of being thought to minimise the shameless and immoral behaviour of the Magdelene laundries, the Christian Brothers and the like, I would like offer some light relief, and proof that there is life after Irish Catholicism from the late, great Dave Allen for those who have not been fortunate enough to come across him before.

  4. 4
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Ruhama, which means “renewed life” in Hebrew, is described as “a joint initiative of the Good Shepherd Sisters and the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, both of which had a long history of involvement with marginalised women, including those involved in prostitution”.

    To quote Pratchett: “Mustrum Ridcully did a lot for rare species. For one thing he kept them rare”
    Yeah, what could be more marginalizing than locking up women against their will and make them work like slaves?

  5. 5
    ianbertram

    There is a story, perhaps apocryphal but probably not, about a comedian in the NE of England called Bobby Thompson who coming on stage for a gig at a Roman Catholic social club, looked up at the crucifix and said “I see you sorted out the committee” Allegedly he didn’t get any further into his act.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/insideout/content/articles/2008/10/24/north_east_s14_w7_bobbythompson_feature.shtml

  6. 6
    picklefactory

    I didn’t think I could actually loathe the Catholic Church any more than I did already, but there you go.

    Just for fun, I went to visit all the awful Catholic blogs I keep on the radar and surprise, none of them have mentioned this at all. Imagine that.

  7. 7
    sexworkie

    Ruhama run an ongoing misinformation campaign that causes so much harm to sex workers today and, because Government funding for services for sex workers and victims of trafficking goes to Ruhama, there are no services. The grip these Magdalene nuns still have on the Government is incredible.

  8. 8
    Marie-Thérèse O'Loughlin

    @6 Yes, a lot of people on Twitter have been saying exactly the same thing regarding the church on this very important subject matter. The silence is deafening. They’re wont to going to ground at these fragile times.

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