For Ivanhoe and the other catholics on this site,
'"Never trust a woman who can add up faster than you", my da used to say'
I'm just watching a documovie depicting the catholic Magdalene sisterhood in Ireland in the 1960s. For those interested, it is "Sinners". Another similarly set movie is "The Magdalene Sisters".
My question is this...
In both movies, and obviously in real life catholic Ireland in the 19th and 20th century (the last magdalene sisters, church-run institution was closed in 1996), girls who are pretty and attract attention of boys (even unwanted attention), girls who enjoy the company of boys, and girls who get pregnant out of wedlock (even if it was due to rape) were signed over to a nunnery, where they were locked into a type of prison (not allowed off the ground at any time, not allowed unsupervised contact with males (unless he was a catholic priest), told when to eat, told when to sleep, told when to wake, banned from talking to each other) worked up to 15 hours a day for no wage for the profit of the nunnery. If a girl was locked up (or saved, depending on your view point) because she got pregnant out of wedlock, the child was automatically signed over (not by the mother) for adoption. Beatings and rape of girls (and boys in the reformatory homes) by priests was regular. The only learning that the girls got was that written in the bible (the boys at least were taught other things). Through this teaching of mostly ignorance, the priests were able to convince the poor raped children that the horrible feelings they felt at the act were their own fault. The girls were taught that sex and childbirth were 'the wages of sin' (according to "Sinners"
, evil, disgusting acts. Should the abused child complain to authorities, they were normally signed over to mental institutions where they would, more often than not, spend the rest of their lives drugged up to the gills in a padded cell. If even higher levels of authority caught wind of this complete and utter corruption, the perpetrators were merely moved and incidents hidden up. The girls of the Magdalene Sisterhood could not leave this institution of their own free will for life. They could be released by a member of family OR a man. At least upon reaching adulthood, the boys could release themselves. Should they escape, they would be hunted by the police as criminals and returned to the institution for punishment. Youths driven to suicide weren't allowed a proper funeral on sacred ground and were denied heaven for ever (a big deal to a girl brought up with only catholic teachings).
My question to all catholics on the site (and Ivanhoe especially, as the only strongly catholic user I know on here) is to choose from the following:
1) The catholic church of the time were correct and only acting as the catholic church says you should act. These institutions should still exist.
2) This was reprehensible behaviour by The Magdalene Sisters and The Christian Brothers (and other catholic orders at the time, including (ironically) The Sisters of Mercy). They were not teaching the catholic word, or behaving as catholics should ever act.
3) The actions of the orders at the time were disgusting, but they were interpreting the catholic teachings as they should have been interpreted at the time. The catholic teachings are evolutionary and must be adapted as society evolves.
4) None of the above (please explain...)
This type of behaviour and abuse of power is one of the main reasons that I view catholicism and christianity in complete and utter contempt. I haven't been directly affected by it, but people I know have been, and until I have been explained how these atrocities came to be (and came to be covered up), I will never hold catholicism or christianity in anything but contempt. Your comments are appreciated.