55 2 mins 8 yrs

We, the Sisters of Nazareth, aim to share the love of God through our ministries of care and education and our openness to respond to the needs of the times. Sisters of Nazareth have been supporting and caring for those in need at all stages of life. We do this by living our core values of love, compassion, patience, respect, justice and hospitality.

Young people at Sisters of Nazareth properties in Derry were known by numbers rather than their names, and many were allegedly subjected to humiliation, threats and physical abuse, said Christine Smith QC, senior counsel for the inquiry.

Outlining the nature of the allegations, Smith told the inquiry that as well as making children eat vomit when they were ill, nuns used sticks, straps and kettle flexes to beat their young charges. The nuns removed Christmas presents from some children as punishments, Smith said.

She said those who had given testimony also accused the nuns of locking them in cupboards and threatening to transfer them to an adult mental hospital at Muckamore Abbey. in Co Antrim, if they did not conform.

Rather than sending the children to school, the Sisters of Nazareth sent them out to work on farms or in the home’s laundry, Smith said. She said allegations also included sexual abuse by older children, visiting priests, employees and in one instance a nun.

It could be just an anomaly, it could be all just rumour, and it could be all down to the Sisters not reading their own Mission Statement; but somehow, I tend to believe the poor bastards who were placed in those ‘sanctuaries of love, compassion, patience, respect, justice and hospitality’

 

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55 thoughts on “Suffer, little children; when you come unto me!

  1. My God, yet another misunderstanding of this quote. I can’t take it any more.

    “Suffer” in early English meant “let” or “allow”. “Suffer the little children to come unto me” meant “Let the children come to me”, as simple as that.
    Nothing to so with suffering. Bah!

  2. whenever I see a story like this I always think of George Carlin talking about Sister Mary Discipline

  3. It’s not only the children..

    I have mentioned this before but worth mentioning again, my father in-law (Slovak) many moons ago as a young man was training to be a priest, he suffered more brutal beatings and degradation under the monks than he did when he was in the army under the Soviets, and they were really brutal.

    Religion, who needs it.

  4. Whether you believe in Abiogenesis or Creation, men and women are necessary for the creation and rearing of children. If creating and raising them was the be all and end all, civilisation would be impossible because parents transmit values and ideas and dreams to the next generation.
    So I say that in order to say this: it is unnatural for men and women to live separate and unfulfilled lives as celibates unless God has specifically called them to do so.
    And even then, I doubt He would want them to stay celibate forever and without the pleasure and comfort of a partner of the opposite sex.
    Unless He planned to take them early…
    The stories we hear -and for many years I had a Catholic lady friend who had been sent to one of these childrens’ homes in the RofI.
    She was an illegitimate child, and she was destroyed by the experience of one of these homes.
    Obsessional
    (now where has that figured recently?)
    to the point of continually washing clothes over and over again, begging in the streets and full of fear….
    Frankly at times she drove me mad,
    but oh! that lovely southern Irish accent….
    (Did I mention she had no Irish friends??)

    So if there is/was cruelty shown in these homes or orders or whatever, I would say it would have a lot to do with unfulfilled longings and needs that overtime became warped, guilt ridden and cruel.

  5. I understand the same has been said to be true of metal detectorists..

    Men whose (ever) thicker chest hair no longer holds the allure it one did for their pretty young wives..
    Not to mention having wear raybans when hubby removes his flat cap after a hard day at the laboratory..

  6. I think Mike understands the use of the word “suffer” and used it in his title to make a legitimate point.

    I’ve no brief for the clergy as to these terrible true stories. I am also saddened by the mark this leaves on those of the clergy who dedicated their lives to doing good.

  7. I am also saddened by the mark this leaves on those of the clergy who dedicated their lives to doing good.

    I’ll pass that on to my Irish lady friend..


  8. unfulfilled longings and needs that overtime became warped, guilt ridden and cruel.

    Harri, on January 28th, 2014 at 2:23 PM Said:

    Agit

    Not too mention the Vatican appears to be full to the rafters with sexual deviants.

    But not as much as the Liberal Democrats 😉

  9. Not sure why people get hung up on sexual deviants. It is more of the lack of acceptance of anything not normal. If we are talking of non consensual sex, sadism etc then, that is what we should be concerned about – not that it deviates from the norm.

  10. If we are talking of non consensual sex, sadism etc then, that is what we should be concerned about – not that it deviates from the norm.

    Sexual deviancy often involves acts which most people would see as abnormal or distasteful or exploitative, where children are involved.
    In this context therefore if they derive their pleasure from the participation of (bribed/forced) innocents, what do you then call it?

    For example would you have been happy for your mother or father to explain to you that uncle or aunty have sexual proclivities which were ‘unusual’ but not ‘deviant’, and as they weren’t able to find an a willing child at their moment of need, would you be willing to help out?
    We had a discussion some time ago about the Sex Education Forum and sex education in schools.
    http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/

    Let’s say sexual deviancy becomes acceptable as a form of sexual expression between an adult and a consenting child.
    How’re you going to get that child to the point where they know that’s what they want to do?

  11. In this context therefore if they derive their pleasure from the participation of (bribed/forced) innocents, what do you then call it?

    I call it child abuse not mere sexual deviancy which can just mean having a leather fetish or wanting to have seven bells knocked out of you.

    For example would you have been happy for your mother or father to explain to you that uncle or aunty have sexual proclivities which were ‘unusual’ but not ‘deviant’, and as they weren’t able to find an a willing child at their moment of need, would you be willing to help out?
    We had a discussion some time ago about the Sex Education Forum and sex education in schools.
    http://www.sexeducationforum.org.uk/

    Your comment is as disgusting as it is typical. I doubt if my parents would have been so idiotic to describe any child abuser as a deviant. They would have kept me away from any child molester that they knew about .

    Let’s say sexual deviancy becomes acceptable as a form of sexual expression between an adult and a consenting child.

    Lets not. Lets call it child molestation or child abuse

  12. Let’s say sexual deviancy becomes acceptable as a form of sexual expression between an adult and a consenting child.

    If you can’t trust a priest, who can you trust?

  13. Let’s say sexual deviancy becomes acceptable as a form of sexual expression between an adult and a consenting child.

    If you can’t trust a priest, who can you trust?

    Or a Liberal Democrat

  14. Your comment is as disgusting as it is typical. I doubt if my parents would have been so idiotic to describe any child abuser as a deviant. They would have kept me away from any child molester that they knew about .

    Lets not. Lets call it child molestation or child abuse

    So let’s leave aside the “disgusting and typical” bit and get back to what I was aiming for..

    Your definition of deviancy.
    (Not sure why people get hung up on sexual deviants. It is more of the lack of acceptance of anything not normal. If we are talking of non consensual sex, sadism etc then, that is what we should be concerned about – not that it deviates from the norm)
    definitely excludes any sexual interaction between adults and children?

    But what we are talking about here is children in the care of (adult) Nuns or Priests or whatever and being cruelly abused ..

    I never brought sexual deviancy into it. You did.

  15. I have mentioned this before but worth mentioning again, my father in-law (Slovak) many moons ago as a young man was training to be a priest, he suffered more brutal beatings and degradation under the monks than he did when he was in the army under the Soviets, and they were really brutal.

    Harri, might explain your tendency to st- st- stutter?

  16. So let’s leave aside the “disgusting and typical” bit and get back to what I was aiming for..

    Stop making disgusting comments involving my parents

    Your definition of deviancy.

    Deviating from the norm

    (Not sure why people get hung up on sexual deviants. It is more of the lack of acceptance of anything not normal. If we are talking of non consensual sex, sadism etc then, that is what we should be concerned about – not that it deviates from the norm)
    definitely excludes any sexual interaction between adults and children?

    No of course it doesn’t – neither does the word “activity”.

    But what we are talking about here is children in the care of (adult) Nuns or Priests or whatever and being cruelly abused ..

    Exactly – So call it what it is not a term that, as I said also includes merely having a leather fetish

    I never brought sexual deviancy into it. You did.

    Why does everything have to be about you? Harri introduced “sexual deviants”.

  17. And here it is yet again Agit ..

    Harri, on January 28th, 2014 at 4:04 PM Said:

    Agit

    Here it is again ..

    Harri, on January 28th, 2014 at 3:00 PM Said:

    Agit8ed, on January 28th, 2014 at 2:36 PM Said:

    Harri,
    I notice you have taken to commenting in bursts of twos and threes.
    Have you developed a st- a st- a stutter?

    No, it’s in-between making a large family sized stir-fry

    Gotta go, it’s sizzling.

  18. Why does everything have to be about you? Harri introduced “sexual deviants”.

    Precisely. and only because I also mentioned religion and priests,and I thought they went hand in hand.

  19. Opus Dei, do they not wear a cilice in the form of a spiked chain around the right thigh to cause great pain, or is it for pleasure, it could only be religion.

  20. Harri

    I always thought that the self flagellation was a bit suspect and I don’t believe that at least some don’t get a non spiritual thrill from it. Again though better than than whipping children.

  21. Aileen

    But children seems to be the Catholic priests favourite playthings.

    They can beat each other up and do whatever they like to other consenting adults, its of no concern of mine,as they dont appear to be phased at all by hypocricy, but suffer little children indeed where priests are involved.

  22. While I think the Catholic Church as an institution has a lot to answer for regarding clerical abuse, it is sad to say that it is also present in other religions as well as secular organizations. This is no excuse for the Catholic Church, which in my opinion sheltered its own bad actors for far too long.

  23. Harri
    When children are involved we have gone beyond just deviancy. That is my point. It is irrelevant that it deviates from the norm – or even that it deviates from what a lot of people expect or find acceptable – but that it abuses children. A lot of people would find all things scatalogical disgusting but why should they really care if people do it and they don’t have to join in (or clean up afterwards)

  24. As I said Aileen, if you can not trust a priest, just who can you trust when it domes to children?

    I stopped my girls going to church summer camps in Slovakia because I trusted the local priests as far as I could throw them.

    I stand by that.

  25. Harri

    Unfortunately those who wish to prey upon the vulnerable will try and get themselves into positions that provide most unsupervised access. This tends to involve the vulnerable at their most vulnerable. So often theses professions (or voluntary positions) are filled by those with either the very best of motives – to help the vulnerable- or the worst of motives. Sad situation that the default has to be that you don’t trust rather than that you do.

  26. Aileen,
    So good.
    You opened up the thing about sexual deviancy and what it meant. In the context of children in the care of Nuns and Priests and the abuse that happened..

    (and did I mention I had a lady friend from Southern Ireland who was brought up in one these type homes ’til she was 18, and that she had no Irish friends?)

    I was simply trying to establish that your thing about what deviancy was, that it did not include the participation of children in any way, shape or form.

  27. Sad situation that the default has to be that you don’t trust rather than that you do.

    So, so true.

  28. I was simply trying to establish that your thing about what deviancy was, that it did not include the participation of children in any way, shape or form.

    You were trying to establish something false. The issue is not whether or not includes child abuse ( it does) but that it includes lots of things that are not.

  29. (and did I mention I had a lady friend from Southern Ireland who was brought up in one these type homes ’til she was 18, and that she had no Irish friends?)

    I doubt if you need ask and you know right well that you did and are using it as a device to imply that it is somehow relevant to the point I was making, should get you some brownie points or in some other way I should have made reference to it.

  30. While I think the Catholic Church as an institution has a lot to answer for regarding clerical abuse, it is sad to say that it is also present in other religions as well as secular organizations. This is no excuse for the Catholic Church, which in my opinion sheltered its own bad actors for far too long.

    I’d go along with that.
    There is no doubt that some adults (some of whom were abused as children by parents or family members) get themselves into roles where they have access to the vulnerable; but what I was actually concentrating on was that celibacy is unnatural, and that whilst many of us can cope with it for a time, it is not how we tend to be most fulfilled.
    And sex is only a part of that fulfilment. (I think most people tend to lose interest in sex during or after middle age anyway); it’s about love and companionship and shared interests.

  31. I doubt if you need ask and you know right well that you did and are using it as a device to imply that it is somehow relevant to the point I was making, should get you some brownie points or in some other way I should have made reference to it.

    No, I actually mentioned twice because I thought it interesting that no Irish people who commented on this thread, said anything about her as a person or her being befriended by an English Protestant. and it was exactly the same when I mentioned it over as year ago.
    Who needs brownie points?

  32. Harri

    Priests, Religion, same mindset, both target the weak and vunerable in my opinion.

    That is a pretty broad brush and bigoted mindset to have. Although I suspect that there are a few things that you are quite happy to be bigoted about. 🙂

  33. Priests, Religion, same mindset, both target the weak and vunerable in my opinion.

    That may be your experience Harri, but it is not true in every case. Our vicar is married with kids, very human (prone to grumpiness, not great in social situations but has a fantastic sense of humour (just like mine) and can laugh at himself (just like me.)
    Again I would make a differentiation between people of faith and religious people. Religion often involves repression and outward appearances, faith involved the inner person.

  34. Irish abuse victim: New letter proves Vatican cover-up

    By NBC News’ Claudio Lavanga

    A 1997 letter from a Vatican official advising Irish bishops not to report suspected child abuse cases to the police has sent shockwaves across the Catholic world.

    To child abuse victims, it’s the “smoking gun” that proves what they have claimed all along: that the Vatican actively tried to prevent criminal investigations against sexually abusive priests by instructing bishops not to report them to the police.

    But to the Vatican, it’s just another example of how past mistakes in handling abuse cases have since been corrected.

    Damaging evidence
    The letter, published by the Irish broadcaster RTE on Monday, revealed that Archbishop Luciano Storero, then the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio to Ireland (the equivalent of a Vatican ambassador), told Irish bishops that the Vatican had doubts about their “mandatory reporting” policy for suspected abusers to civil authorities.

    The new policy had been introduced by Irish bishops following revelations in the mid-1990s of the abuse of dozens of children. The scandal was so big at the time that it brought down the entire Irish government.

  35. No, I actually mentioned twice because I thought it interesting that no Irish people who commented on this thread, said anything about her as a person or her being befriended by an English Protestant. and it was exactly the same when I mentioned it over as year ago.

    I would hope most people would consider it bizarre and indeed sad that anyone would consider it at all significant that she has been befriended by an English Protestant.

  36. Aileen

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck 😉

    Agit.

    Vicars are not in the same league as Priests when it comes to child abuse, priests are in the premier league there.

  37. ….and that she was a tormented survivor of one of these homes who apart from visits from my wife and I, lived a lonely and obsessive life?
    Nothing to do with seeking brownie points, I just find it interesting that people would remark on the abuse, but not one of the abused.

  38. I just find it interesting that people would remark on the abuse, but not one of the abused.

    This is a political blog for discussing issues. There is not much to say about one of the abused beyond that they are that. The issue is the discussion point.

    Harri

    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck

    I am sure there is at least one species that walks and talks like a duck but isn’t . That is beside the point though. Even if most ducks act in a certain way, it doesn’t mean all are. Some priests have abused kids. Even more have covered it up but not all priests have.

  39. This is a political blog for discussing issues. There is not much to say about one of the abused beyond that they are that. The issue is the discussion point.

    🙂
    And a definition of sexual deviancy and a leather fetish fits in there somewhere I guess. In a political sense of course.

  40. And a definition of sexual deviancy and a leather fetish fits in there somewhere I guess. In a political sense of course.

    I doubt if you do guess that but politics in its widest sense includes what is legally permissible and getting caught up in condemning deviancy, which includes leather fetishism is watering down the real issue – child abuse.

  41. And so then, the effects on a poor woman whose only problem was to have been born illegitimate also fits into the “political nature” of the discussion?
    Personally I read the thread as being about the cruelty and emotional abuse of the children involved and my own theory about the un-naturalness of the celibate life style as giving rise to internal anger, self righteousness and severe discipline brought on by denying the feelings the good Lord gave us.
    I meant no offence to your parents.

  42. I am sure there is at least one species that walks and talks like a duck but isn’t . That is beside the point though. Even if most ducks act in a certain way, it doesn’t mean all are. Some priests have abused kids. Even more have covered it up but not all priests have.

    I agree Aileen, I am now attempting to sort out the non-ducks from the real ducks, I have come up with an anomaly, a huge percentage of all those abused children by Catholic priests just happen to be boys?

    Must be something to do with the choirs.

  43. Pete,
    Jesus said,
    “Suffer (allow) the little children to come unto me, for of such is the Kingdom of God”

    So yer man is making a play by moving the semi colon to say,
    “Suffer little children….

  44. Harri,
    The stuff in the bottle is for heating the stir fry not for drinking or for setting fire to ducks….

  45. Agit8ed, on January 28th, 2014 at 7:40 PM Said:

    Harri,
    The stuff in the bottle is for heating the stir fry not for drinking or for setting fire to ducks….

    sshhh, I have 3 of them at the bottom of the garden, they might hear you

    They arrived last summer and settled in with the chickens, they now have a life of Reilly, and are going nowhere 😉

    By the way, the shear amount of cash (billions) the Vatican have ‘put by’ for cases of child abuse by priests, they could probably cure World hunger.

  46. The stuff in the bottle is for heating the stir fry not for drinking or for setting fire to ducks….

    Non-alcoholic sesame oil, what that stuff 😉

  47. //getting caught up in condemning deviancy, which includes leather fetishism//

    Whatever about leather fetishism, it sure seems like there’s one guy around here who enjoys getting spanked.

  48. Whatever about leather fetishism, it sure seems like there’s one guy around here who enjoys getting spanked.

    And he is religious

    There’s a pattern going on here 😉

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