If you’re a Catholic and you’re on the internet you’ve heard about the nuns in Ireland who killed and dumped hundreds of babies in a septic tank in the 1960’s.
The story is a mainstream media hoax that was, for them, just too good to be true. It’s telling that when right now it turned out that babies were being burned in an incinerator for energy the media pretty much ignored that one for a long time but a rumor about nuns nearly a century ago gets splashed all over the MSM. They showed their hand on this one. Let’s face it, they don’t care about dead babies. They care about attacking the Church and making Catholics appear like hypocrites.
This Forbes report takes down the story pretty effectively:
Few of us are inclined to look a gift horse in the mouth, and that applies in spades to journalists running with a sensational news story. But even by normal media standards, recent reports about the bones of 796 babies being found in the septic tank of an Irish orphanage betray a degree of cynicism and irresponsibility rarely surpassed by allegedly reputable news organizations.
Although the media attributed the “dumped in a septic tank” allegation to Catherine Corless, a local amateur historian, she denies making it. Her attempt to correct the record was reported by the Irish Times newspaper on Saturday (see here) but has been almost entirely ignored by the same global media that so gleefully recycled the original suggestion. That suggestion, which seems to have first surfaced in the Mail on Sunday, a London-based newspaper, reflected appallingly on the Sisters of Bon Secours, the order of Catholic nuns at the center of the scandal.
Today the Irish Times has published a reader’s letter that has further undercut the story. Finbar McCormick, a professor of geography at Queen’s University Belfast, sharply admonished the media for describing the children’s last resting place as a septic tank. He added: “The structure as described is much more likely to be a shaft burial vault, a common method of burial used in the recent past and still used today in many part of Europe.
“In the 19th century, deep brick-lined shafts were constructed and covered with a large slab which often doubled as a flatly laid headstone. These were common in 19th-century urban cemeteries…..Such tombs are still used extensively in Mediterranean countries. I recently saw such structures being constructed in a churchyard in Croatia. The shaft was made of concrete blocks, plastered internally and roofed with large concrete slabs.
“Many maternity hospitals in Ireland had a communal burial place for stillborn children or those who died soon after birth. These were sometimes in a nearby graveyard but more often in a special area within the grounds of the hospital.”
For anyone familiar with Ireland (I was brought up there in the 1950s and 1960s), the story of nuns consciously throwing babies into a septic tank never made sense. Although many of the nuns may have been holier-than-thou harridans, they were nothing if not God-fearing and therefore unlikely to treat human remains with the sort of outright blasphemy implied in the septic tank story.
So what are we left with? One fact seems beyond dispute: conditions in Irish orphanages up to the 1960s, if not later, were positively Dickensian. Certainly the death rate at many was shockingly high. But how should blame be apportioned? A major part of the problem would appear to have been the pervasive poverty of the time (the institution at the center of the scandal operated from the 1920s through the early 1960s). Because they were so desperately underfunded, Irish orphanages were disgracefully overcrowded, which meant that when one baby caught an infection, they all caught it. Not the least of the hazards was tuberculosis, a then incurable disease that spread like wildfire in overcrowded conditions.
You can read the whole thing at Forbes. It’s worth it.
I’m sure the media will run lots of stories about how they misreported this story. Just wait for it. Here it comes. Just a few more seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks….
LifeNews Note: Matt Archbold graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 1995. He is a former journalist who left the newspaper business to raise his five children. He writes for the Creative Minority Report.