Dear Catholic Church, get out of our wombs

Ireland allowed this to happen. It allowed the Catholic Church to imprison women for having sex, to steal their children, and kill or sell them, says Suzanne Harrington.

Dear Catholic Church, get out of our wombs

Imagine 796 bodies buried in your garden. Even if they’d been put there by your granny, you’d be in serious trouble for not telling anyone.

Especially if granny remains alive and indoors, tight-lipped and unrepentant.

Think of the headlines around the world – 796 bodies!

While not quite enough to be genocide, it more than qualifies for mass murder. Serial killing at its most serial.

So how many perpetrators have been arrested? Are the police buckling under all the case work? Have they had to send for reinforcement?

Don’t be silly, this is Ireland, where we only care about humans before they are born.

Once they’ve left the public property of the uterus, we literally leave them in the shit. Almost 800 of them, and that was from a single so-called Mother & Baby ‘Home’.

There were many, many more of these ‘homes’ around the country. Do they have mass graves too, small bones hidden in sewage? A low budget horror movie filmed in black and white, filled with the ghosts of toddlers.

Who is being prosecuted for this? Who is being charged?

Nazi war criminals are tried no matter how elderly – so why not the people who collaborated and colluded with this, as well as those who actually oversaw the slow grim deaths of children under care that was neither ‘bon’ nor ‘secour’?

What is the state going to do about this? Apart from hand-wringing and mouthing meaningless words like ‘shocked’?

Or are there simply too many people – pillars of the community, now retired – for any one group of individuals to be charged?

Ireland allowed this to happen. It allowed the Catholic Church to imprison women for having sex, to steal their children, and kill or sell them.

It allowed the men involved to not be involved at all, to fully sidestep responsibility. And while not incarcerating women and babies, it allowed its priests to routinely sexually assault children in the wider community.

Oh, but we don’t do that anymore. No, today we just write reports, look awkward, mutter a bit about how it was a different era, while still threatening women with 14 years in jail should they wish to own their own bodies, now, today, in the 21st century.

Enough. And no, this is not “virtue signalling” as one Irish commentator wrote in another newspaper, suggesting our horror and disgust is a display of contemporary indignation in response to historic outrages. No, it bloody is not.

It’s the anger of people — women — who have had enough of being shamed, blamed, and controlled by church and state.

If anything comes of this latest atrocity, it will be that the state disentangles itself from the church.

As one young Irish woman tweeted this week, “Dear Catholic Church, Get out of our schools, get out of our hospitals, get out of our constitution, get out of our wombs and fuck off, get out.”

And if this offends any Catholics, you can always pray for us.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter: @soozysuze

ANOTHER VIEW: Readers blog: Those who are faith informed should not be silenced in Repeal debate

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