Anyone familiar with the ongoing debacle over the National Maternity Hospital might be forgiven for thinking that the Sisters of Charity is an enclosed religious order whose members take not only vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, but also a vow of silence.
A glance at the order’s website shows it doesn’t. Yet, on the subject of ownership and control of the proposed new hospital, they are keeping mum.
It is not as if the Sisters are afraid to speak out on controversial subjects. Indeed, the order’s website offers an endorsement of the plan to criminalise the purchase of sex.
It states: “We have joined the ‘Turn Off The Red Light’ campaign, which aims to end prostitution and trafficking in Ireland. We believe that following the Swedish model and introducing legislation to criminalise the purchase of sex will act as a deterrent.”
Kieran Mulvey, the man who brokered the deal, yesterday told the Sunday Business Post that members of the Sisters of Charity have been subjected to the “most appalling vilification”. If that is so, it makes it all the more astonishing that they have not made a statement or clarified their position.
Doctors, St Vincent’s Hospital board members. and politicians of every hue have all forecast how the new National Maternity Hospital will be run but only the nuns really know.
It is time for them to speak out.
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