Bishop Denis Nulty to celebrate mass on final day of Portlaoise Parish Novena
A Catholic Bishop and Disocesan admistrator who oversee the majority of Laois parishes have signed up to a group statement of Irish Bishops in response to the shocking findings in Tuam and emerging revelations at other Mother and Baby homes run by the church.
While Portlaoise's Parish priest has told parishioners the church is "ashamed" of what has emerged in Tuam, the Bishop of Kildare & Leighin Denis Nulty deferred to a joint statement from the Irish Bishops conference. Monsignor Michael Ryan, as Diocesan Administrator for Ossory is also co-signature of the statement.
In it the Bishops say the "appalling story of life, death and adoptions related to Mother and Baby Homes has shocked everyone in Ireland and beyond these shores". They said that 'sadly', it is a reminder of a time when unmarried mothers were frequently judged and rejected.
"We remember in prayer the deceased who suffered so much and their loved ones who continue to experience emotional and psychological hurt," said the statement.
The reiterated 2014 position which stated that the "culture of isolation and social ostracising was harsh and unforgiving".
The Bishops said that the way forward is "to seek the truth", to reveal and address the damage of the past, and to the best of our ability, ensure that mothers and children are cherished and respected and never stigmatised again.
They said it is also critical for Ireland, as a society, to thoroughly examine this dimension of our social history and to consider the legacy it has left us as a people.
The Bishops said that is also important at parish level to ensure that burial sites are appropriately marked so that the deceased and their families will be recognised with dignity and never be forgotten.
Priests have addressed the matter on a number of occasions during the Portlaoise Parish Novena. During the Ceremony of Light Ceremony for Confirmation candidates at the start of the Novena in Portlaoise, Msgr John Byrne, told families that "we as a church are ashamed" of the "harshness" revealed in Tuam.
Bishop Nulty will be in Portlaoise Parish this week for Confirmation and the closing day of the Novena.