Irish shocker: Official McAleese Report found not a single incident of sexual abuse by a nun in a Magdalene laundry. Not one.

In the Irish mind, and in the minds of everyone else who has seen or read one of the many films, plays and books about the Magdalene laundries, these were horrific institutions brimming with violence and overseen by sadistic, pervy nuns.

Yet the McAleese Report found not a single incident of sexual abuse by a nun in a Magdalene laundry. Not one. Also, the vast majority of its interviewees said they were never physically punished in the laundries. As one woman said, “It has shocked me to read in papers that we were beat and our heads shaved and that we were badly treated by the nuns… I was not touched by any nun and I never saw anyone touched.”

The small number of cases of corporal punishment reported to McAleese consisted of the kind of thing that happened in many normal schools in the 1960s, 70s and 80s: being caned on the legs or rapped on the knuckles.

The authors of the McAleese Report, having like the rest of us imbibed the popular image of the Magdalene laundries as nun-run concentration camps, seem to have been taken aback by “the number of women who spoke positively about the nuns”.

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  1. Conflicting reports regarding this chapter in Church history are merely additional evidence of what I consider God’s fundamental modern punishment of the Church militant. What do I mean by “punishment”? The sowing of widespread confusion and seeming contradiction throughout the world: in which the modern Church has sought to become “relevant” by striving for full-fledged membership. (The papal Twitter account is a jejune, but not irrelevant, additional example of my point.)

    But–as we all know–you do not “join” the world. If you choose the world, you serve it; and in so doing, reject God by refusing or neglecting to serve Him.

    The irony, of course, is that God did not sow all this confusion; His own people did. It is our 21st century AD Tower of Babel: an edifice built by us either because we no longer found God relevant, or because we were sure we could do better than He.

    The continuous consequences of our hubris are devastating.

  2. Well, we are building our modern version of the Tower of Babel!
    The humans are rejecting God! Look at the E.U. ! Even, their headquarters is an architectural resemblance of the “Spiral Tower of Babel!”
    Look online at the first Posters of the European Union, it was the Tower Revisited!
    The article about Abusive Nuns pales to what’s happening now, but is certainly a good reference!

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