Mother and Baby Homes report

    Mother and Baby Homes report:
    I welcome the publication of the Mother & Baby Homes Report. As a Church leader
    today, I accept that the Church was clearly part of that culture in which people were
    frequently stigmatized, judged and rejected. For that, and for the long-lasting hurt
    and emotional distress that has resulted, I unreservedly apologise to the survivors
    and to all those who are personally impacted by the realities it uncovers.
    Mindful of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which calls us to protect life and dignity and to
    treat everyone – especially little children and all who are vulnerable – with love,
    compassion and mercy, I believe the Church must continue to acknowledge before
    the Lord and before others its part in sustaining what the Report describes as a
    “harsh … cold and uncaring atmosphere”.
    The Commission’s Report helps to further open to the light what was for many years
    a hidden of our shared history and it exposes the culture of isolation, secrecy and
    social ostracizing which faced “unmarried mothers” and their children in this
    Together we must ask “How could this happen?” We must identify, accept and
    respond to the broader issues which the Report raises about our past, present and
    Above all we must continue to find ways of reaching out to those whose personal
    testimonies are central to this Report. They have shown determination in bringing
    to light this dark chapter in the life of Church and society. We owe it to them to take
    time to and reflect on the findings and recommendations of the Report, and commit
    to doing what we can to help and support them. The Report makes it clear that
    many are still learning about their personal stories and searching for family
    members. The rights of all survivors to access personal information about themselves
    should be fully respected and I again urge the State to ensure that any remaining
    obstacles to information and tracing should be overcome.
    This report will stir many emotions as it further uncovers disturbing and painful
    truths about our past. I commend those who have fought to have this story told and
    I thank those who have already been supporting survivors through various
    organisations and providing a platform for their voices to be heard.
    Eamon Martin
    (Primate of All Ireland)