Archbishop: Religious orders must ensure truth comes out
THE leader of the Catholic Church in Tuam has called on the religious orders who ran mother and baby homes throughout Ireland to contribute to the inter-departmental inquiry into the burial arrangements of children in these homes to "ensure that the truth comes out".
Speaking in Castlebar, Co Mayo, following the ordination of Fr Sean Flynn, Archbishop Michael Neary told the Irish Independent that he "welcomed" the inquiry and expressed the hope that it would "get to the truth of what has been taking place".
"This is a time for transparency. Our diocese is committed to transparency and for that reason, all who have been involved in the management of those homes throughout the country have a responsibility to contribute to the inquiry and ensure that the truth comes out," he said. He also apologised to those who had been sent to mother and baby homes.
"As a minister of the church, I apologise to the people who are hurt and have suffered and who are pained by this. We must think about them at this time," he added. Asked about the impact on the diocese of the revelations concerning the possible burial of up to 800 children in the grounds of what was formerly a home run by the Sisters of the Bon Secours in Tuam, Archbishop Neary told the Irish Independent: "It is not just a church problem.
"While the church has very definite responsibility, the church is part of society and it is also a societal problem."
The senior clergyman said it was "a challenge for society to reflect on and repent for" the way women and children who were sent to these homes were looked on in the past.