Monday 22 December 2014

Nuns believe orders are being 'demonised'

Claire McCormack

Published 11/06/2014 | 02:30

Sr Liz Deasy is a new nun at St Mary's Abbey Glencairn
Sr Liz Deasy is a new nun at St Mary's Abbey Glencairn

ONE of the country's newest nuns is horrified by the stories emerging from the mother and baby homes but believes an independent inquiry will not draw a line in the sand on the country's past.

Sr Liz Deasy (41) fears that even when the controversy over the latest scandal to rock the Catholic Church in Ireland subsides it will only be a matter of time before another emerges.

"I've no problem with an independent inquiry but it won't be the end. There will be something else, it's been going on since Bishop Casey and I'm already waiting for the next one to emerge," said Sr Liz, who entered the Cistercian community of St Mary's Abbey, Glencairn, Co Waterford last year.

Although she said the truth needed to come out, she thinks it will be difficult and confusing.

"I was horrified by the headlines but that was then, and this is now, and a lot of those women had nowhere else to go," said Sr Liz, who lives with 32 other nuns at St Mary's.

"The church ran orphanages, mother and baby homes and refuges that others couldn't provide and they were supposed to be a Christian charity, that's why these places were set up," she told the Irish Independent.

She said she empathised with the active orders that ran the homes and said they were being 'demonised by the media.'

Having only become a novice in January, Sr Liz said she delayed entering because she was afraid of being judged.

Sr Sarah Branigan (41) who is director of vocations at St Mary's Abbey Glencairn, an enclosed contemplative order, also welcomes the Commission of Inquiry.

"I think people feel the church isn't being honest and that its moral integrity has been undermined," said Sr Sarah, who is originally from Sandycove, Co Dublin.

"If the church does not speak up and actively support independent inquiries, I fear that the contributions of thousands of religious sisters, priests and brothers will continue to be held in question rather than be duly recognised for their generous and inspiring work."

Although both sisters said they were 'grieved' by the media coverage of the mother and baby home scandal, they don't think it will affect their current work and service.

Irish Independent

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