I welcome the publication of the report into the Mother and Baby Homes. This report, and those like it, which explore our painful past make for extremely disturbing reading. They reveal deep wounds, and bring to light the profound injustices perpetrated against the vulnerable in our society over a long period of time – against women and children whose lives were regarded as less important than the lives of others. The silence which surrounded this shameful time in the history of our land had long needed to be shattered. The pain of those who were hidden away must be heard; those once largely without a voice now can speak clearly to our world, and we need to listen, even when what we hear pierces to the heart.
I welcome, therefore, the actions of our Government and of the Commission that has made this possible. These voices must be heard, but hearing, while important, is not enough. The grievous failures of our past have been laid bare. A genuine response is required: ours – as a Church and a society – can only be a full apology, without any reservation. There should never have been a time for avoidance and facile solutions. This country, the Church, our communities and families are better places when the light of truth and healing are welcomed. May the Lord’s compassion be the touchstone of our response. May the light of Christ bring healing to all.
Archbishop Elect of Dublin and Administrator of Ossory
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