Catholic League’s Bill Donohue: The Irish Mass Grave Scandal is “Fake News”

When news broke over the weekend that a children’s home, run by the Bon Secours nuns in Ireland, was the site of a mass grave full of the remains of children, it was confirmation of a disturbing theory that researcher Catherine Corless suggested in 2014.

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The details are still murky, but here’s what a Commission assigned to investigate the matter and said about the location this weekend:

The Commission has completed two test excavations of the Galway site and today confirmed that “significant quantities of human remains have been discovered” in a structure which appears to be “related to the treatment/containment of sewerage and/or wastewater”.

There were remains found in at least 17 of the 20 chambers. A small number of the remains were recovered for testing. A scientific analysis has put the ages of the deceased at between 35 foetal weeks to two to three years old.

These are children who died in their care — and who were never reported to authorities at the time. The negligence is bad enough. This unceremonial dumping of toddlers is far worse.

So maybe you’re wondering, as I did, how the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue would respond to this. He’s like a Donald Trump defender: Always rejecting fair criticisms and always quick to defend the indefensible.

This time, he dismissed the entire story, calling it “fake news.” He says there’s no proof of a “mass grave” and therefore the whole story should be ignored. He expresses no sympathy for the children who died.

The statement issued by the Mother and Baby Commission never mentions anything about a mass grave. Having completed a test excavation of the Tuam site, it found “significant quantities of human remains” in most of the underground sewage chambers. “These remains involved a number of individuals with age-at-death ranges from approximately 35 foetal weeks to 2-3 years.”

Mass graves. Sexually assaulted women. Children stolen. It is all a lie. It’s about time this non-stop assault on truth and the Catholic Church stopped before no one believes anything the media tell us anymore about all matters Catholic.

So… we’re arguing definitions? If it’s not a “mass grave,” it’s still human remains in underground sewage chambers. Donohue doesn’t deny that. And yet he claims the whole story is a lie because, I guess, there’s no big bucket of baby parts. They’re a little more spread out than that.

Sure. And millions of people voted illegally in November.

What Donohue is doing here would be unbelievable if it wasn’t him at the center of it. Without challenging the core part of the story, he goes ahead and calls it fake anyway, because he doesn’t like what it says about a particular group of Catholics. Any news that makes his people look bad is, by definition, fake.

Don’t fall for it. Unless there’s a report that says this is all a hoax — and that hasn’t happened yet — this really happened. The story really is that disturbing. And it really does reflect poorly on the Catholic Church and how they cared for children for decades in the twentieth century.

At least one Irish official can’t believe what Donohue’s saying.

Independent councillor for Tuam Billy Connelly told the Irish Independent he cannot understand how anyone could denounce the evidence already presented.

He said: “I can’t see how he could make a statement like this. The evidence on what they found is pretty well solid. What’s in that mass grave and talking to local people is unquestionable. That’s the first time I have heard anyone come up with a conspiracy to this. The facts are there and it’s very insulting.

You would think Donohue could at least say his heart goes out for all the children who died, no matter the reason, but to do that, he’d need to find a heart first.

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.