Magdalene Sisters


#1

I just watched a film called “The Magdalene Sisters” which is about the abuse and incarceration of girls accused of sexual and other moral improprieties. It was horrifying to think that these torturous and demeaning conditions were endured by nearly 30,000, all at the hands of nuns and priests.
During the film and at the conclusion, my husband remarked that nothing has changed and that the attitude and treatment still exists, i.e. contemporary molestation of youngsters by priests.
How can I refute this? How can I justify my efforts to become RC when I am faced with this documentation?
Help anyone?:blessyou:


#2

My question to you - if you are thinking of converting, why would you let a film be your refuting reason? Aren’t films meant to tell a story or entertain in some way. The story being told is primarily from one side and maybe possibly embellished for sensationalism.

I’m not saying this didn’t happen - I am only saying that a movie isn’t the best source.
Don’t let this be your determining factor. Let the Spirit be your guide.


#3

Apparently many of these things did happen. However, you might find this interesting:

[font=Arial]

Peter Mullan [the director] was raised Catholic but in interviews has stated that he has considered himself a Marxist from his teenaged years, and has described belief in heaven and hell as “nonsense” and “the whole notion of celibacy” as “nuts” and “perverse.” Additionally, he has drawn an incendiary analogy between the nuns who ran the Magdalene asylums and the Taliban, presumably in connection with how each treated the women under their control (remarks that apparently were misquoted and misrepresented, especially on the Internet, as broadly equating the Taliban and the Catholic Church).

Mullan claims that his film isn’t meant to be anti-Catholic, but is meant to expose the victimization of young women by a certain phenomenon in the Church. Nevertheless, he freely acknowledges his animosity toward his Catholic upbringing, and admits that he brought his prejudices and sympathies to this project.

Perhaps he didn’t consciously set out to make an anti-Catholic film. D. W. Griffith didn’t set out to make a racist film, but it doesn’t make Birth of a Nation any less racist.

So while many of these events actually took place, we are indeed only getting one (particularly biased) side of the story. The full commentary goes into much more detail. You can decide for yourself what to think about the film. In any event, I wouldn’t let this one film cause you to question to enter the Catholic Church. After all, the actions of certain individuals shouldn’t be made representative of the Church.
[/font]


#4

Well, let’s put it this way. Are you planning on joining a FAITH, whose practitioners run the gamut from good to bad, or are you planning on joining a PEOPLE, whose members run the gamut from good to bad?

If you’re planning on joining a faith, it is the faith that matters. You would, indeed, expect that all other members would “fall short” of total perfection in following a faith that is God-given, since only God is perfect. Hopefully, every time that one “fell”, he or she would repent, pick himself/ herself up, and start over again on the course to God.

If you’re planning on joining a people, then, of course, you would want to join up with only those people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect, and wonderful, throughout all time.

But I have to tell you. . .you’ll never, never, never find a people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect and wonderful.

You CAN find a faith that is totally perfect and good. . .but you’ll never find its practitioners themselves to be totally perfect and good.

And a film is hardly “documentation” of a faith.

Does God become “LESS GOD” when one of His followers sins?


#5

I’ve been Catholic all my life and I used to try and hide myself from not-so-pretty aspects of church history. I’m tired of doing this. The realization that I’ve come to is that all christian churches have had things happen that aren’t very flattering. When something bad happens in the Catholic church, it’s put up on billboards and talked about in every newspaper and every beauty shop and from every protestant pulpit. Recently, the minister of the most prominent Baptist church in my hometown was forced to resign because while on a trip to a pastors’ conference, he visited a strip club, was caught masturbating, and was put in jail. This was the same man who taught in his Sunday school classes that the Catholic church was a cult. People tend to forget that bad things have happened in the protestant churches, as well, and will continue to happen.I know things about past popes (particularly some of the medieval popes) that would make your hair stand on end . . . but does that change the fact that I am a believing Catholic? No. Christ said the gates of hell would not prevail against His church, but he didn’t say that Satan wouldn’t try.

Keep praying, and God bless you.


#6

Well, let’s put it this way. Are you planning on joining a FAITH, whose practitioners run the gamut from good to bad, or are you planning on joining a PEOPLE, whose members run the gamut from good to bad?

If you’re planning on joining a faith, it is the faith that matters. You would, indeed, expect that all other members would “fall short” of total perfection in following a faith that is God-given, since only God is perfect. Hopefully, every time that one “fell”, he or she would repent, pick himself/ herself up, and start over again on the course to God.

If you’re planning on joining a people, then, of course, you would want to join up with only those people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect, and wonderful, throughout all time.

But I have to tell you. . .you’ll never, never, never find a people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect and wonderful.

You CAN find a faith that is totally perfect and good. . .but you’ll never find its practitioners themselves to be totally perfect and good.

And a film is hardly “documentation” of a faith.

Does God become “LESS GOD” when one of His followers sins?


#7

Yes, I did read that material. Regarding my allowing a film, meant to be entertainment, to dictate my views on past events, this was not the case. Some films are informational and present the opportunity to discuss what is truthful and what is not. Controversy I think they call it.
I have not personally witnessed anything like the material presented in the film. I prefer not to evaluate anything based on secondhand knowledge. Like many prospective Catholics, my decisions affect not only myself, but family relationships.
I am not looking for perfect people. I am recovering from a religion that demands perfection, offering no grace. This is not a rational expectation of any creature. Thank you for your replies.


#8

[quote=Tantum ergo]Well, let’s put it this way. Are you planning on joining a FAITH, whose practitioners run the gamut from good to bad, or are you planning on joining a PEOPLE, whose members run the gamut from good to bad?

If you’re planning on joining a faith, it is the faith that matters. You would, indeed, expect that all other members would “fall short” of total perfection in following a faith that is God-given, since only God is perfect. Hopefully, every time that one “fell”, he or she would repent, pick himself/ herself up, and start over again on the course to God.

If you’re planning on joining a people, then, of course, you would want to join up with only those people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect, and wonderful, throughout all time.

But I have to tell you. . .you’ll never, never, never find a people who, at all times, are totally good, perfect and wonderful.

You CAN find a faith that is totally perfect and good. . .but you’ll never find its practitioners themselves to be totally perfect and good.

And a film is hardly “documentation” of a faith.

Does God become “LESS GOD” when one of His followers sins?
[/quote]

That was awesome. In your usual form, Tantum. Thanks for your wisdom and insight.


#9

[quote=mochi]I just watched a film called “The Magdalene Sisters” which is about the abuse and incarceration of girls accused of sexual and other moral improprieties. It was horrifying to think that these torturous and demeaning conditions were endured by nearly 30,000, all at the hands of nuns and priests.
During the film and at the conclusion, my husband remarked that nothing has changed and that the attitude and treatment still exists, i.e. contemporary molestation of youngsters by priests.
How can I refute this? How can I justify my efforts to become RC when I am faced with this documentation?
Help anyone?:blessyou:
[/quote]

I haven’t seen the movie, but the following “perspective” questions come to mind

  1. Did all 30,000 who went through the asylums suffer “torturous and demeaning conditions”? Were all the asylums rotten from the beginning? Or did any of the girls gain some benefit from their stays there?

  2. Did these asylums reflect something of the thinking of their time, and/or of the culture in which they existed?

  3. Were such asylums a general feature of Catholicism, or a specific “wart” in time and/or place?

  4. What good did the Catholic Church do during the same period? How does the good done by Catholic charities and organizations compare to the bad?

  5. Will organizations and methods we now approve of likewise be reviled (rightly or wrongly) in 100 or 200 years?


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.