Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
The four orders that ran the Magdalene laundry laundries, The Mercy Sisters, the Sisters of Our Lady of Charity, the Sisters of Charity and the Good Shepherd Sisters, have stated they will not contribute to the redress fund for the victims of their institutions. Additionally, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has stated he cannot force the orders to contribute. In response, a victims group called Magdalene Survivors Together has demanded the government eliminate the charitable status of the orders and that they receive no more state funding.
To refuse to take responsibility for decades of abuse directly related to these religious institutions is utterly disgraceful. These women are entitled justice and receiving compensation from these orders would only be scratching the surface of what is needed to begin to recover.
We urge these religious “charities” to reexamine their decisions. By blatantly dodging responsibility, they are preventing the at least 600 women from beginning to truly heal. We also encourage the state to consider the plea from Magdalene Survivors Together and revoke theses orders’ charitable status until they are willing to cooperate with the redress for the Magdalene Laundry victims. Refusing to contribute is the opposite of charitable; it is callous and selfish.