Friday, 10 March 2017



CATHOLIC CHURCH APOLOGISTS will rush to tell you that Limbo was never a defined teaching of the Catholic Hierarchy.

BUT I'M SORRY APOLOGISTS when I grew up in the Ireland of the 1950's the nuns, the Un-Christian Brothers and the priests told me 100% that Limbo existed.

Many generations of Irish Catholics were led to believe by the Clergy that Limbo was a real place.

They told me that the sould of unbaptised babies went to Limbo.

They also told me that it was not a place of punishment.


And that the babies there WOULD NEVER GET TO HEAVEN  - and WOULD NEVER SEE GOD!

The clergy backed up that teaching with the practice of REFUSING TO BURY UNBAPTISED BABIES IN CONSECRATED GROUND!

That meant that in gardens and farms all over the country there were little mounds of earth containing babies who were "still born" but who died without being baptised.

I remember one farmer's wife telling me, in tears that every time she did her washing at the kitchen sink she looked out into her back garden and say four little graves of her four unbaptised babies.

She was beside herself with grief that unlike the mothers of baptised babies she could not entertain the hope of seeing her departed babies in heaven.

Tens of thousands of Irish women went through this state of broken-hearted-ness. 

This disgraced Father Paul Churchill of

 Dublin Archdiocese said that some people had told him about carpenters making little white coffins for dead Tuam babies.

I do not know if this is true. But if it is - is it possible that these were for the few babies who had died in the home after baptism and whose souls, according to the clergy, were in heaven?

But the bodies of the unbaptised babies who were not in heaven did not deserve a coffin.

They were simply wrapped in an old piece of cloth that made them look like a 3 litre Coke bottle and lined up in the sewerage tanks.

Apparently their DISPOSAL happened in the dead of night when the nuns would go to the chapel sacristy and open the dreaded door leading to the tanks where the Baby Coke Bottles were lined up like logs in a shed!

I wonder then if the TUAM HORROR was really an outcome of the sick doctrine of Limbo?

We know that various Catholic doctrines have been responsible for centuries to excuse the most heinous activities.


NB: Notice in this article from the Irish Times that when the nuns sold this second site the bodies of buried nuns were exhumed and reburied.

But not the bodies of babies - if they existed !

Calls have since been made for a preservation order to be placed on the grounds of a former Bon Secours hospital in Tuam because there might be a children’s burial ground at the location. It is in a separate location to the former mother and baby home.

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has been given planning permission to carry out an extensive redevelopment at the site of The Grove hospital in Tuam. The hospital was vacated by the order in 2001 when it was purchased by the HSE.

The HSE plans to refurbish it for mental health and early intervention services, but planning permission is conditional on archaeological monitoring of excavation work.

Noreen Meehan, who made a submission to Galway County Council on the planning application, is seeking an investigation of the site as she believes her sibling may be buried on the grounds. Ms Meehan says that her mother gave birth to a baby boy in the late 1950s who did not survive.

Several other people who believe they have infant relatives buried at the site have disputed the order’s contention that children who did not survive birth were returned to their families.

The order has said it cannot categorically state this happened in all cases. Members of the order who were buried on the grounds had their bodies exhumed and reinterred in Knock, Co Mayo, when the Bon Secours left the property.

In the Dáil, Independent TD Catherine Connolly sharply criticised the Taoiseach and said she was not sure whether Mr Kenny was completely and utterly out of his depth or whether he stuck to prepared scripts. She said she had specifically asked him about the publication of an interim report which Ms Zappone had since last September.

She added: “I am asking you now to confirm why it has not been published eight months later. What is in it that is so frightening ?”

She asked who had made the past “shameful”, as Mr Kenny had described it: “Who made it shameful to have what was natural, a pregnancy and a baby?”

She asked who had instituted the removal of the babies, not directly by the nuns in the middle of the night, but as a result of a visit from a priest or somebody doing their job.

Meanwhile, Minister for Housing Simon Coveney has warned that expanding the scope of the inquiry into mother and baby homes could delay findings in relation to Tuam.


If the Virgin Mary was ever in Knock - and that's a 64 million dollar question - I'm sure she would prefer to have the Tuam Babies buried there instead of the Tuam Nuns who disposed of their precious little bodies in the way they did.

Good always on the scaffold.
Evil always on the throne.
But God stands within the shadows.
Keeping watch upon HIS OWN.


  1. What a crock of shite.
    If I had to choose a belief about the afterlife it would be that of the feegles in Terry Pratchett's Discworld books. They believe they are already dead and in heaven.
    Imagine the effect that belief would have on the way you live your life!

  2. Bishop P, I agree totally. This evil Church teaching, on Limbo, WAS presented to Catholic children and adults as theological fact, NOT opinion. I remember this distinctly.

    A few years I discussed the issue with a priest, and he defended the Church on precisely the ground you mentioned in your post. His was a totally hollow defence, and Catholic Church hierarchs should be made to beg forgiveness from generations of Catholics for the psychological and spiritual torment this pseudo-theological crap caused them. But the suffering was unspeakably worse in the early Church. It was St Augustine who conceived this notion, about the souls of unbaptised children and adults...except he held that their souls were destined for Hell. His doctrinal filth held sway for centuries in the Church until the destination of these souls was upgraded from Hell to Limbo...but still short of Heaven.

    1. Many thousands (millions) mothers and fathers lived and died thinking they would never see their deceased children again. This was unspeakable pain.

    2. Yes, it was unspeakable pain. And my poor mother was one of those who suffered in this way after at least two miscarriages.

      Mothers in particulr lived in ever-present, neurotic fear that the children they carried in their wombs might die before baptism. It didn't seem to mitigate their fear much that the Church taught the sacramental contingency of Baptism by Desire. There was still the risk of gnawing doubt (certainly felt by my mother) that the desire for baptism might not have been strong enough to make baptismal grace present in the soul of a miscarried or stillborn child. It was a terrible psychological burden to place on women, especially at a time of natural vulnerability through pregnancy. And it was all so totally unnecessary.

      The lesson of this is obvious: if even Augustine, one of the Church Fathers and a Doctor of the Church, could conceive such theologically dangerous claptrap, then Catholics need to be extremely cautious about taking, at face value, other received Church teaching.

    3. It wasn't just the unbaptised babies who wouldn't get to heaven, it was anyone who had not been baptised a catholic. Heaven was reserved for Catholics!! Hindus, Jews, Muslims and the unwashed non-believers were destined for Limbo. Heaven was where the good Catholics went. When they got to the Pearly Gates I wonder how many actually got through. It might have been very empty.

    4. St Therese of Liseux did not accept the concept of Limbo.

    5. That is true! She utterly rejected it!

  3. Limbo went out with chocolate coal shovels. The church tries to be politically correct but are fighting a losing battle. They dont get the point when Jesus says Prostitutes and Sinners are getting into heaven before you guys. The legacy of what church and state have done is on the land as well as on the hearts of the people. The land can be fixed but the hearts will take a great deal longer to repair

  4. The matter of limbo brings up a question regarding whether the infants at the Taum Mother and Baby Home were routinely baptized. If they were, there would be a record of those baptisms. They would have been recorded either in the register of the nearest Catholic parish or the home may have maintained its own register. If the home had its own register, at the time the institution closed, that register would have either been sent to the parish in whose territory the home was located or to the archives of the archdiocese of Taum. Does anyone know if the children received the Sacrament of Baptism or not? If they were not baptized, then + Pat’s thoughts on limbo are likely on the mark.

  5. Hi Sean...... I see Frankie is encouraging married men into the priesthood now.
    Would you consider returning to our church now that we need you.

    1. He cant as he's no longer Roman Catholic Might as well ask Rev. Willie McCrea to celebrate Eucharist in either Armagh Cathedral

    2. If I returned I would be betraying the Anglicans who took me in challenged me to be realistic and treated me with respect. Anglicans recognise RC Orders. Also I don't know what the Mrs would say at this stage plus I ain't getting any younger

  6. Does that mean that Gay men who get married in Ireland can be priests?

    1. Only if they marry a woman !

    2. A Catholic priest who marries a woman is automatically dismissed from the priesthood, because he is not free to marry I.e. because he is a priest. In canonical terms 'stimulating' marriage. However if a priest married a man this would not be the case as the church does not recognise same sex marriage. It's unchartered territory in Canon law.

    3. Perhaps you meant 'simulating'. The correct term is 'attempting'.

  7. Married men are already being ordained Priests if we consider former Anglican (Church of England) Vicars and Bishops who became Catholic.

  8. Priests are anti married-clergy. If the pope announced in the morning that priests could marry, there wouldn't be a big queue of them to marry women anyway, whatever about marrying men!

    1. 20.38 Have you ever thought to ask what woman would marry a priest in today's Ireland-just asking

  9. Married clergy might provide the clergy with some quality normal testosterone. The Church in Ireland at the moment is a bit like a primary school with just female teachers, there's no masculine heterosexual role models. So even the priests who are straight-acting but gay still have those dreadful queeny traits that come out in their arguments. Good man Pope Francis, you're probably one of the few heterosexuals in the clergy.

  10. Married nuns wouldn't have let Tuam happen. Married priests wouldn't have drove mothers there. Married would have had paternal and maternal instincts as opposed to jealous, dried up tendencies which manifested itself in power and control.

  11. Why did the fathers of theses pregnant girls allow their daughters
    to be sent away.
    Where many of them the impregnators ? ?

    1. Not many, but some.

      Relations may have been responsible in some cases, too.

      The young women were generally blamed for these abuses. (Remember Ireland, like the Church, was heavily patriarchal.)

  12. Watching the late late now
    A man telling how his mother's parents were told by the pp that she was causing a scandal in the parish, no mention that the impregnator had to leave

  13. I think what Frankie is saying is
    That married men should/ could consider bring a priest as well as their day job
    I don't think already ordained priests should be looking for marriage....they far too much conditioned otherwise and should I dare to say M A L formed by the seminarian life

  14. brian redmond japan11 March 2017 at 09:12

    Pat, this is serious stuff. It's time we stopped messing around. In the 1950s my mother had a miscarriage on the kitchen floor when no on was home. We had no telephone, nor did the neighbors in those days. She had to take care of herself, and the dead baby was whisked away by the health services. Seeking some solace, my mother told our local priest. He told her that of she had poured water from the kichen tap on the baby's head i would have gone to Heaven. Now it was in limbo. She spent the rest of her life feeling guilty and mourning for a child she would never see again.
    This all comes from taking scripture literally. If we don't understand that to be born again of water and the spirit means a moral renewal, we are utterly stupid. We have enough information available now not to be stupid. So let's get on with it and leave the stupid and the stupidity behind. Use your religion as you see fit and ignore priests if they are stupid.

  15. Limbo was NEVER a doctrine of the Church. It was a theory of how the necessity of baptism to see heaven and the goodness of God could be reconciled. It still seems a good one to me, otherwise why baptise babies, or anyone for that matter?

  16. Married men are already being ordained Priests if we consider former Anglican (Church of England) Vicars and Bishops who became Catholic.
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