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Archaeologists search for unbaptized babies' grave

Andrew49

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Archaeologists began searching Tuesday for unmarked mass graves containing hundreds of unbaptized babies and infants buried by the Catholic Church on the edge of a Belfast cemetery. Unlike many other Christian churches, the Catholic Church teaches that baptism is essential for a soul to enter heaven and therefore the ritual must take place as near to birth as possible.

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silvernut

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Of all the dispassionate, brutal acts the church has perpetrated on it's own people on this island, that must be one of the worst.

Savage bastards.
 

Truth.ie

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This happened all over Ireland and not just Belfast.
Really don't see the point of archeologists digging up the corpses though, unless some developer is building there or something.
They should remain in site, and maybe have some religious ceremony, giving the Church a chance to redeem themselves by blessing the graves.
 

Geekzilla

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This happened all over Ireland and not just Belfast.
Really don't see the point of archeologists digging up the corpses though, unless some developer is building there or something.
They should remain in site, and maybe have some religious ceremony, giving the Church a chance to redeem themselves by blessing the graves.
Perhaps the relatives want to know where the remains are to put a memorial there.

Then again, maybe the ceremony requires more accurate knowledge of the location of remains than there is now.
 

silvernut

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Reading the article the intent seems to be to identify the grave and reincorporate it into the cemetery thereby giving the relatives a little peace.
 

Mar Tweedy

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The Ulster Wildlife Trust — which in 2001 acquired the supposedly unused land from Milltown Cemetery in a 999-year lease deal — says it will transfer any land found to contain graves back to the cemetery
That seems to be the point of it. There'll be no digging up or identification of the Remains according to the article. Good for the parents and relatives for pushing for this. How sad.
 

Geekzilla

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One quote from the article makes very rough reading:



A sample of possible questions:
What happened? Were there no records to show that the land contained graves? Why not? Who took the decision to sell? Have such sales taken place of parts of the 'consecrated ground' of the graveyard? Were any relatives consulted? What or who brought the issue to light?
Very good questions indeed.
 

Truth.ie

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I'd say the majority are still born deaths. Without being macabre, considering the soil type, duration passed, and the bone development, I doubt here is much left. Better to leave them where they are, and consecrate the ground.
 

macdarawhitfield

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Very good questions indeed.
Former leader of Westminster Council,Lady Porter (nee Cohen of Tesco fame) sold three cemeteries for 15 pence to a friendly developer.The relatives managed to stop it, I believe.

Back on subject though; it should be easy enough to identify many of those graves from the placename Killeen,found in many parishes.From 'cillin' *- little church. Apparently the parents often left a cairn of stones on the grave so the infant would have his or her own consecrated ground,if not in the eyes of the church.

*Sorry ,fada on the blink again.
 

cakeordeath

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Archaeologists began searching Tuesday for unmarked mass graves containing hundreds of unbaptized babies and infants buried by the Catholic Church on the edge of a Belfast cemetery. Unlike many other Christian churches, the Catholic Church teaches that baptism is essential for a soul to enter heaven and therefore the ritual must take place as near to birth as possible.

Source
Unbelievable. So sad. On top of it all I cant help but think too of the whole Limbo-Line they would have fed the grieving parents.Limbo was a despicable threat put out there by the Catholic church.It terrified me as a child. Imagine ,all those babies ,not allowed to go to Heaven because they were not baptised and we were asked to believe that they wouldn't go to the Hell of the damned either....but would spend an eternity in Limbo.Horrifying.

Only when the Catholic church realised that this was not looking good for newbies to the church in Africa did Benedict XV1 abolish it in April 2007...Just like that. There were too many babies dying before baptism and too many distraught new Catholics horrified at the concept of Limbo.

Imagine to be told that you would make it to Heaven, but your baby?

Thanks Andrew.
The Archaeologists will treat them with care.

May they rest in peace.
 

Andrew49

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The Church can take a running jump and not have anything to do with what happens here - they rejected these babies at birth and rejected their very brief lives and thought little, if at all, of the mothers who carried these babies for nine months. Proves the point to me that the Church is more caring about the non-existent [read UNBORN] than about the living - however brief that living is!
 

5intheface

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Just behind my own house, in the middle of a peat bog, there is a small hump of ground known as the 'Dead Island' in which there are said to be the bodies of hundreds of unbaptised dead babies. A couple of years ago, a Protestant neighbour told me that the local Parish Priest had asked him to show him where the spot was before he retired from the parish.

Twenty five years he was the PP and he never did get around to visiting the spot. He did however, manage quite a few farewell parties and collections. I have no faith but would have thought that the Church might have managed at least a blessing of the ground for the sake of the families, especially considering they taught their flock that the children were in 'Limbo' before casually dropping their belief that it even existed.
 

Ah Well

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This happened all over Ireland and not just Belfast.
Really don't see the point of archeologists digging up the corpses though, unless some developer is building there or something.
They should remain in site, and maybe have some religious ceremony, giving the Church a chance to redeem themselves by blessing the graves.
Yes, it certainly occurred nationwide. It was also not uncommon for unbaptised children to be buried at crossroads.

One example - in the Kilmichael area of West Cork is an area presently called Crossnalanniv (anglicized) : Irish version is Cros na Leanbh (children's crossroads) and this was a burial place for unbaptised infants. I sometimes think when passing crossroads in rural west Cork if they were used for similar purpose - some certainly were.

There's also a scene in the film "The Field" where Bull McCabe (Richard Harris) hops over the cemetery wall to a grave outside, which was that of his unbaptised Son - this practice was very common. Imagine having to do that to pay your respects to a deceased child, treated like a 2nd class person lying in a grave outside the graveyard. Despicable.
 

Ah Well

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Just behind my own house, in the middle of a peat bog, there is a small hump of ground known as the 'Dead Island' in which there are said to be the bodies of hundreds of unbaptised dead babies. A couple of years ago, a Protestant neighbour told me that the local Parish Priest had asked him to show him where the spot was before he retired from the parish.

Twenty five years he was the PP and he never did get around to visiting the spot. He did however, manage quite a few farewell parties and collections. I have no faith but would have thought that the Church might have managed at least a blessing of the ground for the sake of the families, especially considering they taught their flock that the children were in 'Limbo' before casually dropping their belief that it even existed.
Limbo - what a fng joke. I guess this was where everybody who lived decent lives but died many thousands of years ago also ended up :rolleyes:
 

Andrew49

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macdarawhitfield wrote:
Apparently the parents often left a cairn of stones on the grave
.. which predates christianity.
 

Ah Well

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macdarawhitfield wrote:

.. which predates christianity.
Not necessarily - I would imagine that they couldn't leave a cross at the grave as the Church wouldn't have been too happy with the use of this for a non-member so a cairn of stones would make perfect sense to mark the spot where their child was buried
 

Lidl_Shopper

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Unbaptized babies were never buried in consecrated ground. The purpose of a funeral Mass is to mitigate the suffering of that soul in purgatory and/or lessen his stay there. Babies, being incapable of personal sin, could not be in purgatory. Ergo, a funeral mass would have been entirely useless for their souls.

Limbo has not been 'gotten rid of'. It was never doctrine in the first place. It was an attempt to explain the eternal destination of souls who died without personal sin but were still born in original sin. Essentially it was a theological hypothesis and Catholics were at liberty to believe or repudiate it. Catholics can believe in it still, and the report by the International Theological Commission (which maintained that such babies will end up in Heaven) is not binding on anyone. The belief that strict baptism is necessary for salvation is known as feenyism. It is not official Church doctrine. It was commonly presumed in pre-1960 Ireland that the soul of the unbaptized baby went there. Limbo was popularized in Ireland by its inclusion in the Penny Catechism but it was never a doctrine of the Church. Having never been guilty of personal sin and having died before their baptism, unbaptized babies are outside 'the domain' of the Church and it is not her purpose to judge them.
 

Odyessus

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What a horrible, petty, point-scoring, gutty little post.


On the contrary, it's a very perceptive point. If we are to judge the practices of the past by our present standards, why may not future generations judge our practices by their standards, whatever they may be?
 

ArtyQueing

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Archaeologists began searching Tuesday for unmarked mass graves containing hundreds of unbaptized babies and infants buried by the Catholic Church on the edge of a Belfast cemetery. Unlike many other Christian churches, the Catholic Church teaches that baptism is essential for a soul to enter heaven and therefore the ritual must take place as near to birth as possible.

Source
wrong on every count
 


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