When I was a child, aged around 9, I was captivated by a story covered on RTE News. It ran for about three days and gave a detailed account of (and I hesitate to use the word for fear of losing your attention) 'Paranormal' happenings that had been occurring in a residential building within viewing distance, no more than 200 yards from my home in Westside, Galway (are you still there? good! Because this blog isn't directly about Ghosts)
It was an unusual subject matter to see covered by the network in question, at the time in question, and at my age - a terrifying one! I remember seeing photographs on the report from the inside of the house, an abandoned shell of a home - broken glass, ash, shattered pieces of wood, torn up photographs and rags scattered among each other on the floor. The floors and walls stained and bruised from the onslaught of forceful and violent attacks from an unknown, and seemingly sinister, energy. Something like this:
I never forgot it, I was fascinated by it and although it scared me, I was so interested in what was going on. The real juice of the story was not in the haunting itself, but the story that was uncovered indirectly as a result of the paranormal activity. It came to light that a baby had been buried in the land underneath the house back in the 1890's. The baby belonged to a Priest and Nun who, out of desperation and fear of being discovered and excommunicated, had murdered the baby and tried to hide the whole thing by going far, far out of town (now a heavily populated suburban area) and burying the body of their baby.
When I saw this as a kid, I remember thinking how sad it was that they were in love with each other and couldn't celebrate either the beauty of true love, or the beauty of a baby, for fear of going to hell - but would make the choice to commit murder instead!?! Didn't get it…
In recent days, these memories have been coming back and I've been exploring these ideas again but from a far more disturbing place.
I read a few days ago that charges have been initiated against the Pope for crimes against humanity after recent cases of Nuns being raped by Priests (in 23 different of countries) were acknowledged by the church. As we all know, this follows an endless, ENDLESS list of cases documenting the habitual rape of children by members of the church and although it probably sounds strange, I was much more shocked and em, I guess.. stunned, when I read about the priests raping NUNS! Perhaps it was due to some sort of desensitisation from over-exposure to the cases relating to children, or my memories of the story back in Galway and my immediate assumption as a child that the ecclesiastical couple made a baby out of Love, the idea of a priest raping a nun never ever came into the equation for me!
I instantly began thinking of all the nuns who taught me throughout school, had any of them been raped?
Would this be some kind of explanation for their generally bitter behavior, the reason for them spitting harsh and humiliating comments at us daily..
"I know what's wrong with you, you're from a broken home"
"Are you slow? You're like a lazy lump, are you retarded? Are you?"
"Stop all this laughing and fidgeting! You need a cross - some day you'll have a cross to bare and you won't be laughing then!" - they were the most common ones I got..
Anyway, most of the rape cases between priests and nuns occurred (and are occurring) in Africa, with men who would previously have visited prostitutes but have taken the vow of celibacy resort to raping nuns in order to avoid contracting the AIDS virus - the AIDS virus which is so rapidly spreading, no thanks to the church for continuing to enforce the belief that anyone so much as looking at a condom is going to face an eternity in HELLLLL!!!!! Awful…..
Not only, this.. but many of these cases of rape immediately become cases of MURDER as nuns who become pregnant (from no fault of their own) resort to murdering the baby in a desperate attempt to preserve their vocation.
Until the 40's, under cannon law, nuns were not even permitted to be involved on any level with child-birth or any related medical issues as it would effect their vow of chastity (!?) but as they began to travel outward into the world on the Missions, they were witnessing so many mothers dying while giving birth in these under developed places that eventually the law had to be changed so they were allowed to help with basic mid-wifery skills, medicines and prevent as many deaths of mothers and babies as possible. Would it be right perhaps for the law to be changed so as to allow nuns themselves to have babies and prevent them feeling like the only option is to murder a baby after birth or perform a makeshift abortion behind convent walls after being raped?
ugh.. gosh, writing this is giving me a huge big LUMP in my throat.. how terribly sad and horrendous! and wrong...
I think I need to stop now, I also can't stop thinking how much the word 'nun' looks like 'mum'.