>ORF has reported on more church-related unpleasantness; not pedophilia, but the old “Magdalene Sisters” methods, horrors that just shouldn’t be.

(Translation mine.)

The woman was working as a nurse’s aide in a catholic institution for people with mental and physical disabilities in Innsbruck. By her second day at work, she had already begun to witness what kind of disciplinary measures were in use there.

“There were cold showers, straitjackets, curses, kicks, and the inmates were locked in the toilets for hours at a time. Once a child vomited, and was forced to eat his own vomit.”

The woman began to keep a journal of what she saw, of abuses from individual nurses. Five months later she tool her notes to the Juvenile Welfare Office and to other high regional offices, but found no one willing to listen.

“I thought they would be happy to have this information. Instead a man clapped me on the shoulder and said ‘Burn your journal and stop taking notes.’ The discussion were always about the people who worked there, whose actions were being unmasked by me, not about the helpless, severely abused children.”

Along with another witness willing to speak up, the woman turned to the media.

“Their primary reaction was that we were liars and traitors, and that we were trying to get money for this. Then I was told that I would never get a state government job again, and that the church wouldn’t help me train for other work.”

At age 22 the woman left Tirol for Vienna and trained there in social work. Ten years later she returned. She wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of being called names again, but the accusations she makes against herself are enough,

“feelings of shame and helplessness, because I had to admit to myself that I was paralyzed, and too weak [to continue to speak up].”

Her information led to no actions from the authorities — preliminary proceedings were abandoned for lack of proof. Some of the employees, then accused, are still working as medical caregivers.


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3 Responses to >Horrible.

  1. Minnie says:

    >Yes, I agree: women are as capable of cruelty as men. This is a given. However, who is in overall charge of the institution (and, of course, may be assumed to be aware of what is going on)?

  2. Marcellina says:

    >Did I say they were female caregivers? In fact, I don't know that at all. Her job description, in the original German, was Hilfspflegerin, which means she was a sort of nursing assistant. Which leaves the gender of the nurses wide open.Yes, the home was church-owned and of course the church is ultimately responsible. The worst part of this story, however, is that so many in the government simply turned a blind eye when confronted with this information.I likened the situation to the Magdalene Sisters because of the unspeakable abuse upon the children in an institution, not because of gender.

  3. yorktown says:

    >Regrettably child abuse is not unique to the Catholic Church. My father, a Presbyterian, abused me and my siblings without remorse. Oftentimes when he came home from work and my mother complained non-stop about our bad behavior, he routinely forced us to strip below the waist so he could whip us with his belt. Like most teenagers, I lipped off with regularity when I disagreed with my parents. At one point he slapped me so hard across the face, he broke my nose which bled all night. I was never taken to the doctor, much less a hospital. Only in my 20's when I saw an ENT for a severe sinus infection did I learn that my nose had been broken "sometime in the past" as the doctor revealed to me. In fact, the doctor inquired if I had ever been involved in a serious car accident. When I told him "no", only then did I realize the slap to my teen-age face had resulted in the breaking of my nose.When my sister was an adult in her early 20's, my father attempted a physical confrontation with her when he disagreed with her assessment that our mother needed psychiatric care. She was spared his wrath when my husband stepped in forcing my father to back away.Child abuse is pervasive and so indicative of an ill society. There is plenty of blame to go around. Of course, the media is focusing only on the Catholic Church at this point.

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