DUBLIN (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Irish political leader is calling for all Catholic hospitals to be taken over by the state.
Irish Republican Party (Fianna Fáil) leader Micheál Martin is suggesting that since the government has been funding Catholic-run hospitals, it should be able to take possession of them.
Others have expressed concern that religious orders, who administer hospitals like Mater and St. Vincent's hospitals in Dublin, "forbid the provision of modern contraceptive services, IVF, sterilisation operations and gender reassignment surgery."
Martin spoke with "Today" show host Sean O'Rourke and commented:
In my view, any area in education or health, where fundamentally the State has made a large investment and continued to make the investment for over 30 or 40 years, when that comes to an end, the utilization of that facility for those purposes, I think those facilities should then revert to the State.
Some hospitals have already been turned over to the Irish government but still carry the stipulation that procedures conducted at the hospital cannot violate Church teaching.
The Sisters of Mercy sold Mater hospital to the government in 2001, which still holds to the sisters' ethos to respect "human dignity, respecting the sacredness of human life and the dignity and uniqueness of each person."
Both Martin and J.P. Rogers, another guest on the show, referred to the ongoing investigation in Tuam of the Mother and Son home where the remains of nearly 800 infant bodies were uncovered. Martin is adding to the highly-sensationalized anti-Catholic bias over the current investigation into what happened there between 1925–1961.
Rodgers had spent some time at the Mother and Son home as a child before it closed. He does not think the investigation will yield anything useful, commenting, "I do realise some people may feel aggrieved and they are entitled to their views, but a criminal investigation into these deaths is pie in the sky." He continued, "Common sense has to prevail. Any survivors of that time in the Bon Secours order would be very elderly and not in a position to be interviewed on this."
The story, however, is being called "sensational" and not just by Church Militant. Since the media picked up on the story in 2014 and fomented a flurry of anti-Catholic sentiment, even secular media sources have called for a more measured reading of the facts.
Brendan O'Neill, an atheist who wrote an op-ed piece for The Irish Times, asserting, "I have no interest in defending the Catholic Church. I want to defend science, rationalism and approach history in a measured way."
He commented, "But the mawkish discussion of Tuam, the transformation of it into fodder for tabloid outrage and ostentatious emoting on Twitter, is an ugly spectacle."
He further noted, "There is something deeply disturbing, ghoulish even, in the media and political discussion of the Tuam mother and baby home."