Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



What would you call a group that imprisons pregnant women at slave labor in unpaid workhouses, indistinguishable from debtor’s prisons in that you can’t get out until you pay an impossible amount? All without the slightest due process of law? What would you call a group that forces pregnant women to undergo childbirth without pain medication of any sort, and without the presence of a doctor or even a nurse, thus causing the deaths of uncounted mothers and babies? Still don’t get it? Then what would you call a group that sells the resulting babies, without the consent of the mothers, to rich couples from a foreign land for one thousand pounds? And later deliberately destroys all the records, making it impossible for the birth mothers to ever find their stolen and sold children?

Kidnappers? Slavers? Human traffickers?

All of the above, plus a better known name: The Roman Catholic Church. (It was the Irish branch of these international mobsters who perpetrated this crime against humanity, and the Irish nuns in particular, but we all know the priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes were engaged in their own felonies and cover-up of felonies, including “Saint”—I can’t write that without laughing bitterly—John Paul II.)

Philomena Lee gave birth to Anthony in 1952, and the boy was stolen from her in 1955 and sent to an American family. On the fiftieth anniversary of this crime, she decided she wanted to track down her baby. She enlisted the aid of a reporter, played by Steve Coogan. They are quite an odd couple, she with her devotion to working-class stuff that he despises, he with his cynical outlook on life. The chase takes them to America, where they soon find the boy died some years ago, of AIDS. He was that oddest of things, a gay Republican, and quite high in the Reagan administration. It seems he never expressed an interest in finding his birth mother.

Only that wasn’t true. The poor guy went to Ireland when he was dying, and the disgusting hag that ran the place blew him off. When Philomena and the reporter confront the stinking bitch in her wheelchair she is totally unrepentant. And this is where I got really pissed off with Philly. She forgave the miserable excuse for a woman.

Yeah, I know forgiveness is probably the best way to go … for misdemeanors. But there are felonies that are unforgivable. Since I don’t believe in God, I can’t rely on him to make it all legal after we’re dead. To me it’s a strong reminder that once the fucking Catholic Church gets its hooks into you, they never let go! Even in the face of horrible wrongs, there are those who forgive the Church. I’ll bet there are plenty of altar boys out there who were buggered by their priests for years, and have forgiven the buggers. Well, not me. I wouldn’t forgive, I don’t forgive, and I have no hesitation in saying so. Fuck them all.