"Philomena" and Children of Magdalene Laundries

From A Woman's Point of View Dec 05 2013 10:00AM - 11:00AM Add to Calendar

A movie that I think outstanding has opened in our area. "Philomena" is based on the true story of Philomena Lee, a young Irish girl who was forced into a Magdelene-like laundry institution because she was pregnant. Forced to work 24/7 to repent for her sin of pregnancy, Philomena loved her child and was heartbroken when the nuns took him from her and he was adopted by an American couple. Philomena, played by Judi Dench, 50 years later decided she had to know what had happened to her son - did he ever think of her? did he remember her? She had thought of him every single day, never stopped loving him. http://philomenamovie.com/ What do you know of the Magdalene laundries? The last one did not close until 1996. In 2005 one Magdalene site was sold and questions arose when 150 unmarked graves were found. Who were these women? No names. We will talk to two of the women who were adopted from "laundry women" and now live in the U.S. MARI STEED, U.S. coordinator for "Justice for Magdalene" and CATHERINE DEASY who lives in Florida will talk about their experiences. Give a listen to Joni Mitchell's "Magdalene Laundries." It's on a Chieftain album, "Tears of Stone," frequently played during the holidays. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_KK6qOlb30

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I heard Mari Steed on NPR yesterday, Feb. 28th. I wanted to call in with a question but was unable to since I had an appointment. My question is this; What was or still is in Irish society that these laundries and the treatment of women would be tolerated. Surely it's not because Ireland is predominately Catholic. Look at Italy, Poland and France. There are many Catholic countries in the world where single women are not treated in this manner. Is it a carryover from the Puritans? I'd appreciate any insight anyone has.