Associated Press Apologizes for Its Coverage of the Irish Orphanage Story

From the Seasons of Grace blog:

Associated Press Apologizes for Its Coverage of the Irish Orphanage Story
June 20, 2014 By Kathy Schiffer

Associated Press has issued an apology for its errant reporting regarding claims of a mass grave for children of unwed mothers on the grounds of Tuam Home, an Irish home for unwed mothers.

Since the disturbing story broke early this month regarding the Tuam Home for unwed mothers in Ireland, where 796 babies were purportedly “dumped into a septic tank”,  the Patheos bloggers have been on the case.

I had, early on, been concerned that the facts might not be as reported.  I didn’t blog about it here, but over on Facebook, we had a spirited discussion in which I encouraged people to relax and wait for facts:  Had the Irish Sisters been simply overwhelmed, with no one available to help them bury the bodies of the children who died?  Was the burial site, in fact, not a “septic tank” as AP reported, but a cylindrical brick burial chamber, common in Ireland at the time?  Were there really “no more than 20″ babies buried at that site?

Pia de Solenni has followed the horror story and reported carefully.  Deacon Greg Kandra reported as the story began to evolveFrank Weathers helped to clarify, as new reports emanated from Ireland where Catherine Corless, local historian, took issue with some of the early reports.  Rebecca Hamilton called on Catholics and everyone to wait patiently for the facts to sift out. 

Vox Wrote:I was pretty bummed that even Catholics, even some on this forum, bought into the early reports and didn't assume the best about our Church, and didn't take what the media say with a ton of skepticism. One person even got ticked and asked to have his account deleted after this exchange:

Vox Wrote:
Former Forum Member Wrote:Let me explain.

How can an allegedly divinely founded Church have a long history of this type of thing?  This isn't the first by a long shot, and it certainly won't be the last we hear of such things.  These weren't laywomen; these women were supposed to be trained religious - "Brides of Christ".  For more of this type of insanity, read the book The Throwaway Child by Suzanne Robertson.

"Allegedly"? This is a Catholic forum; be careful.

Former Forum Member Wrote:Anyway, what did these trained religious do? They cared for poor, abandoned illegitimate kids and didn't have a lot of resources to do so. Child mortality rates were high back then, and they were in that orphanage, too. When a kid died, they buried him.

Even if there were more to the story -- say the sisters took an axe to all the kids -- it doesn't change the fact that the Church is founded by Christ on the rock of St. Peter. Human beings are human beings; they're sinners, they're weak, they fail. Some even rape, murder and steal.

Former Forum Member Wrote:As it is, the latest that the atheists are using against the truth of the Church is that the God of the Old Testament is the greatest mass murderer in the history of the world.  How does one refute that?

"Greatest mass murderer in the history of the world"? Pointing out Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, etc. (God-haters all) is enough to refute that bit of silliness.

Former Forum Member's next post was: "Vox, do me a favor, delete my account or ban me. Thanks." (which I didn't do because I don't non-spammer delete accounts, and if people want to leave they can just leave without having to be banned). Anyway, I hope this person gets information and learns the real story, sees AP's apology, and doesn't leave Christ's Church because he believed LIES and didn't give the Church the benefit of the doubt, which he should have from the beginning. I wonder how many other people may have walked away from the Church, adding this lie to the stack of other lies they've been taught be the media --  lies about most priests being pedophiles (or even ephebophiles), the Church hating science, Galileo, the defensive wars known as the Crusades, the Inquisition that actually had the execution rate of the State of Texas, etc. ---  with this one being "the straw that broke the camel's back." May God forgive the lying bastards who harm people's faith!

Today, though, was the big day:  Today, after being challenged by America Magazine, Associated Press issued an apology for its skewed reporting.  The Associated Press correction read:
Quote:DUBLIN (AP) — In stories published June 3 and June 8 about young children buried in unmarked graves after dying at a former Irish orphanage for the children of unwed mothers, The Associated Press incorrectly reported that the children had not received Roman Catholic baptisms; documents show that many children at the orphanage were baptized. The AP also incorrectly reported that Catholic teaching at the time was to deny baptism and Christian burial to the children of unwed mothers; although that may have occurred in practice at times it was not church teaching. In addition, in the June 3 story, the AP quoted a researcher who said she believed that most of the remains of children who died there were interred in a disused septic tank; the researcher has since clarified that without excavation and forensic analysis it is impossible to know how many sets of remains the tank contains, if any. The June 3 story also contained an incorrect reference to the year that the orphanage opened; it was 1925, not 1926.
Now we wait.  Will Salon, the Washington Post, the New York Times, FoxNews and other media outlets which carried the incendiary reports follow suit and issue apologies and retractions?

Don’t hold your breath.


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