July 17, 2020
By Nicole Winfield
The Vatican has indicated its support for a campaign to provide a proper Christian burial for hundreds of babies and toddlers by first exhuming their bodies from the grounds of a Catholic-run Irish home for unwed mothers.
The Vatican’s ambassador to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, said in a July 15 letter to the amateur Irish historian behind the campaign that he shared the views of the archbishop of Tuam, Ireland, Michael Neary.
Neary has said it was a “priority” for him to re-inter the babies’ bodies in consecrated ground. If the Irish government refuses to authorize the exhumations, Neary promised to bless the ground where they were originally buried.
Historian Catherine Corless has been campaigning since 2014 to give the babies a dignified burial after she tracked down the death certificates for nearly 800 children who died at the home in the town of Tuam, north of Galway, but couldn’t find corresponding burial records.
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