Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Why Isn't This Bigger News?!

I found out about this from Pharyngula, and I was blown away. Not that the Catholic Church had another scandal on its hands, but that I had heard about it from Pharyngula.

In sum, over the course of 50 years and ending in the early 1990s, women who gave birth in Catholic hospitals that the nuns there disapproved of, usually because they were unmarried, were told that their child had died and that they were not allowed to attend their funeral. Of course the children were just fine, and they were sold, not given, sold for the price of an apartment to childless devout couples all over the country, complete with a forged birth certificate.

Why did they stop such a lucrative practice? Because until 1990 the hospitals were solely in charge of adoptions, controlling it on every level. After 1990 the Spanish Government began regulating adoption, so it fizzled out.

The whole thing came out after a man who had bought his son from a priest confessed everything to him when on his deathbed. The nun who was responsible for the kidnapping was tracked down and she confessed, and more digging came up with a number: 300,000 children. That's 15% of all the adoptions that took place in Spain between 1960 and 1989. What's the second worst thing the Catholic church could have on its hands, after the systematic rape of children and subsequent cover-up? There you go.

So where the HELL is the media frenzy over this?

Now obviously I haven't seen every news program in every country, but I want to know why the hell this isn't bigger news. Not a peep from the Italian news, but you can say Italy is a Catholic country so they're keeping it on the dl. OK (even though they definitely covered the sex scandals), but what about BBC broke the story with a documentary on October 16th, the news hasn't been covering this since then? I'm not into conspiracy theories in the slightest, but does the Catholic church really have that much influence?

I tend to think not. The Magdalene laundries, the major pedophilia scandal, the Catholic Church's involvment in the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa, it's all relatively public knowledge and has been discussed in the media of today's society.

So please, you tell me, have you heard about this? If so, from where? Is the media ignoring it? Are they just a little late to the game and will spread the story eventually? Or am I making too much of a big deal about this?

Is this, this , this or this (all found on their homepages) bigger news than the Catholic Church stealing infants?

Looks like I might start looking to the BBC for my news from now on


  1. Probably wasn't that widespread because it's not as bad as priests raping children. Still, awful. Mother Teresa covering may have probably something to do too.

  2. Damn. Though that's the Vatican all over - committing atrocities in the name of their faith, then covering their ass when the shit hits the fan.

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

  3. If you look at the history of Catholics in Europe, this is not the first time they've done this. But the first time it was Spanish Catholics, in cases where Jewish babies would be baptized without parents' knowledge, then later on taken from those parents because they were baptized and the Jewish parents weren't allowed to take care of them. It's really disgusting.

  4. I know this is an old post and you have some more recent ones on the same or similar topics, but in case of interest the first formal source I read on the subject (after hearing about it as common knowledge in Chile and Argentina, where the Catholic Church was complicit in state kidnappings too and people there know the method was a Spanish import) was Los Ninos Perdidos del Franquismo, by Ricard Vinyes, Montse Armengou and Ricard Belis, published 2002. So the story has been out there in documented, accessible form for any interested journalist or TV/news producer since at least that year...

    1. I suppose that's my point with the title, it's not that the information was not accessible, it's that major news outlets did not find it to be interesting enough news to make a big deal about, which surprisses me. It's a human interest story, missing children, kidnapping, all things that make big headlines and ratings, and yet very very few news outlets even mentioned it at all

  5. Agreed, I was just supporting your observation with my random little piece of evidence since you were curious as to who knew about this before and from what sources...I share your outrage, though don't feel surprised by this kind of story being ignored so long, just one in a long and ever growing list am sure...not convinced this sort of thing makes for 'big headlines and ratings' unfortunately, it obviously does for you and similar-minded people, but I doubt you fit the target customer profile of most big publishing/TV groups, which would partly (in small part anyway) explain why it's more likely to surface via a state-subsidized organization like the BBC, for all its imperfections still less driven by marketing than many others. I think rather than it being news outlets' failure to cover a story that would generate great interest, the reality is that actually most people just don't care, to them it's just a bit of distant history if it registers at all. Sad.

  6. Gathering pace...