I am, again, just this close to dumbstruck. Whatever gets torn in an attempt to grasp boundless evil, this tears it. Where to begin to speak of crimes so depraved and so towering in number?
In a period between 1940 and 1990, in perhaps the most successful human trafficking effort since America’s slave trade of the 18th and 19th centuries, Spain’s Catholic Church stole up to 300,000 newborn babies from their mothers. The children were then sold to Spanish Catholic customers.
The BBC have produced a documentary on the half century of nearly unspeakable crimes. It’s slated to air on Tuesday night:
Journalist Katya Adler, who has investigated the scandal, says: ‘The situation is incredibly sad for thousands of people.
‘There are men and women across Spain whose lives have been turned upside-down by discovering the people they thought were their parents actually bought them for cash. There are also many mothers who have maintained for years that their babies did not die – and were labelled “hysterical” – but are now discovering that their child has probably been alive and brought up by somebody else all this time.’
I’m having a hard time fathoming this. If it had come to light that one — only one — child had been abducted by American hospital administrators and sold to their friends, I can’t imagine the holocaust of press people and news coverage and police and Oprahs and governmental agencies and politicians that would descend upon the scandal. Criminal trials, civil trials, interviews, reunions — these would go on for years. The Catholic Church perhaps stole and sold as many children as there are people currently living in Pittsburgh.
How? How could this be possible? How will these people become reunited with their true mothers, fathers and families, their own flesh and blood? How will the legal system deal with it? How will people live with the decisions they made and the actions that were forced upon them? What an agonizing mess.
One thing we know: how the Catholic Church will react. They will, slowly and surely, across the years, over the decades, offer occasional and slightly more heartfelt apologies. Meanwhile, they’ll be furiously lobbying against criminal and civil sanctions with authorities. That’s what they always do.
I’ve had enough of this for now, my head’s pounding.