Taoiseach critical of Pope’s response on Tuam Mother and Baby Home

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The Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that a letter Pope Francis sent to Children’s Minister Katherine Zappone about the Tuam Mother and Baby Home was “more of an acknowledgement than a substantive response”.

The Pope sent a short three paragraph letter to Minister Zappone in November that was revealed recently where he expressed his “prayerful solidarity” with the people dealing with this the tragedy of the Mother and Baby Home

However the letter made no mention of a contribution by the Church to the cost of exhuming the 796 children buried at the former Mother and Baby Home.

Minister Zappone wrote a letter to Pope Francis in the summer when he was in Ireland urging him to make a substantial voluntary contribution to show the church was accepting responsibility for its role.

The Taoiseach was answering a question from Labour Leader Brendan Howlin in the Dáil.

He said that Minister Zappone “has engaged with the religious order that operated and owned the Tuam home and it has agreed to make a financial contribution towards the excavation.”

The Bon Secours Order has offered to contribute €2.5 million to the cost of the excavation, which could run as high as €13 million.

Taoiseach Varadkar added that the Bon Secours order is cooperating with the Mother and Baby Homes Commission of Investigation.