The Curmudgeon


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Messengers of Mercy

The ex-BBC News correspondent Martin Sixsmith, who I recall being sniggered at by the Torygraph during the eighties for his degenerate idiosyncrasy of being a reporter based in Russia who could pronounce Russian names, has uncovered a heartwarming tale of Christian love and American tolerance which he chronicles in a book called The Lost Child of Philomena Lee. The child was an illegitimate son, borne by Lee in an Irish convent in 1952. Lee's own mother had died when she was six and a half, and her father had placed her in a convent school, which she left at eighteen having been prepared for the real world in the customary convent-school fashion, and was promptly impregnated. Her father forgave her trespasses by disowning and rejecting her, and she was imprisoned with her child in another convent, where she was put to work for the glory of God and the profit of the church for three years, while the Irish state paid the convent for its charity. After three years, with due and presumably legal process, Lee's child was taken away from her and sold to an American couple. He grew up to be a successful Republican lawyer, despite being homosexual in Reagan's America; but the sins of his mother were visited upon him in his sufferings as an adopted orphan, even as the vengeance of the Deity descended upon him for his objective disorder. He died of HIV-related illness in 1995, having attempted to find his mother and been prevented from doing so by the same nuns who were also refusing information to Philomena Lee in her own efforts to find him. But his mother blames herself, not the Church, and has started to go to Mass again; so that's all right.


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