THE Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary has apologised for the 'hurt' caused by the Catholic Church in the wake of the Tuam Babies scandal.
The Archbishop was preaching his homily at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Tuam, Co. Galway when he made the apology on Sunday, March 12.
Most Reverend Neary was speaking in reference to the discovery of "significant quantities" of human remains at the site of a mass grave at the Bon Secours Mother and Baby Home in Tuam.
Following two test excavations by the Mother and Baby Home Commission of Investigation since October 2016, the human remains were found earlier this month.
The first structure, the Commission believed was a decommissioned “large sewage containment system, or a septic tank,” which had been filled with rubble and covered with soil.
The second structure, however, is a long structure divided into 20 chambers, 17 of which contained “significant quantities of human remains.”
In his homily, Archbishop Neary also asked parishioners to look beyond "one particular religious congregation" and look at society.
"This is a deeply distressing story for all of us, but especially so for those affected individuals and families.
"It is now timely that this dimension of our social history be addressed and thoroughly examined. To do so would begin the process of attempting to explain, but not to excuse, what happened in our not too distant collective past.
"Perhaps we could begin with this fundamental question: “How could the culture of Irish society, which purported to be defined by Christian values, have allowed itself to behave in such a manner towards our most vulnerable?'
"There is an urgent need for an enquiry to examine all aspects of life at the time, broadening the focus from one particular religious congregation, and instead addressing the roles and interrelationships between Church, State, local authorities and society generally.
"I wish to again apologise for the hurt caused by the failings of the Church as part of that time and society when – instead of being cherished – particular children and their mothers were not welcomed, they were not wanted and they were not loved."