Post by Jim Newman
In a horrible case of covering its tracks and blaming the victim, the Dutch Catholic Church castrated from one to ten abused boys. They were mutilated “to help their homosexual feelings.” From Care2.
In the confirmed case, a teenager, Henk Heithuis, who had reported being sexually abused by priests in his children’s home to the police in 1956, was removed to a Catholic-run psychiatric institution where he was then castrated because of his ‘homosexual behavior.’ The report said that others were castrated to ‘punish those who blew the whistle on abusers.’
It gets worse.
The castrations were not include in the Netherlands Catholic Church’s comprehensive report into sexual abuse last year, despite being reported to the inquiry, because of a ‘lack of leads’ and because any reporting could be tied to identifiable individuals. That report covered abuse by 800 priests and monks between 1945 and 1985.
It gets still worse.
The report also says that a former Prime Minister, from a Catholic party, tried to get prison sentences dropped against several priests accused of abusing children, and that local government authorities knew about the castrations.
The Dutch Bishops council said that the “allegations, if true, constitute a grave situation which they condemn and regret in the strongest terms possible.”
What an interesting way to to frame it, ensuring that it is considered an “allegation” and hedging “if true” and then an allegory of “strongest terms possible”.
Why not just go out on a limb, you know, and say. “The bastards that castrated these rape victims will rot in hell and we we will be sure the assholes who accepted this crime will be jailed and damned as well.”
It still gets worse. From the Dutch News.
The case of the young boy who was castrated while in the care of catholic priests does not stand alone. On Tuesday, Dagblad de Limburger wrote that in the fifties underage boys were castrated without their parents’ permission in psychiatric institutions in the provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. So how common was this practice? The Volkskrant talked to two historians.
Psychiatrists, politicians, lawyers and doctors were all agreed that castration was the cure-all for what were considered sexual ills’, historian Theo van der Meer tells the paper. ‘It was nothing unusual’, fellow historian Marnix Koolhaas adds.
The boy who was castrated in 1956 after having been sexually abused by catholic priests was sent to a psychiatric institution. It was one of the places where men who were considered to be sexually deviant – the boy was allegedly homosexual – were castrated, a practice that was allowed to continue until the late sixties, the Volkskrant writes.
Castration was the easy way out, it was thought. The thirties was also the time when eugenics became a popular pseudo science and it was considered best if people with ‘inferior qualities’ did not go on to have offspring. This included criminals and, especially those who had committed crimes of a sexual nature. They were given the choice: castration or a long custodial sentence.
According to figures quoted by the Volkskrant, at least 400 men were castrated up until 1968. 40% were thought to be homosexuals. A large number were repeat sex offenders who had abused children under 16. The distinction between gay and paedophile was not made in those days.
There was another group who ended up in the psychiatric wards: the boys who were sent there by a priest. Chances were that they would end up talking to psychiatrist Aimé Wijffels who specialised in castration, so much so that he became known nationally as ‘the castrator’. Wijffels himself claimed he did not castrate more than 35 men. Koolhaas doubts very much whether this is true. ‘There must have more than 1,000’, he tells the paper.
In the fifties, doubts began to emerge about the voluntary nature of castration. Koolhaas, who spoke to Wijffels shortly before he died in 1991. He said the boys were sent to him by the priests they had confided in during confession. He would then speak to them about sterilisation, not castration. Wijffels thought his catholic faith justified his actions.
The boys and men didn’t know anything about the consequences of castration. ‘Testesterone production comes to a sudden halt, and the adrenal glands are affected as well. It’s like the body is struck by a thunderbolt.’, Koolhaas tells the paper.
Hey, if it’s no big deal, I say we castrate everyone involved with theses cases. Every person instigated or accepting of the situation gets castrated. Hmm, no, I don’t think the biblical admonition of an eye for an eye is justice at all but I can see why revenge is emotionally sweet and why justice in this world is far, far better than in any other world.
Victims of sexual abuse by the clergy have asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and other leading Vatican officials for crimes against humanity. A worldwide network of victims accuses the pontiff and three cardinals of aiding and abetting wide-scale rape and sexual violence against children by priests.
Human rights lawyer Pam Spees delivered boxes containing over 20,000 pages of evidence to the ICC today [Tuesday] and asked the prosecutor to begin an investigation. The complaint alleges that the pope and three cardinals – Angelo Sodano, Tarcisio Bertone and William Levada – deliberately covered up abuse by priests.
Victims speak out
At a press conference near The Hague, eight adults who were abused as children held up their childhood portraits and told the press the names of the Roman Catholic priests who had targeted them. All were members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. They included victims from the USA, Germany, Belgium and the Democratic Republic of Congo. SNAP’s lawyers say all the cases were kept secret by the Vatican in a cover-up that amounts to a crime against humanity.
I am tired of the public continuing to say the church is a force of goodness. That their good acts outweigh a so called few transgressions. If the church takes on the role of moral supervisor then it should be held to a higher moral standard. For common citizens to consider these priests as average humans is absurd. They are guilty of the most heinous crimes. Frankly, from what I see crooks seek refuge in the church which helps them continue their crimes. The church shuffles them around because they believe they are safer in the church and they want leaders and not justice. It’s a viral crime chain.
Jim Newman, bright and well