Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sent from the confessional to be castrated

Kerk drong bij chirurgen aan op castratie homo’s ::

The Roman Catholic Church in the fifties and sixties urged surgeons to castrate homosexual boys and men. This is evident from statements made by scientists who were interviewed this morning by the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament.

Professor of medical history, Mart van Lieburg reported that he had spoken with two surgeons. They confirmed that they received direct orders from a bishop to perform castration. van Lieburg did not identify the bishop. After the hearing van Lieburg nuanced his statement: "I spoke with two surgeons. From one of them I heard that the bishop, who incidentally is still alive, called for the castration of a homosexual man." (Cathcon- seems he thought “order” was a bit strong- but, that said, in the

Historian Marnix Koolhaas also reported that priests who acted as confessors to homosexual boys referred them directly to surgeons. That numbers are involved, Koolhaas does not known. "But it could have been a practice that was not unusual," said Koolhaas.

Chamber considers investigation into the role of psychiatry in castration in the sixties
Parliament heard the scientists following reports in the NRC Handelsblad. This newspaperreported last month how a minor boarding school boy who had reported abuse by Catholic brothers of the Harreveld Home.Then he was transferred to a Catholic psychiatric hospital in Boekel. From there, he was castrated in a Catholic hospital because he was homosexual.

The House is considering an investigation into the role of psychiatry in the castration of boys and men in the sixties of the last century. The role of justice would be further investigated. The scientists warned MPs that researchers delving into the archives of should be given "political cover". Without that, it is not certain that all archives will be opened. "Many archives are indeed private property," said historian Theo van der Meer.
(Cathcon- one only has to see the legal and ecclesiastical somersaults being performed in Belgium to see how difficult it is for material to be used in investigations).

Surprised to find room on archival material on dozens of old sex offenses
Prior to the scientists, Han Moraal of the College of the Procurator-General was heard. He surprised, reports news agency Novum, the MPs with the announcement that the Public Prosecutor on Monday accidentally stumbled on archival material of dozens of sex offenses against clergy in the fifties and sixties This is an archive of correspondence of a former attorney general from Den Bosch. In it mention is made of 54 dossiers relating to sex offenses against clergy. In 22 cases, a conviction was obtained. In another eighteen cases a prosecution took place, but it is unclear what the outcome was. It will be further investigation.

Morale also announced that the National Police has conducted several investigations of abuse within the Harreveld home, in which nineteen clergy were be involved. This led to six convictions. Nothing was found about the forced castrations of young people who had stayed in Harreveld.  According to Moraal, the justices had in the fifties and sixties had worked well.  "Their investigations led to prosecutions." His statement is contrary to media reports, showing that especially in the southern provinces Catholic clergy often could count on special treatment from Catholic prosecutors.

Moraals does not expect to be able to obtain more information. The prosecutors have already done research on criminal abuse in the Catholic church, but that was limited to the years between 1980 and 2010. Further information had been found only due to pure chance, he said. The House was not entirely reassured. Member of Parliament van Toorenburg (Christian Democrat) was shocked by the fact that jusy with a little digging new information had still come to light . Also the member of Parliament, Arib (Socialists) asked why the prosecutors had not really investigated. "Here I am quite surprised."
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