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Mar 20 2012

Dutch RCC Castrated Boys Who Reported Abuse By Priests

You say you’ve been molested;
Your attacker is a priest—
We’ll get you into treatment
Till your nightmares have decreased
We’ll speak your name to Jesus
And we hope he hears our calls
And if praying doesn’t do the trick…
We’re cutting off your balls.

infuriating stuff, after the jump:

Via The Telegraph (UK):

The NRC Handelsblad newspaper identified Henk Heithuis who was castrated in 1956, while a minor, after reporting priests to the police for abusing him in a Catholic boarding home.
Joep Dohmen, the investigative journalist who uncovered the Heithuis case, also found evidence of at least nine other castrations. “These cases are anonymous and can no longer be traced,” he said. “There will be many more. But the question is whether those boys, now old men, will want to tell their story.”

It’s a story that screams to be told, but I could hardly fault these men for wanting to keep it hidden. In this case, the priests actually were convicted (!!). But it seems the church had its revenge:

Two clergymen were convicted of abuse but Mr Heithuis, a victim, was nonetheless transferred by police to a Catholic psychiatric hospital before being admitted to the St. Joseph Hospital in Veghel later that year.
There, court papers confirm, he was castrated “at his own request”, despite no submission of his written consent. Sources told Mr Dohmen that the surgical removal of testicles was regarded as a treatment for homosexuality and also as a punishment for those who accused clergy of sexual abuse.
Cornelius Rogge, 79, a well-known Dutch sculptor whose family knew Mr Heithuis in the 1950s, reported the castration to an official inquiry into abuse within the Catholic Church. But his evidence was ignored.

And it appears clear that the church was given special treatment; that even when priests were convicted, there was no guarantee they would suffer any consequences:

Evidence emerged on Monday that government inspectors were aware that minors were being castrated while in Catholic-run psychiatric institutions.
Minutes of meetings held in the 1950s show that inspectors were present when castrations were discussed. The documents also reveal that the Catholic staff did not think parents needed to be involved.
There are also allegations that Vic Marijnen, a former Dutch Prime Minister, who died in 1975, was linked to the case.
In 1956, Mr Marijnen was the chairman of the Gelderland children’s home where Mr Heithuis and other children were abused. He intervened to have prison sentences dropped against several priests convicted of abusing children.

This is not a matter of a few bad apples. This is an institutionalized evil.

Cuttlecap tip to commenter “sunny” on Pharyngula.

29 comments

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  1. 1
    noastronomer

    There are no words…

  2. 2
    michaeld

    I’m so vary vary tired of the catholic church…

  3. 3
    Raging Bee

    Did any high-ranking RCC officials ever make any public statements about this incident? Did Ratzinger?

  4. 4
    mikeym

    Didn’t Santorum claim that forced euthanasia was so common in Holland that citizens had to wear “do not euthanise” bracelets when they went to the hospital? Maybe the bracelets were mistranslated. Maybe they actually read “do not castrate.”

  5. 5
    Raging Bee

    Hmmm…so far, the answer to my above question appears to be “no.”

  6. 6
    Pteryxx

    WHAT THE FRICKIN’ AAARGH

    How does this even make any sense? WTF is with the church and “All your sex organs belong to us”?

  7. 7
    d cwilson

    And the name of the children’s home where they were abused was called, “Gelderland”?

    Ouch.

  8. 8
    revjimbob

    Gelderland

  9. 9
    Paul Durrant

    I thought I’d heard all the horrors of the RCC child abuse scandals. Allegations ignored, priests moved, high level cover-ups, child labour.

    I never expected this. While ‘treatments’ for homosexuality were not uncommon in the 1950s and earlier, this mutilation of children is unforgivable.

  10. 10
    Synfandel

    What twisted labyrinth of logic led them to figure that a child who complained of being homosexually raped needed to be treated for homosexuality?! Treated for trauma, yes. For homosexuality? Bizarre!

    The ones who needed ‘treatment’ (read punishment) were the child-raping priests—and not for homosexuality, but for brutally violating the trust (and the bodies) of helpless children.

  11. 11
    bassmanpete

    Maybe, to help priests to maintain their celibacy, THEY should be castrated. It would ensure that only those that were truly dedicated took on the job.

  12. 12
    rwahrens

    I saw this posted on Facebook, which I have shared.

    Words, for once, fail me. I cannot find the words in the English language sufficient to describe the depths of depravity and evil that this case shows the Roman Catholic Church to have been wallowing in as recently as my early lifetime.

    Could it be that paper shredders are being fired up in Catholic Hospitals around the world tonight? Can any civilized person remain loyal to this institution of medieval torture values?

    It will take some time for this to sink in fully.

  13. 13
    grumpyoldfart

    You watch next Sunday when the Catholic parishioners protest by standing on the footpath outside the Cathedral, refusing to go inside and refusing to pay their tithes until justice is served.
    -

    Or maybe the selfish bastards are so desperate for a place in heaven, they’ll just go, “Ho hum, shit happens, at least it wasn’t someone from my family, God bless you Father…”

  14. 14
    kraut

    Very easy – erase the Vatican.
    No further problems from an utterly corrupt institution.

  15. 15
    MyMindMeanders

    Fuck!

    I want to print up copies of this article and stand outside my local RC church (Christ the King) and hand them out to parishioners on Sunday.

    Christ the King BTW has had to shelve one of their deacons(I think that’s the term the paper used) recently for the budding scandal in the Kansas City/St. Joseph Missouri diocese.

  16. 16
    MyMindMeanders

    Edit my above
    – it was a pastor not a deacon
    Link to story on local TV station

    There are links in the story to the nastiness with another local pedo-priest. It amazes me how people can be so calm about this crap.

  17. 17
    JesseW, the Juggling Janitor

    MyMindMeanders — I ***STRONGLY*** encourage you to do that. I’ve wanted to do similar things in the past, but felt I “didn’t know enough” or “would be inconsiderate” or the like. These are bullshit excuses.

    If you do it, you may want to print up Greta Christina’s essay: Why are you still Catholic? too.

    Please do it. And make sure to post a report here, (preferably with pictures, if you can). That will encourage others (like myself)… to join you.

    Go for it!

  18. 18
    Crudely Wrott

    Wow.

    Has projection ever reached such a level?

    Yes.

    Women.

    So, I guess the church simply assumes that that covers everyone. Am I correct?

  19. 19
    Art

    This is perhaps the biggest ‘fuck you’ move any institution has resorted to. As if the church was saying ‘If you don’t want sex our way, we will remove your sex drive and you won’t have any sex at all’. If I believed in demons I would call this demonic. Why is it that the behavior of the church is the single biggest representation of something demonic.

    In fighting the monsters of their own fears and imagination they have become monsters to people who do not have monsters in their own fear and imagination.

  20. 20
    Markita Lynda—threadrupt

    Oh, FFS! How do they live with themselves?

  21. 21
    Anonymous Atheist

    That poem is rather chilling. I imagine some creepy horror movie character(s) reciting it.

  22. 22
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    There are no words that can convey the depth of my absolute hatred of the Catholic Church. It’s gone beyond institutionalized evil.
    The Church has become the very evil thing they claim to oppose.*

    *I am not calling the lay Catholic evil or corrupt. I’m aware that many catholics out there are good people. I know that many of them are against the very sort of thing going on in their church. I know that these people aren’t responsible for the atrocities committed by their church** I’m speaking of the organizational structure. I’m speaking of the tyrants in their ivory towers and their bishops, and priests. For this much vile crap to go on in the catholic church, a *lot* of people had to know about this. I cannot…just cannot believe this. How does this kind of thing happen?

    **However, anyone who is a catholic and continues to support that VILE church continues to enable to church to do so. Every single catholic out there who actually thinks they’re a good person should reject the church immediately (really, they should have done that when news of the child rape charges became widespread public knowledge)

  23. 23
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Maybe it’s the late hour, maybe it’s the cannabis, maybe it’s my bizarre sense of humor, I apologize in advance for making light of Serious Business.

    I read the poem, and in my head, it’s Ryan Stiles doing the “Hoedown” on “Whose Line Is It Anyway”.

    And I can’t. stop. giggling.

  24. 24
    reasonbeing

    The RCC is nothing more than organized evil. They only seek to serve their own ends, care nothing for anyone or anything. It is safe to say that anyone in the pews is nothing more than an enabler at this point. There is no way you could convince that practicing Catholic is a person of higher order thinking. There should be a sign on the door reminding the flock to “check their brains at the door”.

  25. 25
    'Tis Himself

    They hacked off childrens’ testicles. But what happened to the rapist priests? They got transferred to another parish with access to fresh victims.

  26. 26
    echidna

    Churches get tax breaks because they are deemed to be beneficial to society. I really can’t see the benefit.

  27. 27
    Kwizzy

    Sad thing is, even if they did castrate the priests instead of the victims I’m not entirely convinced that would stop the sexual abuse, paradoxically enough.

    Imagine if the public school system had this much rampant corruption. People would go berserk.

  28. 28
    Kwizzy

    Actually, come to think of it, I’ve heard apologists say that the RCC has the lowest rate per capita (or maybe an even more fudged statistics phrase) of abuse than any other organization but it gets the most attention/condemnation when it does happen. I think it was an article in TIME. Is that a bunch of hooey or true-but-least-penalized-repeat-offenders-of-any-organization?

  29. 29
    'Tis Himself

    Kwizzy,

    It doesn’t really matter if priests have a higher or lower percentage of child rapists than the general public. If a school, hospital, daycare center, etc. find a child rapist on the staff, they usually turn the accused over to the appropriate civil authorities. The Catholic Church goes out of its way to support and protect the child raping clergy.

    Back when he was Grand Inquisitor (er, I mean Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith), Benny Ratzi (who was Joey Ratzi at the time) sent a letter to every bishop threatening excommunication if a bishop informed the police about a child raping priest. This letter has never been rescinded.

    In word and deed the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church has made it quite plain that the prestige and dignity of the Church is more important than the welfare of children. And the Church has the chutzpah to pretend it’s the supreme moral authority on Earth.

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