It gets worse – the castration story.
The Toronto Star reports
The Deetman Commision, set up by two Catholic bodies, the Conference of Bishops and the Dutch Religious Conference, concluded last year that tens of thousands of children had been abused by Catholic clergy in the Netherlands since 1945.
The commission was set up by two Catholic bodies, one being the Conference of Bishops.
Hello? Fox? Henhouse? Custodiet? Custodies?
Mr Madoff, would you draw up a report for us on how you defrauded people out of billions of dollars?
Col Qadaffi, can we get you to set up a commission on torture and human rights abuses by your regime?
Mr Milosevic, could you and a few of your friends investigate war crimes in Bosnia for us, thanks so much?
It’s Radio Netherlands that first blew this open, along with NRC Handelsblad.
We now know that former Dutch cabinet minister Wim Deetman did not meet the expectations he raised when he chaired the commission of inquiry into sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic church. He did not get to the bottom of the abuse scandal or reveal all of the horrors that took place behind church doors in the Netherlands.
We know this thanks to investigative journalist Joep Dohmen of the newspaper NRC Handelsblad. Dohmen wrote about a boarding school student who had been sexually abused by a Dutch monk. When the former student reported the abuse to the police in 1956, he was brought to a Roman Catholic psychiatric ward, declared a homosexual and then castrated. The same surgery was probably performed on at least ten other schoolmates of his who tried to blow the whistle on abuse.
The main abuser in this case was ‘Gregorius,’ the brother superior of the Roman Catholic Harreveld boarding school in the east of the Netherlands.
And nothing was done about it because the elite didn’t want anything done about it.
The bigger picture is this: Victor Marijnen was just one member of a wider elite of Catholic notables who wielded vast power in the 1950s. They were captains of industry, chairmen of commissions, judges, high-ranking civil servants and politicians. And it was through this old boys network that abuse at Harreveld and other Roman Catholic institutions was covered up.
In short, the Harreveld castration story reveals collusion between institutions, bishops, politicians, the police and the justice system that enabled sexual abuse in the church to continue unpunished for decades on end.
Funny how similar to Ireland it sounds, when we don’t normally think of the Netherlands as in the grip of the church the way we do Ireland.