Dutch Catholic Church accused of castrating 10 young men

In the New York Times, Stephen Castle reports on a case in the Netherlands dating back to the 1950s: Roman Catholic Church officials are accused of surgically castrating as many as ten young men. In at least one case, the act may have been punishment against a child who went to police to report that he had been sexually abused by priests. The castrations may have also been "treatment for homosexuality." The article contains descriptions that may be upsetting.

(via Mia Farrow)


  1. The article says “Roman Catholic Church officials are accused…”, but really, it’s the police, the hospital, the doctors, the nurses and the church operating in collusion to punish anyone that interfered with the ongoing pedophilia that we now know is quite widespread and pervasive.  The church could not have accomplished this on its own.

    This takes sickening to a whole new level.

      1. It was worse than you think in the Netherlands:

        “An article entitled “Eugenic and sexual folklores and the castration of sex offenders in the Netherlands (1938–1968)” published in the journal Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Vol. 39, No. 2, June 2008 by Theo van der Meer states that castration of sexual offenders was part of the Dutch state’s eugenics program. Pedophiles were castrated to prevent them from re-offending as were those adjudged to be mentally deficient. Read through the journal article and you will find all the details you will ever want to read about a dark chapter of Western medicine which saw castration as a tool in a public health program to improve the human race through eugenics and to combat what that age saw as criminal sexual deviancy.”

        In addition to the ten cases the Church is accused of, there were up to 400 castrations sponsored by the state. Awful.

      1. So?  Is it somehow more acceptable to forcibly castrate an adult against his will than a child?  Or, is it more acceptable to forcibly castrate someone in retaliation for being gay? Both situations are equally sickening, in my opinion.

        1. Is it somehow more acceptable to forcibly castrate an adult against his will than a child?

          From a physiological standpoint, castrating a child is vastly more life-changing and invasive than castrating an adult.

          1. and the article says the victim was 20 when he was castrated, and I think we can all agree that regardless of age no one should be cutting up anyone’s genitals without consent unless it’s necessary according to medicine (or religion if you’re one of those people).
            The difference that stands out for me is this; in the case of the sexual deviants that were treated with surgery, people were stupidly trying to cure them, but, in the case of these youths, people were cruelly trying to cover up some rapes one of them committed. They probably caused equal pain, but the latter seems more evil.

          2.  Not even a child; the masculinizing effects of testosterone keep happening until you’re like, 30.  And then all the changes are ‘complete’

        2. Castrating a sexual predator doesn’t sound like such a terrible idea.

          That the RCC would castrate innocent victims, but protect its own pedophile priests is the height of hypocrisy.

          1.  Although also wrong, had they chosen to forcibly castrate all pedo-priests a couple of centuries ago, catholic pedophilia might be rare now. 

            The concept of demanding lifelong celibacy is sexually deviant and perverted. 
            Who can identify with young people who feel called to become catholic clergy?  Freaky. 

        3.  Should vehicular manslaughter carry the same sentence as premeditated murder?

          Of course not, intention counts.  Both the state and the Catholic church were wrong.  But the intentions behind the state’s actions were good.  This doesn’t excuse the actions — ends don’t justify means.  But the church’s intention here was to punish people who came forward to rightly accuse clergy of crimes.

          Both were wrong, but the Catholic church pretends to a moral authority that the Dutch state does not and yet its motives were far darker than those of the state.  So not quite equally sickening for me.

  2. “Mr. Dohmen said that the man accused of abusing Mr. Heithuis was investigated but not prosecuted. He was transferred to Nova Scotia, where he started a home for boys.”

    No. Words.

    1.  The words you are looking for are the words demanding that there be an investigation opened in Nova Scotia, and anywhere this monster was shipped off to after the allegations there. 
      That officials stop turning a blind eye to the calculated moves of the church to cover this up while moving the predators to new hunting grounds.
      We need to stop pretending they were ever innocent in these things, that they decided their reputation was more important than children. 
      That hypocrisy can not wrap itself in the robes of religion and not have to pay a price for clear long term abuse of children and the cover ups that followed.
      Protecting their assets is more important than helping children overcome these horrible abuses, I think we need to be just in callous in tearing them apart.

    2. It’s really starting to look like authorities might not have any other choice than to ban the RCC as a criminal organization.

      I’ve got absolutely nothing against catholics or their beliefs, but the organization that claims authority over them is evil.

  3. I wish the laity were as angry and upset as everyone else is. It seems like far too many Catholics just wish the news stories would go away (not really caring about the root issues covered in those same stories). I was raised in the church before I came to my senses, and I still know a lot of friends and family who just want things to “go back to normal” before the whole predator priest thing came to light and became a controversy. They don’t seem to understand that there has to be dramatic and far reaching change inside the church before anything remotely resembling “normal” can happen. They don’t seem to understand that the church is guilty of aiding and abetting child predators. They don’t seem to understand that they are all complicit, even more so because they’re not demanding more action from Rome even after they found out what was happening.

    They just want their comforting fairy tales back with no complications. Anything that threatens their happy dreams of spending eternity in heaven with their invisible friend from the sky is snuffed out with extreme prejudice. No amount of “good works” can balance that out. It seems pretty clear now that everything good about the church is disposable the moment the episcopacy feels threatened. How could anyone have faith in that?

    1. Exactly this. If they were atheist/muslim/hippies/etc., they would ALL be in jail, and the organizations disbanded. Sickening that anyone can still walk into a catholic church.

    2.  Well in their addle minded defense, they have been told by the pope that this is not “real” priests who commit these crimes but instead homosexuals secretly going to seminary to become priests and molest children to make them look bad.  Everything the pope says is true and can not be challenged.

      It is not us its them. 

      I wonder how many of them would support the cash they put into the collection plate being used to stop expanding the statute of limitations on sex crimes against children, because that is where it is going.  To keep parishes or the Church proper from facing lawsuits that would decimate their fortunes.

    1. Plenty of catholics are perfectly decent human beings, but they need to realize that the organization they support is an evil aberration.

  4. Someone thought Amis’s “The Alteration” was an instruction manual? I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, given that the current GOP slate thinks that “The Handmaid’s Tale” is also an instruction manual and most governments use “1984” as political blueprints.

  5. And there was chemical castration and electric shock treatment in the US and Britain around the same time. Lesbians and other women the the state didn’t want reproducing were forcibly sterilized. But that was all based on the “science” of Eugenics. 
    What institutions, both state and religious, did to gays and lesbians was awful.  But I don’t feel like it’s extra awful that the Catholic Church did a similar thing that other institutions were doing at the time. It’s just all equally awful.The Catholic Church is not the only place where pedophiles figured out gay kids are vulnerable targets because they often already have shame and a secret to keep from a homophobic society at large. It just bothers people more because priests are supposed to be holy but they’re just like everyone else.

  6. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=13749
    Reacting to reports that ten boys were castrated in Dutch Catholic psychiatric institutes in the 1950s, Eric van den Berg, who runs the Catholic internet portal katholiek.nl, notes that electroshock therapy and castration were “not uncommon” forms of treatment for homosexuals under the age of 21 in the Netherlands. Some 400 men were castrated in the Netherlands between 1930 and 1968, when the practice ended.“True Catholics and Protestants … were against the castration practice,” added van den Berg .“If these stories, as they now appear in the media, indeed are true,” the Dutch Bishops’ Conference said in a brief statement, then the incidents are to be “strongly condemned and mourned.”

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