In the Netherlands, the Roman Catholic Church reportedly castrated a number of boys in the 1950s in order to "cure" their homosexuality -- and in at least one case, after the boy submitted an accusation to police that a priest had molested him. These incidents were not included in a report from the Deetman Commission, a group set up by Catholics to provide "independent" investigations into abuse allegations.
Now the reliability of that commission is being questioned. I'd like to know why the responsibility for such an investigation was put in the hand of Catholic organizations to begin with.
The paper says the Deetman committee was informed about the castrations in writing but did not include mention of them in its report because 'there were few leads for further research'.
The Deetman committee was set up by the church itself in 2010 after the sexual abuse scandal broke. It reported in December having identified some 800 priests and monks who abused children in their care between 1945 and 1985.
In addition, church officials, bishops and lay people were aware of what was going on but failed to take action to protect children, the report said.
The NRC also said on Saturday the final Deetman report did not mention that a leading politician with the Catholic people's party KVP had tried to have prison sentences dropped against several priests accused of abusing children in 1958.
Source: Dutch News
Dutch MPs are calling for a full government investigation, both into the abuse allegations and into what the Deetman Commission, led by former Dutch cabinet minister Wim Deetman, was doing. Did it merely report on the things which everyone already knew about while abetting the cover up of other incidents?
And was there an attempt to cover up the misdeeds of Catholic politicians and other leaders in addition to priests?
The main abuser in this case was 'Gregorius,' the brother superior of the Roman Catholic Harreveld boarding school in the east of the Netherlands. ...But [investigative journalist Joep Dohmen of the newspaper NRC Handelsblad] found something even more important. He discovered that the Deetman Report failed to mention a certain political figure who tried to secure a royal pardon for Gregorius and other convicted Catholic brothers from Harreveld.
That was Victor Marijnen, a former Dutch prime minister and leading member of the Catholic People's Party (KVP). The KVP later merged with Protestant parties to form the Christian Democrats (CDA) - the political party of inquiry commission chairman Wim Deetman.
It's not unreasonable to conclude that the Deetman Commission refrained from investigating the castration because it knew this would inevitably lead to closer scrutiny of the Harreveld situation, exposing the role of Victor Marijnen and showing Mr Deetman's own political party in a very negative light indeed.
But this may be too narrow a view. 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.
Just how deep does this Catholic culture of rape and abuse go in the Netherlands? Is there any realistic chance that anyone will be able to get to the bottom of what happened and who did what or have Catholic institutions so completely corrupted politics and law in the Netherlands that they will be able to prevent the truth from ever getting out?