- Category: News
- Created on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 15:58
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
The Deetman commission has denied that it suppressed evidence of the practice when it published its report in December, which found that up to 20,000 children had been abused between 1945 and 1981.
A subsequent article in NRC Handelsblad revealed that the report had not included any evidence about castration even though the commission received detailed information of at least one case in writing.
The newspaper uncovered 50 cases in which underage boys in the care of the church were castrated after concerns were raised about their sexuality. A further ten cases have since come to light.
The commission's chairman, former mayor of The Hague Wim Deetman, has denied that information was suppressed. He has said he is prepared to widen his inquiries only if ‘Parliament has no doubts whatsoever about the integrity of the commission’.
The issue has also attracted controversy because of the role of former prime minister Vic Marijnen, who was director of a residential institution in the 1950s where dozens of boys are known to have been abused.
Information from archives showed that Marijnen personally intervened to save the perpetrators from jail sentences, but the Deetman report did not mention his actions. When questioned, Deetman claimed that to do so would have identified the victims.
Politicians in the lower house of parliament (Tweede Kamer) want to question scientists about medical practices in the postwar years to establish how widely castration was used at that time.
Deetman’s commission is carrying out further research into the alleged abuse of women and girls in church institutions.
The commission has also complained to the journalists’ council (Raad voor Journalistiek) about the NRC’s article on the basis that it alleges that information was covered up.
Opposition politicians have praised the tenacity of journalists investigating the case ‘thanks to whom the sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church was revealed in the first place’.