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Dutch bishops react to report of castrations; commentator offers context

Catholic World News - March 22, 2012

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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  • Posted by: wolfdavef3415 - Mar. 22, 2012 10:35 PM ET USA

    One thing, people need to understand this was over 60 years ago. Before computers were common. Before many of the medical procedures now considered routine were even imaginable. The world was a different place. It does not excuse the practices, but instead shows how harboring such a fleeting notion of right and wrong, as provided by 'the latest' knowledge, can lead one to do things that a principled person would not. Reliance on the eternal truth is key. Because it does not change.

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