Victims call for Catholic castration inquiry

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The national organisation of clerical child sex abuse victims (KLOKK) is calling for a parliamentary inquiry into allegations that minors were castrated in Dutch Roman Catholic psychiatric wards in the 1950s.

KLOKK chairman Guid Klabbers said the news, revealed on Friday by Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, showed that the Deetman Commission had failed to uncover all abuses: “We've had many grave rape cases, but this is even worse. This is a case of extreme abuse of power and perverse pleasure in wielding power. Sheer horror.” He spoke of crimes against humanity.

The latest revelations, Mr Klabbers added, raise many questions. “It suggests there remain facts that have yet to be revealed. That´s not right. Any lingering doubt must be removed.”

Parliament is to devote a session to the matter next week. Wim Deetman, who led the independent inquiry into clerical child sex abuse, is expected to be questioned during the hearing. For the past two years, parliament has been debating whether to launch its own investigation into the scandal.

Parliamentary inquiries have been held in Ireland and Belgium. The minority cabinet comprising the conservative VVD party and the Christian Democrats, backed by Geert Wilders' Freedom Party, have so far blocked a parliamentary inquiry.

The Dutch Bishops’ Conference has voiced dismay at the news. The bishops say that the allegations, if true, constitute a grave situation which they condemn and regret in the strongest terms possible. The body said it would cooperate fully should an inquiry be ordered into the matter.

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