Dutch official to study castration of children

The Dutch parliament has called for an investigation into reports that Catholic clerics ordered castrations of boys in the 1950s in an attempt to cure their homosexuality.

Dutch lawmakers discussed the issue Tuesday after a report in the local newspaper NRC Handelsblad said more than 10 boys from a Catholic boarding school had been castrated.

The report focused on a man named Henk Hethuis who allegedly was castrated in 1956 on the instruction of Catholic clergy, after telling police he was being sexually abused by priests.

A report by the Deetman Commission, released in mid-December said tens of thousands of children were sexually abused between 1945 and 2010 in Catholic schools, orphanages and other institutions in the Netherlands. But the commission did not investigate the alleged castrations, citing insufficient evidence.

The Catholic Church worldwide has been rocked by sexual scandals that surfaced in recent years.

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