Sexual abuse by priests running a Dutch Catholic School was revealed. The details of how the priests sexually assulted “favorite boys” on multiple occasions is graphic. From the NRC:
Janne Geraets, now 57, suffered repeated sexual abuse from the age of 11 at the hands of a priest at the Roman Catholic school where he was a boarder. His ordeal began in 1964, at the Don Rua monastery in the town of ‘s-Heerenberg in the east of the Netherlands. He was being trained by the Salesian Fathers of Don Bosco, in the hope of one day becoming a missionary. After a party, one of the priests lured Janne to the infirmary under the pretext of giving him medicine to ease his sore throat. “All of a sudden he was right up against me,” Geraets recalled. “He unzipped his trousers and forced my hand inside. I was in a state of utter confusion.”
After the incident, Geraets returned to bed. But the next morning he was summoned by the same priest. “I remember how my heart was pounding as I knocked on the door. He opened it and said ‘That should never have happened’. He gave me absolution; he pardoned my sin. That confused me even more.”
‘The dirty one’
Janne Geraets was called to that same room again and again. “He would lie on his couch and put me on top of him, riding back and forth. I remember a knock at the door on one occasion. I tried to scream, but no sound came out. I wanted to yell ‘this isn’t right, this isn ’t allowed’. But there was no one to turn to. You’re too afraid to say anything. You think you are the dirty one and that they’ll throw you out of school.”
At the boarding school in ’s-Heerenberg, 80 to 100 boys between the ages of 12 and 18 slept in four large dormitories. “Sometimes you knew for sure: there’s something going on between that boy and that priest,” said Geraets. It happened on a large scale. Several of the priests were involved. Some priests were more popular than others. You could tell because more boys visited them.” The priest who abused him is now 98 years old. “Everything I held sacred turned out to be a facade,” said Geraets. “It was a huge blow to my self-confidence.” Continue reading…
Comparably disturbing is the Catholic Church’s late response to this and other sexual molestations by priests. Some of the priests at this Dutch school were moved around to other parishes when students told their parents they had been sexually assaulted. Most of these priests are now in their 80s and 90s or dead. The Vatican has also showed a lack of priority in addressing the religious environment that leads up to sexual abuses by their Priests. Encouraging gay men to enter the priesthood as the only viable alternative to living a single life (gay sex and partnership not being allowed as a Catholic). The trust that Catholic parents grant to priests is also alarming, setting their children up to be alone with a priest is a dangerous proposition. Also, the taboo subject of sex and the doctrine that no person, especially not priests should masterbate fosters unhealthy sexual behaviors, desires and fantasies.
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