Relations Reporting on marriage, family, and sexuality

Hundreds of Catholic choirboys abused in Germany

Family | Investigation found 567 cases of physical and sexual violence over six decades
by Kiley Crossland
Posted 7/21/17, 02:44 pm

More than 500 students attending a prestigious Catholic boys school in Germany were physically or sexually abused from 1945 to 1992, according to a report released Tuesday.

Allegations of abuse at the Regensburg Cathedral Sparrows school, home of the prominent 1,000-year-old Regensburger Domspatzen boys choir, came to light in 2010 alongside other revelations of abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in Germany. From 1964 to 1994, the choir was directed by former Pope Benedict XVI’s elder brother, the Rev. Georg Ratzinger.

The local diocese asked attorney Ulrich Weber in 2015 to investigate the abuse and produce a report.

His report, released Tuesday at a press conference, details 500 cases of physical violence and 67 of sexual violence committed by 49 perpetrators. Weber said the system of education was oriented toward the choir’s success and worldwide reputation at the expense of the boys, many of whom described their time at the school as “marked by violence, fear, and helplessness” kept secret by a “culture of silence.”

Weber faulted choir director Ratzinger “in particular for ‘looking away’ or for failing to intervene.”

The church announced it would compensate victims between 5,000 to 20,000 euros ($5,730 to $22,930) by the end of the year.

© Bruxelle © Bruxelle The 2017 Toronto Gay Pride parade

A costly change

Ontario is paying out millions for its residents to undergo sex reassignment surgery, and the numbers have spiked, according to Ministry of Health statistics reported by LifeSiteNews. The government paid $2.2 million from 2014 to 2015 and more than double that, $4.37 million, from 2016 to 2017. Officials also approved more than seven times more sex reassignment surgeries in the last year—1,365 compared to 195 the year prior.

Following the trend, Ontario Health Minister Eric Hoskins announced in June plans to follow Quebec and the United States in offering male-to-female and female-to-male genital transition surgeries by 2018.

“Every person has the right to be who they are,” Hoskins said. “Our healthcare system should reflect and support this, which is why our government is continuing its work to improve access to transition-related surgeries.”

But some experts say Ontario’s efforts are a “harmful mutilation and an act of inhumanity.”

Dutch psychiatrist Gerard van den Aardweg told LifeSiteNews the push toward offering more services and surgeries includes two serious costs: money diverted away from essential medical services and “immaterial damage done to the public morale when the authorities promote such gravely irresponsible measures.” —K.C.

© ©

Growing up too soon

A report by Georgetown University released late last month found adults perceive African-American girls as less innocent and older than they actually are. The authors asserted this “adultification” of young African-American girls leads to less protection and nurturing and harsher punishments by the adults in their lives.

The study, “Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure Of Black Girls’ Childhood,” found that, compared to white girls of similar age, adults assumed African-Americans girls were older and knew more about adult topics and sex.

But Naomi Schaefer Riley, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, raised an important question in response to this research: “What if black girls really do know more about adult topics, including sex, than their white peers?”

Riley pointed to research showing minority children watch 50 percent more television and have almost three hours more of total screen time per day than their white peers. She said this amount of exposure to popular culture, and the sexual information and even pornography that comes with it, could mean African-American girls are indeed more knowledgeable about adult topics and sex.

But it doesn’t mean they need less protection. “The fact that adults (both black and white) see African-American children as too much like adults isn’t a sign that they’re racists,” Riley said. “It’s a wakeup call that we need to do more to protect black children from a culture that is hurting them.” —K.C.

Another state bans conversion therapy

Rhode Island this week followed nine states and the District of Columbia in banning so-called “gay conversion therapy” for minors. Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo signed the bill into law on Thursday.

Rhode Island’s law—which makes it illegal for licensed healthcare professions to advertise or engage in therapy with the aim of changing a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity—is part of a growing trend of state and local governments outlawing the practice. Rhode Island is the fourth state in 2017 to implement a ban.

Cities are getting on board as well. This week, Allentown, Pa., made it illegal to practice conversion therapy on minors within the city. Officials said Allentown was the second municipality in the state and the 60th in the country to ban the practice. —K.C.

No longer a heterosexual marriage

The Singaporean government annulled a couple’s marriage earlier this year after one member became transgender. The city-state does not recognize same-sex marriage.

Officials found out that the man in the couple had undergone transition surgery and was identifying as a woman when the two applied for a government-subsidized apartment for married couples.

LGBT activists argue the move is rude and discriminatory, but Singapore says it is just being consistent.

“At the point of marriage, a couple must be man and woman, and must want to be and want to remain as man and woman in the marriage,” a government spokesperson told Reuters. —K.C.

Neutral advertising

Britain is cracking down on ads that perpetuate gender stereotypes, according to new rules released Tuesday.

Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority announced this week it would ban advertisements that promote gender stereotypes or denigrate people who do not conform to gender norms such as ads that portray women as responsible for cleaning up a family mess or portray men as trying and failing at a basic parental or domestic task.

Officials said evidence suggests “a tougher line needs to be taken on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles … which, through their content and context, may be potentially harmful to people.” —K.C.

Kiley Crossland

Kiley reports on marriage, family, and sexuality for WORLD Digital. Follow Kiley on Twitter @KileyCrossland.

Read more from this writer


  •  phillipW's picture
    Posted: Mon, 07/24/2017 02:48 pm

    Now I'm depressed after reading all of this.