deborah | Arkansas news, politics, opinion, restaurants, music, movies and art

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Re: “The Catholic Church's shame

Before the clerical pedophilia abuse scandal, there was another child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church, and it started with the Church’s misogyny. St. Paul wrote that women must be silent in church, “mulier taceat in ecclesia" and the Popes took this verbatim. Since women were not allowed to talk or sing in church, the problem was where to find sopranos to sing in Church choirs. They found the answer in castrati, prepubescent boys who were castrated so they would retain soprano or mezzo soprano voices, and who were then trained to sing. Although officially illegal and forbidden by the church, the church by employing castrati in its choirs created an unprecedented demand for them. From 1589 when Pope Sixtus V approved their use, these castrati kept the Church full of parishioners with their singing. Pope Clement was asked to stop using them, but refused. Up to 5,000 boys annually were castrated during the 17th and late 18th century for their voices. By 1789 there were more than 200 castrati in Roman choirs alone. Not until 1903 did Pope Pius X finally ban castrated men from singing in the Church. So much suffering by so many children just to keep women quiet in Church.

Posted by deborah on 07/19/2010 at 6:05 PM


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