What about the Catholic castration of choir boys in the Middle Ages?

We got an email that said:

You basically covered everything and all scandals except for one.  In 1599, Pope Clement VIII gave the ok for castrated young boy's to sing in the Church. This went on for the next 280 years or so until Pope Leo in 1878 finally stopped it. Two hundred and eighty years of castrating young boy's with the Pope and the Church giving approval for this barbaric procedure so the Church could have high pitched singers because women were not allowed to sing in the Church. The boy's were called the castrati and the Church sanctioned it. How on God's good earth could an institution who say's that it comes from God condone the mutilation of young boy's and let it go for so many years and so many Pope's not doing anything about it and even approving it is beyond me.

Yup, there were some bad Popes. One thing to note is that none of the Popes from 1599-1878 have been canonized as Saints (although two have been declared Blessed - Pious IX and Innocent XI ). Out of 26 Popes during that time period only two are even being considered for canonization. That indicates that the Catholic Church is not too impressed with its Popes during that time frame. Contrast that with the fact that almost all of the early Popes are recognized as saints and there are usually a couple of Popes recognized as saints during each century of virtually every other period in Church history.

What about the "Bad Popes" of the Middle ages

Most certainly there have been bad Popes throughout history. Some Evangelicals will point to this as proof that God did not institute the Papacy with Peter. The Church claims that its teaching is infallible, but its people are not indefectible. Even Jesus chose a bad disciple, Judas. We don't say "Hey Jesus can't be the Saviour, he had a bad disciple."

Catholics think the fact that there have been bad Popes is a testimony to God's institution of the papacy. These bad Popes could have defined all kinds of crazy doctrines in the name of their teaching authority, but they didn't - they stayed silent of issues of dogma, which is the only thing that Catholics claim is infallible. These bad Popes did not define any doctrines. Why? Catholics think that this is part of God's infallibility promise.

Let's compare the barbarism of the Middle Ages to today

The other thing we would perhaps point out is many Evangelical Churches approve of abortion and the majority of secular society sees nothing wrong with it. The Catholic Church is pretty well the only united voice against it along with several evangelical groups, (including the great organization "Focus on the Family".) The Castration of young boys was cruel, it cut off their testicles. Inside the womb, EVERYDAY, thousands of children are being torn limb from limb. Their arms are being ripped off by fore snips.

In the last 30 years approximately 21,500,000 young girls and 21,500,000 young boys have died violent deaths in the United States. They have had their arms ripped off, they have had their legs ripped off, they have had their heads cut off. These boys and girls were defenseless, they could not speak out to defend themselves. They remained silent as they were brutally murdered.

I'll call the girl below "Sara." Sara could not protect herself while the "doctor" cut her head off with forceps.

Sara will never learn how skip or play hopscotch. She will never experience her first date or the prom. Sara has been denied the right to vote, the right to freedom of speech, the right to work. Sara's death is the fruit of what radical feminists call "equality."

"It's my Body, I can do what I want with it!"

If the baby is part of the body of the mother, we can't understand why the doctor has to count all of the little broken off arms and legs of the baby that are sucked out of the mother to make sure none are left inside. Half of women carrying babies have a little boy inside them with a penis. Is that part of her body? Today, the most dangerous place on the planet to live is not Harlem or a Pakistan terrorist ghetto. It is in a mother's womb. It is a treacherous time in history to be an infant.


Perhaps the middle ages can claim ignorance for their inhumanity during a brutal period of history. Like the slave traders who misinterpreted Scripture in order to serve selfish ends, those who wanted beautiful music misinterpreted this Scripture.

For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.  (Mat 19:10-12)

Like those who thought the world was the centre of the universe because Scripture said the earth is "immovable" those who advocated castration were just plain wrong. Thank God, the Church saw the light.

Today we have the benefit of culture, history, all the tools of science, and yet we ignore the brutality of abortion because we want convenience of dictating when we should and shouldn't accept life. History will judge us by much harsher standards than those of the middle ages and we will come up looking pretty barbaric in comparison. Thank God the Church eventually saw the light in the sin of castrating boys. When will society and the majority of evangelicals see the barbarism of abortion?

Lord Jesus, let Your prayer of unity for Christians
become a reality, in Your way.
We have absolute confidence
that you can bring your people together,
we give you absolute permission to move.