Editor's Note:
Donald Mader is assistant pastor at the Pauluskerk (St. Paul's Church), a parish of the Netherlands Reformed Church located in Rotterdam.  For twenty years the church, in association with the interdenominational Foundation for Church Social Work, has sought to minister to drug addicts, the homeless, refugees, and illegal aliens.  Its political advocacy for such groups has brought controversy to the church, which is led by pastor  Rev. Hans Visser.  Another long-time area of ministry has been that to sexual minorities, originally focused on transvestites and transsexuals, but more recently also to adults who are attracted to minors, who in this report are termed "pedophiles" in line with European tradition.

Many American boylovers object to the term "pedophile" because of its popular and legal (although incorrect) usage as synonymous with child molester, or because of its clinical definition which refers only to those attracted to prepubescent children (as opposed to adolescents).  However, there is a vast difference in approaches between Europe and America on terminology--as Mader writes, a "massive cultural gap." Since the 1960s, European activists have deliberately chosen to use the term "pedophile" as being inclusive (covering both adults attracted to boys and those attracted to girls), while at the same time rejecting terms such as "pederasty" because of its historic usage for anal intercourse, and "age-discrepant" or "age-structured" homosexuality as being too academic.  The result is that Europeans attracted to boys or girls under the age of consent have tended to use the term "pedophile" for themselves.

One final word of background: the Pauluskerk states that just as it does not advocate drug use, but attempts "to eliminate a burden on drug users," it does not advocate sexual acts between adults and minors, and certainly not sexual abuse, but "seeks to nuance the present hysterical persecution of pedophiles as a sexual minority, and begin a dialogue with both them and society about what is truly abusive behavior, and how pedophile sexuality can be exercised responsibly and ethically" (
Misunderstood Intimacy: A Pastoral Approach to Pedophilia, Rotterdam: Stichting voor Kerkelijk Sociale Arbeid, 1999, p. 4).

If either protestants or pedophiles were into martyr saints, The Rev. Joseph Doucé would be a prime candidate.  It is widely believed that he was murdered ten years ago by the French secret police for his ministry to sexual minorities, including pedophiles.

Doucé (1945-1990) was born in St. Truiden, in the French-speaking part of Belgium, in April, 1945. After conversion to the Baptist Church--a denomination as insignificant in Europe as it is powerful in America, but sharing the same polity and theology--in 1972 he studied at the Baptist seminary in Zurich, Switzerland, and for about a year served as pastor in a church in northern France.

In 1975 he received a scholarship from the World Council of Churches to study sexology at the Free University in Amsterdam, and at the close of that year, in September, 1976, he established the Centre du Christ Liberateur in Paris, commonly called Paris's "gay church." He made a point, however, of ministering to and seeking social acceptance for many sexual minorities who are marginal even in the mainstream "gay" movement, including transsexuals, transvestites, sadomasochists, and pedophiles. Among the series of books on various sexual issues published by his church press, "Lumière et Justice", which also included titles on sadomasochism, gay marriage and transsexuality, was
La pédophilie en question (1987).  He also published a French translation of Dr. Frits Bernard's early short novel Costa Brava (1988), which he was forced to remove from the church's literature stand at Paris's annual Salon de l'Erotisme.

On July 19, 1990, Doucé was ordered to go with two men who displayed police identification for questioning on an undisclosed matter; on October 18, his decomposing body was found in the woods at Rambouillet, near Paris. Several policemen were later arrested on charges of kidnapping him.  One of them, in a book on the subject, accused another unit of the police of having caused Doucé's death during interrogation.  However, the French police and prosecutors refused to follow up any of the evidence. No one was ever charged with Doucé's murder, and those who were charged with his kidnapping never stood trial. (For a description of the Doucé case, see William Middleton, "Last Rights,"
Out, December 1992/January 1993.)

Doucé's body was not released for burial until July, 1992, and then only under the condition that the burial be totally private, and there be no grave stone placed by the family. A marker was eventually placed by Rev. Hans Visser, of the Pauluskerk, in Rotterdam. In 1993 the Pauluskerk issued a memorial volume for Doucé,
Voor alles pastor: de zorg van Joseph Doucé voor sexuele minderheden (Pastor before all else: Joseph Doucé's ministry for sexual minorities), with essays on each of the areas of Doucé's concern. The Pauluskerk's general sexuality committee also, in 1991, renamed itself the Doucé Committee in his honor.

The conference was intended to review the progress, absence of progress, or even ground lost in various areas involving sexuality and the church.

Continue to part 2

© 2001 Paraklesis

Email: paraklesis@cblf.org