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Catholicism

Did the Catholic Church castrate young boys at one time and for what purpose?

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01/01/2010

Answer

Young boys were castrated without a doubt, but it was done clandestinely, without Church approbation. The Catholic Church has always believed and taught that castration and all other methods of mutilating the human person are gravely sinful. Thus, private individuals wrongfully perpetrated the sin of castration on boys, who later performed as singers in the Church. These singers were known as castrati, and were renowned for their voices, which had the beauty and clarity of that of a woman (as the boy would never experience puberty), but the lung power of a man (which was widely sought after in a time before microphones).

Answer

The most famous "castrato" singer is Carlo Maria Broschi, known by his stage name Farinelli, who reigned high as a "sopranista"in the 18th century and the last one to sing in the Vatican and the only one whose voice was ever recorded, i.e. in 1914, is Alessandro Moreschi.

N.B. There are two different answers here. The first one which seems complete and a second one, mine, which is incomplete.