March 17, 2022
Valerie Strout sent this message I find it hard to believe that Pope Benedict XVI, then Joseph Ratzinger, said this as part of an interview in 1969: "“Let us go a step farther. From the crisis of today the Church of tomorrow will emerge — a Church that has lost much. She will become small and will have to start afresh more or less from the beginning. She will no longer be able to inhabit many of the edifices she built in prosperity. As the number of her adherents diminishes, so it will lose...
February 10, 2022
The core of the gospel has taken on an unprecedented form in our time. Statistics show that many people feel appealed as soon as they can clearly help in an emergency situation. Within days, millions of Euros are pledged in support. Informal care is a regular phenomenon. In the Netherlands, a high percentage of the population does volunteer work. Many people are involved in unpaid relief work. Who wants to know details, should read the book by Rutger Bregman < De meeste mensen deugen>. A...
December 08, 2021
A misunderstanding is threatening the outcome of the synodality proces, courageously started by Pope Francis in 2021 in preparation of a session of the synod in 2023. The pope wants the church to be lifted out of the present crisis by listening first to ideas of ordinary people. He has asked his bishops to inventorize and register what people have to say. The secretary of the synod has given them three main themes; they are communio, participatio and missio. What do they mean? It is...
June 27, 2021
The Netherlands abolished compulsory celibacy more than 50 years ago From 1968 to 1970, a Pastoral Council of the Dutch Ecclesiastical Province took place, in which besides bishops also more than 100 laymen participated. At the opening on 3 January 1968, Cardinal Alfrink formulated the intention of the Dutch bishops as follows: The bishops want to give the whole People of God, at all levels, a chance to express their opinions and to give advice. The idea is that from this common discussion a...
May 12, 2021
For centuries, LGBT people met a hostile society. But the Catholic Church offered boys an asylum in the priesthood with its rule of celibacy. But occasionally this rule has unwanted side effects. Effects which jeopardize particular dialogues. Some priests (gay or not) abstain from sex altogether. Other old gay priests carry with them the impact of incomprehension or even hostility they had experienced in the middle of last century. During their adolescence they struggled with their own unwanted...