THE SERVANT GENERAL
April 15, 2015
What a truly tragic situation for the Catholic Church in the
Netherlands. Can this happen elsewhere? It is already happening!!
Worldwide! It is not just due to a lack of evangelization,
but also to the embrace of the Sexual Revolution and the culture
of death. Such modernism starts with acceptance of contraception,
and then one slides all the way down the slippery slope.
The irony of all this is that the bishops and clerics who
have been accommodating to liberalism in the Church have done
so out of fear of driving Catholics away from the Church.
But here we are. They are out of the Church. When the Church
is very much like the secular world, then why should people
remain in the Church?
The slide down has been happening over the last half century.
Prelates either kept quiet, or were complicit, or just did
not know what to do. Now, the threat looms at the highest
levels, at the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops. There
is a move for accommodation to those Catholics who have in
some way or another embraced the Sexual Revolution and not
lived out their Catholic faith. In the name of mercy and compassion.
But please, have mercy and compassion on our beloved Mother
Church, and on all authentic Catholics who are trying to live
out their faith despite the great challenges.
And please, let us not be co-opted by the world, but rather
stand as a sign of contradiction to a world that is in darkness.
Dutch Catholics brace for ‘future without
churches’ after abandoning evangelization: Vatican Radio
ROME, April 14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Catholics
in the Netherlands are “embracing the vision of a
future without churches,” Vatican Radio
The devastating reality stems from “mistakes made by
the local [national] Church after the [Second Vatican] Council
and the actual abandonment of
evangelization,” according to the report.
The head of the Catholic bishops’ conference of the
Netherlands issued his Lenten message to the nation’s
remaining Catholics, warning them against “bitterness”
at the almost total loss of their Church. Cardinal Willem
Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, told the faithful in his message
for Lent this year to prepare for the closure
of about a thousand Catholic parishes, or about 2/3 of those
in the country.
In his message, the cardinal said that no parish was closed
from a decree by the diocese, but only after the numbers of
parishioners had dwindled to the point where the operation
of the parish was no longer possible. Vatican Radio reported
that these closures were always approached with a “heavy
The decline of Dutch Catholicism has been well documented
and much commented-upon, but this may be the first time that
the head of the Dutch Catholic bishops has admitted to a specific
The Netherlands has been the leader in Western Europe’s
post-war swing to the extreme
“progressivist” left on social and family issues.
In 2002, it became the first country in the world to legalize
euthanasia after World War II finally shut down the Nazi eugenics
program that ended the lives of thousands of disabled people.
That decision was followed by a “protocol” that
allowed doctors to euthanize infants. Activists now report
that the situation with euthanasia in the Netherlands is “out
of control,” with patients being euthanized for depression
or other treatable conditions.
The Netherlands is also at the forefront of the global
movement to abolish all legal recognition of the traditional
family and to promote the Sexual Revolution throughout the
world. One of the first to legalize prostitution,
the country is also one of the main funding sources of the
International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association
(ILGA), one of the western world’s most powerful special
interest lobby groups working through international bodies
like the EU and the UN.
Following this trend, the Dutch bishops have been credited
with spearheading much of the so-called “liberalization”
of practice and doctrine in the Catholic Church throughout
the world. The publication of the notoriously heterodox Dutch
Catechism, with the approbation of Pope Paul VI, was a watershed
that spread the Dutch style of ultra-liberal Catholicism throughout
the Catholic Church. So far did the Dutch Catechism diverge
from Catholic doctrine that later editions were ordered to
carry a caveat from the pope that it was not a reliable source
of authentic teaching.
Shortly after his election, a delegation of bishops from the
Netherlands told Pope Francis of the upcoming closure of hundreds
of churches, a number amounting to the greater part of the
country’s Catholic establishment. The visiting bishops
told Pope Francis that a general shutdown has followed the
Dutch Church becoming “drastically secularized.”
In an interview with Vatican Radio in December 2013, Eijk
said, “The number of practicing Catholics is diminishing
“In the 1950s, 90 percent of Catholics still went to
church every Sunday. Now, it’s only five percent,”
The cardinal blamed the growth of “radical
individualism” in which “the individual
sees it as his duty to invent himself, his own religion, his
Despite the Catholic Church being the largest religious group
in the country, at between 23 and 28 per cent of the population,
weekly attendance at Mass is about 1.2 per cent of the Dutch
population, or no more than about 200,000. So little are the
Dutch Catholics interested in their religion that Cardinal
Eijk cancelled a planned visit to the country by Pope Francis,
fearing an embarrassing no-show from the Catholic population.
At the end of March, Cardinal Eijk received a petition signed
by 12,000 of the faithful demanding a halt and expressing
their “anger and sadness” over the planned closures
and amalgamations. But the problem of how to fill the pews
and pay the bills remains.
The fate of the buildings is left up to the local pastors,
one of whom told the Wall Street Journal in January that while
they hoped the church buildings would not be used for immoral
purposes, there are no guarantees. Father Hans Pauw, pastor
of St. Eusebius Parish, in Arnhem, said, “There are
some things we don’t wanta casino or a sex palace
or that kind of thing.”
“But when it’s no longer a church in our eyes,
then it can have any purpose.”
The WSJ highlighted one former church that was now being used
as a skateboard park for local teenagers. The paper spoke
with 14 year-old Pelle Klomp, who said that sometimes people
complained about the use the church was being put to. “Especially
the older people say, ‘It’s ridiculous, you’re
dishonoring faith,’” Klomp said. “And I
can understand that. But they weren’t using it.”
former Dutch Catholic church is now being used as a skateboard