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April 21, 2012 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: adrianus cardinal simonis, archbishop andré dupuy, bishop ad van luyn, bishop antoon hurkmans, bishop gerard de korte, equestrian order of the holy sepulchre of jerusalem, father ad van der helm, father antoine bodar, father michel remery, father tjeerd visser, homily, mass, photos, ramon mangold, st. joseph cathedral | 2 comments
Today I witnessed something fairly unique, certainly for a Catholic in the north of the Netherlands: the investiture of new members of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, which took place at the cathedral of Sts. Joseph and Martin in Groningen. The choice of location was no doubt influenced by Bishop Gerard de Korte’s membership of the order.
The investiture and Mass took well over two hours. Concelebrating the Mass were Bishop Antoon Hurkmans, the Grand Prior of the Order in the Netherlands, Bishop Gerard de Korte, the ordinary of the host diocese, Bishop Ad van Luyn, emeritus of Rotterdam, and Archbishop André Dupuy, our new Nuncio. Among the new members of the Order were a handful of priests, including Father Antoine Bodar and Father Ad van der Helm, the dean of The Hague.
The whole affair also turned out to be a nice opportunity for networking, as I met photographer Ramon Mangold and, with two friends, had an animated talk with Fr. Michel Remery.
Some photographic impressions of Catholic nobility:
March 23, 2012 in World Church | Tags: bishop ad van luyn, bishop gianni ambrosio, bishop jean kockerols, bishop piotr jarecki, bishop virgil bercea, commission of the bishops' conference of the european community, european union, politics, reinhard cardinal marx | 1 comment
Following his retirement as bishop of Rotterdam, Msgr. Ad van Luyn has now also completed his six-year tenure as President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of the European Community, the COMECE. Succeeding him as president of the commission that is the main channel of dialogue between the Church and the European Union is erstwhile vice-president Reinhard Cardinal Marx. The archbishop of Munich and Freising will be assisted by four vice-presidents, two more than during Bishop van Luyn’s term.
They are Bishop Gianni Ambrosio of Piacenza-Bobbio, Italy; Bishop Virgil Bercea of Oradea Mare, Romania; Bishop Piotr Jarecki, auxiliary of Warsaw, Poland; and Bishop Jean Kockerols, auxiliary of Mechelen-Brussels. Bishop Jarecki starts his third term as vice-president.
The activities of the COMECE are mainly contained to the European political arena, communicating with and about the EU on matters which touch the Church, the faith and the faithful.
December 31, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands, social media, World Church | Tags: abuse, adrianus cardinal simonis, anders breivik, archbishop andré dupuy, archbishop françois bacqué, archbishop jean-claude hollerich, archbishop rainer woelki, archbishop timothy dolan, archbishop wim eijk, archdiocese of berlin, archdiocese of luxembourg, archdiocese of mechlin-brussels, assisi 2011, beatification, belgium, bishop ad van luyn, bishop athanasius schneider, bishop cor schilder, bishop hans van den hende, bishop jan hendriks, bishop jan liesen, bishop jean kockerols, bishop jean-luc hudsyn, bishop léon lemmens, bishop rob mutsaerts, bishop roger vangheluwe, bishops, blessed titus brandsma, blog, bootcamp, consecration, deetman committee, diocese of breda, diocese of görlitz, diocese of groningen-leeuwarden, diocese of haarlem-amsterdam, diocese of rotterdam, disaster, easter, erik van goor, ewtn, extraordinary form, father herman spronck, father jan peijnenburg, father norbert van der sluis, finances, georg cardinal sterzinsky, germany, japan, joseph weterings, lent, mariënburg, mary, metropolis, music, new evangelisation, osama bin laden, papal visit, pope benedict xvi, pope john paul ii, prayer, raymond cardinal burke, salesian order, san salvator parish, social media, st. joseph cathedral, stille omgang, the passion, tom zwitser, twitter, universae ecclesiae, vatican blogmeet, vaticanum ii, world youth days | Leave a comment
As the year of Our Lord 2011 draws to a close, I happily join the ranks of the countless media channels creating overviews of the years past. And both for this blog, as well as the Catholic Church in the Netherlands and abroad, it has been a tumultuous year, both positive and negative. Taking this blog as the goggles we use to look back, blog, Church and wider world become unavoidably intertwined, but, in a way, that is how it should be.
In January, we saw the announcement of the beatification of Pope John Paul II, the resignation of Rotterdam’s Bishop Ad van Luyn being accepted, and the launch of Blessed Titus Brandsma’s Twitter adventure.
February was the month of interesting considerations by Bishop Schneider about Vatican II, shocking new developments in the abuse crisis, the announcement of a undeservedly short-lived experiment with the Extraordinary Form in the Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden, the first signs that all is not well in Belgium, but also three new auxiliary bishops for the Archdiocese of Malines-Brussels, and the vacancy of Berlin.
March brought us disturbing news about Bishop Cor Schilder, an extensive message for Lent from the Dutch bishops, disaster in Japan, the announcement of a great ecumenical media project for Easter, and the annual Stille Omgang in Amsterdam.
April: the month of the consecration of Bishops Kockerols, Lemmens and Hudsyn, the first EF Mass in Groningen’s cathedral, further attempts at repressing religious freedom in the Netherlands, the bishops of Belgium uniting in shock to further improprieties from Roger Vangheluwe, the pope’s birthday, further personal attacks against Archbishop Eijk and the first preparations for Madrid.
In May we saw and read about the death of Bin Laden, the beatification of John Paul II, the first Vatican blogmeet, the appointment of Bishop van den Hende to Rotterdam, the publication of Universae Ecclesiae, a prayer answered, a papal visit to Venice, enraging comments from the Salesian superior in the Netherlands, and subsequent press releases from the Salesian Order.
June was the month of papal comments about new evangelisation and sacred music, the end of EF Masses in Groningen, the pope visiting Croatia, a new bishop in Görlitz, Bishop van Luyn’s farewell to Rotterdam, advice on financial compensation for abuse victims, Archbishop Eijk taking over as president of the Dutch bishops’ conference, and the death of Cardinal Sterzinsky.
In July, Bishop Rainer Woelki went to Berlin, there was more preparation for Madrid, Bishop van den Hende was installed as bishop of Rotterdam, the pope visited San Marino, Luxembourg received a new archbishop, Bootcamp 2011 took place, Bishop Liesen appeared on EWTN, Blessed Titus Brandsma ended his Twitter adventure, and the crimes of Anders Breivik hit home for Dutch Catholics.
August was a big month because of the World Youth Days in Madrid, but we also learned about Archbishop Dolan’s explanation of the Vatican, freedom of conscience being curtailed, the 100,000th visitor of this blog, and the Liempde affair exploding in the media.
In September, the official website of the Dutch Church got a make-over, Archbishop Eijk wrote a thankyou note to the participants of the WYD, The Dutch bishops’ conference shuffled their responsibilities, and Pope Benedict visited Germany and delivered an important address to the Bundestag.
October, then, saw a successful reunion of the WYD troupe, Bishop Mutsaerts’ intervention in the ultra-liberal San Salvator parish, the bishops declining a proposal to Protestantise the Church, the consecration of Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, the publication of Porta Fidei and the announcement of a Year of Faith, the appointment of a new Dutch ambassador to the Holy See, the appointment of Msgr. Hendriks as auxiliary bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam, the first Night of Mary, and Assisi 2011.
In November, Cardinal Burke came to Amsterdam, the bishops accept and put into action a plan for financial compensation for victims of sexual abuse, the Peijnenburg affair made headlines, the pope went to Benin and heartwarmingly spoke to children, priests in Belgium tempted excommunication, Cardinal Simonis turned 80, Bishop Liesen became the new bishop of Breda, and a fifty-year-old letter showed that congregations new about abuse happening in their ranks.
This final month of December, then, saw the first fifty victims of sexual abuse being able to claim financial compensation, the presentation of plans for Metropolis 2012, Nuncio Bacqué’s retirement, the consecration of Bishop Jan Hendriks, pain and horror in Liège, the appointment of Archbishop André Dupuy as new Nuncio, and the publication of the Deetman report unleashing emotional reactions everywhere.
It’s been quite the year, but one with much to be thankful for. The truth sets us free seems especially apt in this final month, but can be applied to the entire year. May 2012 be equally open, honest, but also full of blessings for the Church, the people and everyone of us.
Thank you, readers, for the continued interest. That’s incentive to keep on doing what I do here.
A happy new year, and may God bless you all.
October 1, 2011 in Uncategorized | Tags: archbishop wim eijk, bishop ad van luyn, bishop rob mutsaerts, bishop thomas dowd, film, finances, germany, god, homily, law, mass, medjugorje, msgr. georg gänswein, ordination, papal visit, politics, pope benedict xvi, statistics, translation, twitter, world youth days | Leave a comment
I think we recovered from the August dip: with 4,592 views we’re back at a level not seen since May. So that’s nice. Oddly enough, no single post was responsible for a significant percentage of those views. They’re all at fairly low numbers, from which I can only include that many people were interested in many things, if the search terms didn’t tell me otherwise. Boy, the Gänswein fan club was out in force again. Especially in the days of the papal visit to Germany, this blog lodged literally many hundreds of searches on this name or variations thereof.
Let s see if ‘Gorgeous George’ pushed any blog posts into the top 10:
1: Het opmerkzaam hart - Overwegingen over de basis van de wet 57
2: Het probleem Medjugorje 55
3: In Germany, childish behaviour before the pope comes 46
4: Impresive words from the Holy Father to the German parliament 33
5: Under the Roman Sky 31
6: Before Liempde, Bishop Mutsaerts outlines his points 29
7: A Twitter ordination, Homily at the Mass on the occasion of leaving Rotterdam 27
8: Four days before Germany, Holy Father poses the question of God 26
9: A thank you note from the archbishop 25
10: The World Youth Days’ positive result for Madrid 24
September 9, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: catholic church, liturgy, vocation, judaism, bishop gerard de korte, diocese of 's hertogenbosch, bishop antoon hurkmans, media, education, archdiocese of utrecht, archbishop wim eijk, diocese of breda, bishop hans van den hende, diocese of rotterdam, ethics, bishop frans wiertz, ecumenism, bishop ad van luyn, bishops, homily, bishop herman woorts, pilgrimage, marriage, bishop jos punt, bishop theodorus hoogenboom, mission, world youth days, bishop everard de jong, catechesis, bishop jan van burgsteden, bishop rob mutsaerts, bishop jan liesen, catholic youth day, health, commission of the bishops' conference of the european community, council of the bishops' conference of europe, thomas more foundation | 1 comment
In the past few years, the Dutch bishops’ conference has gained four new members and lost one, and now those changes are being reflected in the responsibilities that the members have within the conference. Traditionally, each bishop is a so-called ‘referent’ for a specific field of policy. For example, my own bishop, Msgr. Gerard de Korte, is referent for matters of Church and society; he has appeared often in the media about the abuse crisis, for example, an area where Church and society meet.
Now that both the Archdiocese of Utrecht and the Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch have each gained two auxiliary bishops, and the previous bishop of Rotterdam has retired, these responsibilities are being reshuffled. The changes and new responsibilities are reflected in the list below:
- Catechesis: Msgr. Rob Mutsaerts (from Msgr. de Jong)
- Church and the Elderly: Msgr. Gerard de Korte
- Church and Society: Msgr. Gerard de Korte
- Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community: Msgr. Theodorus Hoogenboom (from Msgr. van Luyn)
- Communication and Media: Msgr. Frans Wiertz
- Council of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe: Msgr. Wim Eijk (from Msgr. van Luyn)
- Ecumenism: Msgr. Jan van Burgsteden
- Education: Msgr. Everard de Jong
- Interreligious Dialogue: Msgr. Hans van den Hende
- Liturgy: Msgr. Jan Liesen (from Msgr. Hurkmans)
- Marriage and Family: Msgr. Antoon Hurkmans
- Medical Ethics: Msgr. Wim Eijk
- Mission and Development: Msgr. Jos Punt
- New Movements: Msgr. Jan van Burgsteden
- Pilgrimages: Msgr. Herman Woorts
- Relations with Judaism: Msgr. Herman Woorts (from Msgr. van Luyn)
- Religious and Secular Institutes: Msgr. Jan van Burgsteden
- Vocation and formation: Msgr. Wim Eijk
- Women and Church: Msgr. Gerard de Korte
- Youth: Msgr. Rob Mutsaerts (from Msgr. de Jong)
One of the most striking changes for many will be the handover of the Youth portfolio from Bishop de Jong to Bishop Mutsaerts. For years, Bishop de Jong has been known as the ‘youth bishop’, a popular, enthusiastic and charismatic representative of the bishops to the young Catholics at the annual Catholic Youth Day, the international World Youth Day and other youth events. While he remains in contact with young people through his education portfolio as well as membership in the board of the the Thomas More Foundation, he will be missed by many. But who knows, maybe this will also clear the way for a somewhat more ‘serious’ direction, an appointment as ordinary of a diocese, perhaps?
His successor among the young Catholics, Bishop Mutsaerts, is relatively unknown in this specific field. Of course, he gave a great homily at last November’s Catholic Youth Day, but aside from that, there has not been much contact. I have fairly high hopes that he can be a great force for good in the formation of and engagement with the youth.
Among the other appointments, that of the theologian Bishop Liesen for Liturgy has some promise. He certainly has the international contacts that will allow him to look over the fence at how liturgy is perceived in other countries, something that the Dutch Church could do well with.
And the future? Well, perhaps another reshuffling will come in a few years. We’ll have a new bishop in Breda then, and Msgr. van Burgsteden will hopefully be enjoying his retirement, being over 75 already.
July 3, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: archbishop françois bacqué, archbishop wim eijk, bishop ad van luyn, bishop hans van den hende, cathedral of saints lawrence and elisabeth, diocese of breda, diocese of groningen-leeuwarden, diocese of rotterdam, father dick verbakel, father vincent schoenmakers, homily, immaculate heart of mary, installation, mary, mass, msgr. habib thomas halim, photos, pope benedict xvi, taizé, the passion, world youth days | 3 comments
In the presence of bishops, the nuncio, chapter members and priests from the three dioceses associated with him, Bishop Hans van den Hende was installed as the fifth bishop of Rotterdam, yesterday.
In his homily, he put the term ‘installation’ in perspective.”You are being placed, as the pope also says of himself, in his letter of appointment, that he too has been placed.” Words that not only reflect the innate humility and matter-of-factness of the Groningen-born bishop, but also his strong sense of being in communion with world Church and the pope.
Taking his place, or being placed, on the transparent cathedra in the cathedral of Sts. Lawrence and Elisabeth, Bishop van den Hende continues trends started by his predecessor, Bishop Ad van Luynm standing on the right in the photo above. Among these is the northern heritage he brings with him: both bishops were born in Groningen. Another element is the bishops’ well-developed sense of responsibility for the youth. Bishop van Luyn, even before his appointment to Rotterdam, kept searching for ways to connect to young people and communicate the Gospel to them. In the past year this has become visible in, for example, the great Passion event in Gouda, but also in Taizé on the Maas, held around Christmas last year. Bishop van den Hende has that same sense, if less pronounced. It is more something that naturally expresses itself in his actions and words. He easily communicates with young people, as he does with virtually anyone he meets, and young people notice that here is a man who not only listens, but also understands them. And that is a man that they can listen to and understand. The Catholic youth of Rotterdam are in good hands, it would seem.
After the Mass of installation – which the coming and going ordinaries concelebrated with, among others, Archbishop François Bacqué, the papal nuncio, Archbishop Wim Eijk, Msgr. Dick Verbakel, the vicar general, Msgr Schoenmakers, the general delegate of the Diocese of Breda, and priests from Rotterdam, Breda and Groningen-Leeuwarden – Bishop van den Hende consecrated his new diocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This was a seemingly unplanned gesture, but fitting on today’s feast of the same Immaculate Heart. “No one opened their heart so for God as Mary did,” the bishop said. He called those present to wonder “what we can do for God, what His plan for us is.”
For more photos, courtesy of Peter van Mulken, go here.
June 21, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: bishop ad van luyn, bishops, commission of the bishops' conference of the european community, diocese of rotterdam, faith, gospel of john, homily, jesus christ, mass, second letter to timothy, translation, vaticanum ii | Leave a comment
Related to the previous post (and originally part of it), about the retirement of Bishop Ad van Luyn as chief shepherd of the see of Rotterdam as well as the presidency of the Dutch Bishops’ Conference and the COMECE, I now have available a translation of the homily he delivered during his farewell Mass on 18 June. The emeritus bishop discusses the central position of Christ in our faith and His way as the way of love. There are many references to papal encyclicals and Council documents, as well as some personal reflections on the reasoning behind his choice of motto and coat of arms. It’s an interesting read.
For completeness’ sake, here follow the two Scripture readings read in the Mass and referred to by the bishop in his homily:
From the Second Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy (1:6-14):
That is why I am reminding you now to fan into a flame the gift of God that you possess through the laying on of my hands. God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but the Spirit of power and love and self-control. So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel, relying on the power of God who has saved us and called us to be holy — not because of anything we ourselves had done but for his own purpose and by his own grace. This grace had already been granted to us, in Christ Jesus, before the beginning of time, but it has been revealed only by the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus. He has abolished death, and he has brought to light immortality and life through the gospel, in whose service I have been made herald, apostle and teacher. That is why I am experiencing my present sufferings; but I am not ashamed, because I know in whom I have put my trust, and I have no doubt at all that he is able to safeguard until that Day what I have entrusted to him. Keep as your pattern the sound teaching you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. With the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, look after that precious thing given in trust.
From the Gospel according to John (15:9-17)
I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete. This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you. No one can have greater love than to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you. I shall no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know the master’s business; I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have learnt from my Father. You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last; so that the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name. My command to you is to love one another.
June 21, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: archbishop wim eijk, belgium, bishop ad van luyn, bishop anders arborelius, bishop frans wiertz, bishop hans van den hende, bishops, denmark, finland, germany, iceland, norway, sweden | 1 comment
Following the retirement of the current president of the Dutch Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Ad van Luyn, effective on 2 July, the Dutch bishops elected the archbishop of Utrecht and metropolitan of the Netherlands, Msgr. Wim Eijk, to succeed him. Bishop Frans Wiertz of Roermond stays on as vice-president. The new appointment becomes effective upon the installation of Bishop Hans van den Hende as the new bishop of Rotterdam, on the aforementioned date of 2 July.
When Archbishop Eijk was appointed to Utrecht in 2007, he said that he would be focussing on his new diocese and would not immediately seek the position of president of the conference. Now, four years later, he has, and it was really just a matter of time. Generally, the metropolitan of a Church province, is also the president of that provinces bishops’ conference. And if not, the function does tend to go to an archbishop. In northwestern Europe, there are four bishops’ conferences (Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia) and now only one of these is headed by a president who is not an archbishop. That is the Scandinavian conference with Bishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm. And that province has no archbishops or metropolitan. So Archbishop Eijk’s new appointment fits in with the general trend.
Photo credit: RTV Utrecht
June 18, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: ahmed aboutaleb, bishop ad van luyn, bishop hans van den hende, bishops, cathedral of saints lawrence and elisabeth, commission of the bishops' conference of the european community, diocese of rotterdam, father dick verbakel, homily, jan franssen, mass, photos, piet hein donner, prince willem-alexander, princess máxima, ruud lubbers, saint lawrence, salesians of don bosco, second letter to timothy, translation | 1 comment
In the presence of HRH Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima, hundreds of faithful, and dozens of priests and bishops, Bishop Adrianus van Luyn bade farewell to the diocese which he headed for more than 17 years. The retiring bishop did so with a Mass at the cathedral of Sts. Lawrence and Elisabeth in Rotterdam. The crown prince and his wife, who reside within the Diocese of Rotterdam, were not the only dignitaries present today. The Queen’s Commissioner for Zuid-Holland, Mr. Jan Franssen, mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, former Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers and Secretary for the Interior Piet Hein Donner were also in attendance – an indication of the connections that Bishop van Luyn made in this most urbanised of Dutch dioceses.
The emeritus bishop’s homily, katholieknederland.nl reports, extensively referred to papal encyclicals and his motto: Collabora Evangelio, which comes from the Second Letter of St. Paul to Timothy: “So you are never to be ashamed of witnessing to our Lord, or ashamed of me for being his prisoner; but share in my hardships for the sake of the gospel” (1:8). He also made mention several times of the witness of Rotterdam’s patron, Saint Lawrence.
I hope to be able to read and translate the homily for this blog, but I have as yet been unable to find it online.
After this official farewell, Bishop van Luyn literally leaves Rotterdam behind him. He will be relocating to a Salesian centre in Bonn, Germany, where he is to continue his work with young people, which played such a prominent part in his time in Rotterdam, especially the homeless. Msgr. van Luyn will stay on as president of COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community, until the end of March 2012. Likewise, he will also remain chairman of the Dutch Bishop’s Conference until after the installation of his successor, Msgr. van den Hende, as bishop of Rotterdam, when the bishops will elect a new chairman.
Photo credit: Christian van der Heijden
June 8, 2011 in Catholic Church in the Netherlands | Tags: bishop ad van luyn, bishop hans van den hende, cathedral of saints lawrence and elisabeth, diocese of breda, diocese of rotterdam, easter, gospel of john, holy spirit, mary, mass, pentecost, prayer, social teachings, translation, veni creator spiritus | Leave a comment
Less than a month from now, on 2 July, Bishop Hans van den Hende will be installed as the fifth bishop of Rotterdam. But until that day (in fact, until a new bishop arrives in Breda) he continues to be the chief shepherd for the faithful in the southwestern diocese and as such, he has written what may be his last letter to the parishioners and clergy of Breda.
In it, he obviously refers to his appointment to Rotterdam, but also offers a basic catechesis on Pentecost, linking it to Easter and encouraging the faithful to join the Blessed Virgin, patron saint of the diocese, in praying for the power of the Holy Spirit.
Read the letter in English here.
Later this month, on 18 June, Bishop Ad van Luyn, emeritus of Rotterdam, will bid his farewells to his diocese with a Mass and reception at the cathedral of Sts. Lawrence and Elisabeth and the faculty building of the Erasmus Medical Centre.
The prayer card mentioned in the bishop’s letter may be downloaded here. It contains four verses from the hymn Veni Creator Spiritus, a passage from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church: “God’s Spirit [...] will make these same sentiments of justice and solidarity, which reside in the Lord’s heart, take root in you (n. 25)”, followed by a brief explanatory note: “The social teachings of the Church and our diaconate and social actions concern a “society of love” based on the Lord’s commandment of love: “This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you” (Jn. 15:12).”