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On Easter Monday, Cardinal Wim Eijk revealed the first memorial for victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The memorial, which is a depiction of two children playing with Our Lady standing protectively behind them, stands  in front of the church of Our Lady in Hengelo. Artist Frans Houben, pictured at left with the cardinal and parish priest Father Koos Smits, was himself abused as a child. About his design, he said earlier: “Mary, who is the protector of the Church, with all her love, embracing children. That is my message: whether you’re a priest, a swimming instructor or you run a creche for children: keep your paws of the children.”

The idea for the memorial came from the parish of Our Lady, where there was a desire to pay attention to people who have been unjustly treated. Cardinal Eijk declared that he considers this as an important part of the apologies the Church needs to make to the victims.”It is a sign that will stand in front of this church for a very long time, and which indicates that the faith community is committed to the victims,” he said.

Photo credit: Frans Nikkels/Twentsche Courant Tubantia

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I am a Dutch Catholic from the north of the Netherlands. In this blog I wish to provide accurate information on current affairs in the Church and the relation with society. It is important for Catholics to have knowledge about their own faith and Church, especially since these are frequently misrepresented in many places. My blog has two directions, although I use only English in my writings: on the one hand, I want to inform Dutch faithful - hence the presence of a page with Dutch translations of texts which I consider interesting or important -, and on the other hand, I want to inform the wider world of what is going on in the Church in the Netherlands.

It is sometimes tempting to be too negative about such topics. I don't want to do that: my approach is an inherently positive one, and loyal to the Magisterium of the Church. In many quarters this is an unfamiliar idea: criticism is often the standard approach to the Church, her bishops and priests and other representatives. I will be critical when that is warranted, but it is not my standard approach.

For a personal account about my reasons for becoming and remaining Catholic, go read my story: Why am I Catholic?

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Latest translations added:

20 April: [English] Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki - Easter message.

15 April: [English] Bishop Frans Wiertz - Homily on sexual abuse.

4 April: [English] Pope Francis - Interview with Belgian youth.

25 February: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Brief aan de Gezinnen.

24 February: [Dutch] Raymond Kardinaal Burke - De radicale oproep van de paus tot de nieuwe evangelisatie.
De focus van Paus Franciscus op liefde en praktische pastorale zorg in de grotere context van de Schrift en de leer van de Kerk.

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Sancta Maria, hortus conclusus, ora pro nobis!

Sancte Ramon de Peñafort, ora pro nobis!

Pope Francis

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Metropolitan Archbishop of the Province of Rome, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the Servants of God

Bishop Gerard de Korte

Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden

Willem Cardinal Eijk

Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto, Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht

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