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It takes strength of character to amid mistakes, and even more so to ask forgiveness from those you have hurt by your actions. Christian Ouwens has such character. Omroep Brabant reports that the student of theology regrets his actions of two years ago, when he filed a complaint against two priests and the bishop of ‘s Hertogenbosch. The reason was the widely-reported refusal of communion to the openly homosexual carnival prince of the village of Reusel.
Mr. Ouwens now admits that he was wrong and Father Luc Buyens was right. He regrets having urged others in the wrong direction and having attacked the faith, the priest and the bishop. “The fact that something feels good, does not mean that it is good,” he says about his support for a homosexual lifestyle. Mr. Ouwens is homosexual himself.
He has already spoken to Father Geertjan van Rossum, one of the priests he lodged an official complaint against in early 2010, and he says that the priest respects him. He plans to have the priest of Reusel hear his confession this coming Wednesday, although he has already spoken with him. Whether this is Fr. Luc Buyens, the parish priest in Reusel at the time of the incident, or the current priest, Father Karel van Rosmalen, is not known, although the former seems most fitting.
Admitting mistakes is not a weakness, but a sign of maturity. We all make mistakes, and we can all remedy them, such as by asking forgiveness from those we hurt, be they people around us, people farther away, or God Himself. That is what Confession is for. If we are truly sorry for what we did, He will forgive us and shine His light on the road before us.
Compliments to Mr. Ouwens for his courage!
Photo source: Gk.nl
Earlier today I heard that there were strong rumours in the Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch that the appointment of two auxiliary bishops was only days away, and that has now been confirmed by Omroep Brabant, the local regional TV and radio station. Bishop Hurkmans, the ordinary of the diocese, had requested the appointment a couple of years ago, when he was in ill health. He has since recovered and some voices said that he had rescinded the request. Evidently that is not true, or Rome chose to appoint two auxiliaries regardless.
The Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch is the largest diocese in the Netherlands when it comes to the number of Catholics. Catholic Hierarchy mentions a number of some 1.4 million. That is more than half the total population of the diocese, which encompasses the eastern half of the province of North Brabant as well as southeast Gelderland.
The appointment of two new bishops will bring the total number of active bishops in the Netherlands to an unprecedented thirteen, six of whom will be auxiliaries. There are also eight emeritus bishops, including the only Dutch elector, Cardinal Simonis.
‘s-Hertogenbosch has about 1,000 priests, both religious and diocesan, so there seems to be ample choice. Assuming, of course, that the bishops elect will actually be from the diocese they will be appointed for.