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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:

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 He has since recovered and some voices said that he had rescinded the request.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.

About this blog

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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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Netherlands License.

The above means that I have the right to be recognised as the author of both the original blog posts, as well as any translations I make. Everyone is free to share my content, but with credit in the form of my name or a link to my blog.

Blog and media

Over the years, my blog posts have been picked up by various other blogs, websites and media outlets.

A complete list would be prohibitively long, so I'll limit myself to mentioning The Anchoress, Anton de Wit, Bisdom Haarlem-Amsterdam, The Break/SQPN, Caritas in Veritate, Catholic Culture, The Catholic Herald, EWTN, Fr. Ray Blake's Blog, Fr. Z's Blog, The Hermeneutic of Continuity, Katholiek Gezin,, National Catholic Register, National Catholic Reporter, New Liturgical Movement, NOS, Protect the Pope, Reformatorisch Dagblad, The Remnant, RKS Ariëns, Rorate Caeli, The Spectator, Vatican Insider, Voorhof and Whispers in the Loggia.

All links to, quotations of and use as source material of my blog posts is greatly appreciated. It's what I blog for: to further awareness and knowledge in a positive critical spirit. Credits are equally liked, of course.

Blog posts have also been used as sources for various Wikipedia articles, among them those on Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carré, Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Archbishop Sergio Utleg and Rainer Maria Cardinal Woelki.

Latest translations added:

1 December: [English] Archbishop Stephan Burger - Advent letter 2014

29 November: [English] Bishop Frans Wiertz - Homily for the opening of the Year of Consecrated Life

29 November: [English] Bishop Gregor Maria Hanke - Advent letter 2014

27 November: [English] Bishop Johan Bonny - Advent letter 2014

27 November: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Toespraak voor het Europees Parlement.

25 November: [English] Bishop Gerard de Korte - Advent letter 2014.

17 November: [Dutch] Paus Franciscus - Toespraak voor de conferentie over de complementariteit tussen man en vrouw.

10 November: [English] Pope Francis - Letter to the Church of the Frisians.

22 October: [English] Bishop Gerard de Korte - The doctrine of the Church must always be actualised.

9 October: [English] Godfried Cardinal Danneels - Intervention at the Synod.

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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