Press conference points

Bishop Hurkmans and Henk Krol at the press conference following their meeting

This morning, Bishop Antoon Hurkmans and cathedral administrator Father Geertjan van Rossem met with Gaykrant editor Henk Krol and two representatives of the COC to discuss the fallout of the Reusel affair. The discussion was set to have been open and friendly, respectful and a breath of fresh air, but agreement was not reached. Not very surprising, in my opinion.  

Bishop Hurkmans emphasised that denying Communion to practicing homosexuals does not exclude from the Church’s life. But since the Communion is also a confirmation of faith, the receiver expresses his agreement with that. That means that the person who receives Communion lives in accordance with the faith and the Church’s teachings.  

The bishop also said he shares the pain of those who can’t receive Communion. He emphasised the importance of a person’s own responsibility to receive and so confirm their faith in the Church’s teachings. That is counter to the prevalent attitude that Communion is a right and even a custom – that receiving should be part of every Mass one attends.  

Fr. van Rossem acknowledges that things have grown somewhat lax in respect to handing out Communion, and he expects that the faithful will receive more education on the meaning of the Eucharist in the future. Let’s hope that will indeed happen.  

There have been no statements yet about how the diocese plans to respond to protests on Sunday at the cathedral. The diocese is still considering that, but Fr. van Rossem did say that there is concern about a possible disruption of the Mass.  

I am seriously considering travelling down to ‘s-Hertogenbosch on Sunday, to attend Mass there and offer a counter-balance to the protesters. Mass is not the place or time  for protest, and in this case we should perhaps try to maintain the sacrality of the Mass, a sacrality that transcends any protest greatly.

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