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A bit lost amid all the news about the beatification of Venerable John Paul II, as well as (especially in English blogs) the ordination of three former Anglican bishops to the Catholic priesthood in Westminster Cathedral today, is the news that yesterday, completely according to expectation, Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop Ad van Luyn of Rotterdam, “upon having reached the age limit”, as the official words are.

The see of Rotterdam is now officially vacant, although Bishop van Luyn still acts as Apostolic Administrator until the appointment and installation of his successor. That is standard procedure, and the bishop continues to have all the rights and duties of a diocesan bishop until a new bishop takes over.

The procedure that has now begun includes the creation of a so-called terna, a list of three candidates nominated by the chapter of the diocese, a discussion of that terna by the conference of bishops (who als have the right to nominate candidates), and the nuncio sending the names of the candidates and the judgement of the bishops to the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, who will then tasks the nuncio with an investigation into the proposed candidates. The Congregation will then make a decision and present that to the pope, who will have the final say in the appointment.

Bishop van Luyn is also the chairman of the Dutch bishops’ conference and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE). These bodies will likely elect a successor without waiting for a new appointment to Rotterdam. The COMECE is currently led by two vice-presidents: Reinhard Cardinal Marx (München und Freising) and Bishop Piotr Jarecki (auxiliary, Warsaw).

Bishop van Luyn was the fourth bishop of Rotterdam, a diocese established in 1955 from the Diocese of Haarlem. He was ordained a priest for the Order of the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1964 and in 1993 he was appointed to Rotterdam. He was consecrated in February of 1994. He has been bishop of Rotterdam for almost 17 years, making him the longest-sitting bishop of that diocese.

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:

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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