Gearing up for Bootcamp 2011

The flyer for Bootcamp 2010, designed by Brother Hugo

When good Catholic catechesis and education beyond the basic topics is hard to find, you sometimes need to provide for it yourself. That is the basic reason why the Credimus Bootcamp was held for the first time in 2008. This year it will be organised for the fourth time and already the PR machine is gearing up. To the left you’ll notice the design of the flyer by Brother Hugo, the diocesan hermit who has been involved with Bootcamp from the start. He was also the host of the first edition.

The topic of Bootcamp 2011 is ‘shepherds’. I don’t know anything beyond that either, but I am sure that, over the course of the coming months, we will find out a bit more.

Bootcamp 2011 will be held from 16 to 22 July in Geffen, Diocese of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where Father David van Dijk will be host for the third time running.

An impression of my experiences of Bootcamp 2010 can be found in my blog post Back from Bootcamp.

Credimus Bootcamp is a week of liturgy and lectures, but also social activities and relaxation, aimed at people roughly between 16 and 35. There will be daily Mass in both forms of the Latin rite, offered by various guest priests, the Liturgy of the Hours, Adoration, and every day guests will come and speak about all kinds of topics (past topics included the sacrifice of the Mass, Gregorian chant (also in workshop form), ecclesiology, a first-hand account of an approved miracle and people’s innate urge to find God.

Next to that, there is ample time for relaxation, meals together, a day trip on the free day in the middle of the week and random Catholic encounters with people, traditions and artifacts from the dark attic of the faith, to paraphrase Brother Hugo. For most people attending it is also a week that does not leave them unaffected: in the end, Bootcamp is all about the encounter with the living God.

Follow the Bootcamp organisation, which includes the authors of Ingrid Airam and David’s Weblog, on Twitter via CmusBootcamp and on Facebook.


Right and left hands

Once more, a fact-finding legal investigation into a clerical abuse case shows how stunningly underdeveloped the communication between Church bodies has been and – for all we know – still is. In the southwest Dutch town of Middelburg, Bishop Hans van den Hende of Breda and Father Herman Spronck, provincial of the Dutch Salesians have been heard this week about an abuse case involving a Salesian priest who was employed as a parish priest by the Diocese of Breda in the 1980s and was convicted of sexual abuse of minors in 1990. It later transpired that he had been guilty of abuse before coming to work in Breda. The ordinary at the time, Bishop Huub Ernst, immediately fired the priest when his history became known.

Fr. Spronck has explained in a letter to the court that the Salesians never bothered to inform the diocesan curia of Breda about the priest’s past. The letter also makes clear that the priest fell under the jurisdiction of the Salesians and not the diocese, which is the core of the case that the victim tries to build: who can be held responsible for the priest’s crimes?

The Salesian letter says “that, at the time of the appointment of Mr. N. to Terneuzen, they did not communicate at all with the diocese about the history of Mr. N. This happened neither before or over the course of the appointment.” Fr. Spronck also said that the Diocese of Breda should have investigated the priest they appointed themselves as well.

Bishop van den Hende declared before the court that the diocesan archives contain nothing but the appointment and dismissal letters of the priest in question. All that the bishop knows about the case is second-hand, which makes sense, since he was only appointed to Breda in 2006.

I don’t think this is what Christ meant when he said, “Let not your left hand know what your right hand does” (Matt. 6:3).