The Dutch Church’s emotional storm

Three days later, and it’s still difficult to not see anything I try to do here in the light of the abuse crisis, the Deetman report and, especially, the emotional response it, and the reactions from prelates and priests, triggers. All media channels devote many pages and minutes to the topic and for now it seems that the response of the public is primarily emotional. There are positive and negative consequences to that. The most positive one, in my opinion, is that it forces the bishops to acknowledge emotion. Archbishop Eijk acknowledged that the bishops could have shown more empathy from the very start of the crisis, and hopefully they will be able to remedy that in the immediate future. Television appearances by the archbishop and Bishop Gerard de Korte, and the honesty both men display, should go far in building a new basis from which to work through this crisis for the entire Church – laity and clergy, victims and perpetrators of abuse alike – in the Netherlands. But that must necessarily happen after the emotions have stopped raging. And for now, they have not.

Those emotions do not only live in the victims of abuse, although they surely have most right to them, but also in all Catholics in this country, or at least they should. For me, they certainly play their part in thinking about topics to blog about. It all falls a bit flat compared to the upheaval we are in today. Hence the relative lack of new posts. But in a way that is also suitable for this final week of Advent. In the end, there is only One who can repair the damage we have done to ourselves, and He will arrive in glory once more in a little over five days.

The Light of the World will rise again over the people, even through the dust clouds we have caused. For our part, we keep on hoping, praying and working for the healing of far too many damaged people.


O Radix Jesse!

O Radix Jesse, qui stas in signum populorum, super quem continebunt reges os suum, quem gentes deprecabuntur: veni ad liberandum nos, iam noli tardare.

[O Root of Jesse, that stands for an ensign of the people, before whom the kings keep silence and unto whom the Gentiles shall make supplication: come, to deliver us, and tarry not.]

We await the coming of the Lord, who has been rooted in Creation since the beginning of time, and who sprung from the root of Jesse. May he be equally rooted in our life and become the tree of our salvation.