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.


6 thoughts on “The Dutch Church’s emotional storm”

  1. I appreciate the Archbishop’s honesty in admitting he and his colleagues shoeld have shown more empathy, but it still puzzles me. Empathy is a quality one normally would expect to find in a priest or a bishop, so how come the bishops seem to lack it?

  2. I have been in a boarding school with two brothers at Oudenbosch for two years and my brothers both for five years and we have never noticed anything of this abuse at all. That first. Let us also look at the number on the total and then it is not that big as we hear other people commenting about it. Besides who is really entitled to judge these abuses and should we not first investigate our own faults before starting to cry comments around. It makes me think about the woman menaced by the pharisees and accused of adultery and brought to Jesus Who -without any sin at all -said: let he who has no sin, stone her to death (throw the first stone). The woman answered no one did. And He said:”I will not judge you either. Go and do not sin again.” Moreover we hear about abuse committed 30 and more years ago.

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