Not a representative of the people – Abp. Léonard can’t catch a break

Belgian Vice Prime Minister Laurette Onkelinx has levelled some ignorant criticism against Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard. The archbishop’s recent critique at the government claiming the right to decide by majority vote on issues like sexuality, marriage and the differences between man and woman (topics which have a clear and logical identity which can’t be changed by opinion, and which precede legislation) was seen by Onkelinx as an attack on democracy. Instead of limiting her words to a simple disagreement, she saw it fit to lower herself to personal attack.

“The faithful deserve a better representative. He is most certainly not the representative of Catholics in our country,” she said. Well, there’s the heart of the problem put into words. A bishop is not a representative of the faithful, like Ms. Onkelinx is as a politician. Bishops, and priests for that matter, are not taken from the people to represent them. They are given to the faithful to shepherd, educate and lead them. If Msgr. Léonard represents anything, it is the Church and her teachings, and he does so admirably, whatever popular opinion is.

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incaelo

I'm a 36-year-old lay Catholic from the diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden. I write about the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. I not only enjoy bringing selected developments to the attention of readers, but I also think that it is sometimes important to allow a wider audience to read about the state of the Church in the Netherlands. That's why a fair number of posts about that topic will be translations of Dutch articles, episcopal writings and whatever else.

3 thoughts on “Not a representative of the people – Abp. Léonard can’t catch a break”

  1. I fully agree that we have to listen to the Catholic church of Jesus Christ and not criticize every word spoken in the name of God. It is not a claim of the
    church of God, but a gift from God to His church. Let us use our mouth to praise God in Trinity and use our ears to listen to Him who uses the authorities of His church to tell the world’s people how He wants them to live and behave. That church is – as Msgr Punt said when Msgr Hendriks was communicated both holy and guilty – and that should stop every human creature from critisizing Her, because She is His bride, as Johannes said.

  2. If every nation gets the politicians it deserves, then I pray: God, have mercy upon the Belgians. (Not that ours are much better…) Typing this, it occurs to me this was the punch line in a song by the Dutch comedian Freek de Jonge.

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