Rorate Caeli

Cleaning the stables

A regular bishop (that is, an "extremist conservative" and "hateful fundamentalist" for the "Progressives") is named as Auxiliary in a Dutch diocese; one year later, he is named by the titular bishop to help run a problematic parish, whose governing board is dominated by those same Progressives.

The Auxiliary Bishop is Robertus Mutsaerts, of 's Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch, in the Netherlands); the Parish Church is that of San Salvator, in the city itself; the date for the beginning of the bishop's administration of the Parish is November 1, All Saints' Day; and the open revolt by the Liberal board began as soon as the measure was announced, about one month ago. The board, in order to force the Bishop to back down, threatened to have the community leave the church buildings and create a lay-run independent foundation. The diocesan spokesman's answer to the threat? "All are free to profess their faith". Ouch!

Now official: San Salvator no longer Catholic 

It is exceedingly rare that a community of faithful breaks away from the Catholic Church, certainly when compared to the Protestant churches. But yesterday morning it happened. The parish council, fired earlier last week, of the San Salvator parish in Den Bosch, took many faithful with them in their misguided break away from the Diocese of ‘s Hertogenbosch. They will be continuing their services in a community centre around the corner from the church which they had used for the past years.

It is now up to Bishop Rob Mutsaerts, who has been appointed as temporary parish priest, to install a new parish council and return the sacraments and the faith of the world Church back to the people of the surrounding neighbourhoods. Stating that the faithful have every right to defect, he says: “This no longer fits under the banner of the Roman Catholic Church, but apart from that I wish them all the best.”

Considering the stubborn attitude of the San Salvator council in discussions with the diocese, and their hostile attitude to Church teachings personified, for them, in Bishop Mutsaerts, this was something of an inevitable consequence. But it is a great loss. For the people of the parish, who are deprived from the sacraments and the salvation Christ offers through them, and also from the communion with the rest of the diocese. In essence they have become a lone island whose actions are dictated by hollow feelings and empty words.

Schism is, by itself, a terrible thing, and we pray that these separated brothers and sisters will return to communion with the Apostolic See and with the faith she has always professed soon enough. But such incidents allow the Church to purify herself of those (a large number of people) who have remained within her as spiritual parasites, holding only to the name "Catholic", but to nothing else. A purer, poorer, smaller Church is not necessarily a worse Church.