Wednesday, May 31, 2006

First Stop: The Netherlands

Ok, people from Holland. I've been cheering for your country in the world of Soccer for a long long time. Back when I was like 8, my parents went to Holland and brought me back a shirt that said, "We Love Oranje," refering to your teams colors, displayed below by Ruud Van Nistelrooy, and ever since, I've been a fan of the oranje.
You also sport (or used to sport, rather) some of my favorite players of all time, including Kluivert, Davids, Seedorf, the De Boers, and others who aren't on the team anymore. You also have some of the sharpest looking uniforms in the world.

But I have to ask... What is wrong with you people?

Now before you even think about making a Catholic joke, I'm gonna just tell you not to bother, because this isn't funny. They are actually trying to make a political party of Pedophiles, called "The Charity, Freedom, and Diversity Party."

Now I'm happy to see that 82 percent of people in Holland oppose the party, but what is going on? You also have the most "liberal" policies on drug use and prostitution in Europe. You used to be so Catholic!

"In these years (1890's - 1940's) there was a strong community spirit and an effective social control among Dutch Catholics. The church authorities had, beside the catholic schools, a great variety of social, cultural and recreational organisations at their disposal, in order to direct the daily life and works of the Catholics. The most effective way, however, was confession. In the field of good moral sense, sexuality and married life, directions were given, and if we look at the high birth rates among Catholics we may conclude that the church was very successful in these areas." (from .)

Now, "The percentage of Catholics among the Dutch population was reduced from 40.4% in 1960 to 35%: only a mere 13% attends weekly mass." (also from site linked above)

I tried to find out what this 13% was up to, but couldn't find anything not in dutch.

The priesthood in the Netherlands, sadly, seems to be of very low morale. I came across this letter from JPII to the country's bishops, written in 1998. It is beautiful.

I was in Amsterdam a little over a year ago, but sadly did not get to visit the city. I had a 15 hour layover and slept pretty much the whole time in my hotel room. Still, I wish I would have visited some of the churches to see what was going on there.

Anyways, if anyone has any knowledge of anything more positive to add please do in the comments section. And on the field, I still have a soft spot for the oranje. I hope they take the group.

[UPDATE] Here is a good link. Ok, here is a good link to a blog and Podcast by a Catholic Priest from the Archdiocese of Utrecht. Thanks Adam.


Adam said...

I'm not sure about The Netherlands as a whole, but I love Fr. Roderick. He is in Amersfoort and runs a podcasting network called SQPN. His daily show, 'The Daily Breakfast' is found here.

Check him out, there is a Catholic presence still there!

Seminarian said...

Thanks a lot.