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Report on The Netherlands 2003

Ir. J.P. Oostveen

Actually the society Ecclesia Dei Delft is only involved with the region Rotterdam-Delft- The Hague in the Diocese of Rotterdam, while Una Voce Netherlands should represent the Netherlands. But by the lack of Una Voce Netherlands the society Ecclessia Dei Delft will take over writing the Dutch Report 2003 as accurately as possible with the available information.

There are three locations in two dioceses where the Bishops permit the H. Mass according to the 1962 Missal:

Besides these locations there is a regular Tridentine Holy Mass in a private Chapel of a retired priest at Heusden (Diocese of Breda). For 6 years in Nunhem (Diocese of Roermond in the South-East of the Netherlands) the Dutch Chapter of the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage has a permit to celebrate the H. Mass according to the 1962 Missal once a year by the opportunity of the reunion of the international pilgrims. The pilgrims from Belgium, Switzerland, France, Germany, England as well as Ireland are joining the Dutch for a small pilgrimage to the Holy Spring of St. Servatius at Nunhem. A request, made by the Dutch Chapter of the Paris-Chartres Pilgrimage for a monthly permit instead of once a year has been abolished. The request was been rejected by the Bishop of Roermond: “the time is not ripe yet”

Although a number of rather young diocese priests likes the Tridentine Rite and is using that particular Rite in private Masses, because of the measures that will be taken by the Bishops these priests are afraid to use that Rite in public. In the same way more then once measures have been taken to priest students because they visit the Holy Mass according the Tridentine Rite. These measures may vary from a delay of their ordination to a suspension.

So for example in the Diocese of Roermond a number of relative young parish priests, about 6% of the active priests, are afraid of measures, like suspension and loosing their income. It is also well known that a retired auxiliary Bishop of that diocese Roermond after his retirement has cebrated the H. Mass according to the Tridentine Rite in public at Niel-bij-As in Belgium more then once, but he did not do so in public in The Netherlands!

Another example shows one of the priest students at the seminary of the diocese of Den Bosch, who visited the Holy Mass at Delft twice. He got a ban, not only for visiting the Holy Mass in Delft but also having contact to the parish priest, his spiritual Father, who introduced him to that H. Mass celebrated by him. Despite that Holy Mass is according to an agreement with the Bishop of Rotterdam.

On behalf of the Dutch Bishops Conference the Bishop of Den Bosch formulated the official policy concerning the Tridentine Rite (2001). He refers to the Indult of 1984 ignoring the Motu Proprio Ecclesia Dei (1988), the audience of Pope John Paul II in 1998, the letter of October 18th 1999 ad well as all other documents concerning. Even the point of view, recently expressed by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos in his Homily in the S. Maria Maggiore last May 23rd seems to be ignored by the Dutch Bishops, except by the Bishops of Breda and Rotterdam.

After the Tridentine H. Mass in the St. Maria Magiore celebrated by Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos a private website with catholic news conducted by some regular diocese priests and seminarists has organised a poll on the internet. This poll shows that about 30% of the response prefers the Tridentine Rite while 9% is neutral and 28% agrees a co-existence of the New and the Tridentine Rite. Only 25 % of the response is against, while 8% calls the New Rite even too old fashion.

So that poll makes clear the liturgical terror by a minority in The Netherlands.