Utrecht Cardinal Willem Eijk, Netherlands, speaks about the collapse of the Dutch Church in an interview book by Andrea Galli (Sandro Magister, September 21).
The Netherlands were one of the most Catholic countries worldwide providing for 12% of the Catholic missionaries. Now, out of a population of 17 million only 150,000 attend Sunday Mass, most of them immigrants.
According to Eijk already in the 1940s, Dutch Catholics were tied to the Church more for social reasons, such as being a member in a Catholic association, than by the Faith.
He observes that Vatican II wanted the Church to open up to society, which it did, while society did not opened up to the Church. Instead, the Church was expelled from public life. After this, "the Church fell into one of the deepest faith crises in its history.”
Eijk suggest that the Church needs to put its own house in order before it will be able to evangelise the world.
He doesn't expect a schism, “I rather think that what has already happened with us in Holland will happen in many parts of the world.”
Picture: Willem Eijk, © wikicommons, CC BY-SA, #newsJyvkowlmho