Saturday, January 30, 2010

Archbishop Eijk of Holland: Years of Reality for the Church

[Kathnet, Holland]Dutch Archbishop submits that in Holland in the next ten years 1,000 more churches will be closed, 600 protestant and 400 Catholic. The Archbishop denies that they will be used as mosques.

The Dutch Archbishop Wim Eijk sees the next decade as "years of truth for churches". The turning away of belief in the Church will stabilize itself by year 2020, said the Archbishop of Utrecht in an interview with the newspaper "De Telegraaf" (Saturday). At present perhaps 16 percent of the of the population of the Netherlands is Catholic. This will also sink by ten percent. "Catholics, who still practice their faith, are strengthened by the search for authentic Faith," said Ejik.

The Archbishop maintains, that in the Netherlands over the next 10 years, 1000 churches will close, 600 protestant and 400 Catholic. The Bishops deny the use of churches as mosques. Empty churches could be used by other Christian communities, as health care facilities, or for cultural uses. Also, buildings can be demolished, provided that they are not culturally important landmarks.

Eijk, who has led the diocese of Groningen since the end of 2007, attempted to work decisively toward the financial health of the Church in Holland. "Had we not done anything, we would have been bankrupt in the last ten years, and had no more money to pay salaries," he said. Eijk is receiving sharp criticism for savings measures by a group of institutions for priestly education.

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