Catholic newspaper warned churches will continue to close in the Netherlands, where half of all Catholic parishes have already been dissolved amid plummeting church participation.

“It’s never good to panic, but there are grave concerns about the way things are going here,” said Peter Doorakkers, an editor at the Katholiek Nieuwsblad weekly.

“It’s been hoped people would draw the obvious conclusion – that if you want your church to stay open, you don’t just need to support it financially, you also have to attend it more. But if you look at the numbers at Mass now and average ages, it’s obvious more churches will close in the near future.”

The newspaper said the Catholic population of the Netherlands had fallen by a fifth in 15 years, with just 5% of the country’s 3.7 million registered Catholics still attending Mass, while 55% of parishes had closed.

However, it said research suggested Dutch society had not yet reached “peak secularisation” and warned that, with up to 80% of Church funds devoted to maintaining buildings, the “biggest wave of church closures” was still to come.

Katholiek Nieuwsblad said in an editorial it had hoped to show the disappearance of Catholic parishes had “far-reaching consequences” for local communities, but conceded that many former parish functions had instead been “effortlessly and silently taken over” by other social organisations. While some closures had been painful, most village communities had “recovered surprisingly quickly”.

However, its findings had “touched an open nerve”, prompting extensive responses from readers, the newspaper said.


55% of Dutch churches and parishes closed. That is a staggering figure.

We are always behind happenings in the Netherlands. We will soon see lots of churches being sold off in Ireland.

Currently there are 25 churches for sale by the Church of England.

As a Christian and a priest I regret the loss of faith.

But if course, especially in the case of the RCC it is the clergy who are to blame for peoples loss of faith with their financial and sexual corruption

And, of course, Hoolland and Ireland needed to be freed from the control of the clergy.

Ireland was priest ridden. There will eventually be as few priests in Ireland as there are corn rakes.

*Beautiful Message written in arabic language*

அரபு மொழியில் காணப்பட்ட
அற்புதமான மகாவாக்கியங்கள்.
تذكر ان ما تصنعه الْيوم لنف jbسك ستكسبه في الغد سالبا او موجبا
لكن تذكر أيضا ان الحياة عبر
قال تعالى
فَاعْتَبِرُوا يَا أُولِي الْأَبْصَارِ
وايضاً قال
فَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا
A rich man looked through his window and saw a poor man picking something from his dustbin … He said, Thank GOD I’m not poor;

The poor man looked around and saw a naked man misbehaving on the street … He said, Thank GOD I’m not mad;

The mad man looked ahead and saw an ambulance carrying a patient … He said, Thank GOD am not sick;

Then a sick person in hospital saw a trolley taking a dead body to the mortuary … He said, Thank GOD I’m not dead;

Only a dead person cannot thank God;

Why don’t you thank GOD today for all your blessings and for the gift of life … for another beautiful day;

*What is LIFE*?
To understand life better, you have to go to 3 locations:

*1. Hospital*
*2. Prison*
*3. Cemetery*

At the Hospital, you will understand that nothing is more beautiful than HEALTH.

In the Prison, you’ll see that FREEDOM is the most precious thing

At the Cemetery, you will realize that life is worth nothing. The ground that we walk today will be our roof tomorrow.

Sad Truth* : We all come with *Nothing* and we will go with *Nothing* … Let us, therefore, remain humble and be thankful & grateful to God at all times for everything.



I’ve been to Holland many times and have enjoyed the beautiful liturgies at their Churches, particularly in the very Catholic part of Holland with the lovely city of Maastricht containing magnificent churches. There is an evolution of change over which we often have no control. With the emergence of new scientific knowledge and thinking, it is inevitable that the concept of religious faith/belief and philosophy will be challenged and changed. Religious faith and practice is continually changing and with this change comes new expressions of our understanding of human life and evolution, with many opting for a humanist, evolutionist context for life, drawing their beliefs and values more from humanism and respective philosophies. The Christian understanding of life is still relevant and a counter sign to the relativism of which Pope Benedict spoke eloquently. However, the sexual abuse scandals, the cover ups, the lack of truth and accountability, the denial by leadership in the Church and its totally inadequate response, have all added to thousands walking away, their trust betrayed and crushed, left to refind alternative visions of life. Yet, in the most awful tragic circumstances of people’s lives, in the darkest of tragedies, in the sadness of loss and grief, the local Christian community is a comforting and caring sanctuary for people, as we witness in these days of inexplicable grief for many. We can only hope that the local Christian Parish Community will always strive to be that sanctuary of hope, light, compassion and comfort. Churches will have to close but the local Christian community will survive. We need to more honestly and adequately prepare people for the future. The death of a particular way of being Church may give way to something infinitely better, hopefully, where the local community of Christ give definition and direction to their Church. .


Your assessment is balanced and sound, and I hope that local Christian communities that remain can be that source of love and compassion to all that you talk about. What I fear, however, is that a remnant, much reduced Christian presence will be dominated by the hard line, conservative, orthodox, traditionalist, moralistic right wing of the Church, who see themselves as surviving in a hostile world with their backs to the wall and becoming more and more isolationist, detached, and odd. You know the model – when challenged, retreat to the most extreme position you can find and defend it. This pattern is evolving in the UK. Often when local churches are under threat of closure, right wing traditionalist communities are invited to take over by the bishop who is desperate not to be the one to close or change anything. These groups bring with them an almost pre-Vatican II, Tridentine, theology, liturgy and ministry, which attracts those who are likeminded and fearful of change, so that they become an odd rump, incestuously ministering to themselves and holding back the world. It is a cultic sect, and will manifest all the dysfunctional behaviour of such sects, and is ultimately doomed. That’s not a Church to which I want to belong. So, I will be casting my net wider.


So in the Uk there are five churches run by priestly orders that use the pre council rites how is that any kind of threat ?The majority of parish churches in the Uk have the liturgy according to the reformed rites, most bishops in England prefer to close churches rather than give them to anyone let alone a traditional religious order, Shrewsbury, Lancaster and Liverpool have all closed more churches than they have given to the Old Mass.


Holland is the setting for some of the worst abuse (chemical castration) and also the most liberal catholicism, although the Dutch catechism controversy now seems long ago.
I remember Gerald Hughes commenting in one of his books about some bishop putting out a prayer that the Scottish church be spared the extremes of the Dutch church and there being no likelihood of that happening!


The high irony of that notice on the door of the church in the photograph couldn’t have been missed by whoever fastened it there. Perhaps it was put there with the intention of prophecising.
Yes, the Catholic Church is a dangerous building these days especially : dangerous to morals, to faith, to persons, to souls.
This is what happens when Peter forgets himself and decides that he, rather than Christ, will build Jesus’ Church. In fact, it is what happened EVERY time in history when Peter decided to try his hand at building: chaos and division have ensued.
Ask Martin Luther.


Altering the Catholic faith is suicide. This is evidence of this clearly. The Dutch Church was supposedly the most progressive and liberal post Vatican 2 and they received plaudits for this. They may have also started the practice of Communion in the hand. For all your readers Pat, this is what happens when you try to frame the Church in your own image and likeness as opposed to the traditional Catholic Faith framed by the Holy Spirit. Show me where the fruit is of this liberal, modernist, embrace the world approach? Faith dies, Churches close


I hear Colin McGrath on SDLP MLA has on the radio condemned comments on your blog yesterday regarding Seamus Mallon.


Down and Connor drawing up a hit list of churches to close. St Joseph’s, Deanby, Cavehill Rd soon to be joined by other non profit churches. Is Ligoniel on the chopping block? Only St Patrick’s breaks even and its numbers are falling as well. A parish that once needed 4 priests is down to 2. Bishop bling can’t be subsidising under performing churches. Wonder why they are closing? Mmmm. Maybe because of all the crap in the church that has turned people off. They are marching away. Sad NOT


There are no closures we we would have them listed by now – officially. Little ooint speculating about two places among many.


Why are people leaving the Church ? It’s quite simple. The message that the Church is preaching does not resound with the vast majority of people. No longer can people be expected to conform and attend out of fear and guilt, since they now have a much more developed sense of themselves, the world and life, and fear and guilt simply do not work anymore. In addition, people are so much more educated and able to think for themselves these days, and simply do not credit the silly, twee, pietistic shite that comes from a contrived and mechanistic theology. I mean, who credits all the nonsense about transubstantiation, heaven, the Virgin Mary, apparitions, resurrection, etc., these days ? People are not stupid, and if they are to be engaged then they need to be engaged by thinking and theology that makes some sense and speaks to them. The Church should concentrate not on the old traditional teachings and uphold outdated and discredited attitudes to sex and gender, but on things that make a real difference, for example its social justice agenda, and the creation of communities which are peaceful, respectful, dignified and just. Instead, all the clerics seem to want to do is to concentrate on the genitals and loins as the prism for judging people and situations, intruding in to areas that they have no right to be. People just don’t buy in to this anymore. It’s irrelevant to them. They have moved on, not necessarily to more selfish or consumerist ways (which is always the accusation of the Church when lamenting people leaving the Church), but to other ways of seeing the world, others, and their lives. They still hanker after meaning, and love, and goodness, and peace, but in a message that is relevant to them and their lives, rather than some concocted , twee, silly collection of so called revealed truths and traditions that have had their day. So, dear bishops and priests, look around you and ask what is happening, rather than just bemoaning it and blaming people. You are supposed to be the subject matter experts but it appears that you are stuck and incapable of developing your faith and understand things in a different way. I notice that the Anglican bishops restated their traditional teaching about sex the other day, namely that it is only valid and right within the context of marriage. Really ?! Do they really think that most people still believe that ? They are digging their own grave by not having the wit and imagination to look at things anew and afresh and develop a theology that relationship and sexuality that speaks to the reality of the lives of the vast majority of the world.


Unfortunately no current theologian is going to put their head above the parapet to pursue this line. The lesson of how the CDF treated the late Fr Seán Fagan hasn’t been forgotten.


Who are the priests talking about traditional faith and morals? Complete fantasy they don’t exist, the priests are the cheerleaders for agnosticism and social justice and have been for decades


@2.57pm. Yes indeed, the SDLP have deemed Pat very naughty indeed. I wonder what would be an appropriate punishment? Maybe lock him inside the office of the Irish News for a day or chained to the tomb stone of the old nun in Armagh.


Pat’s punishment should be a public scolding by Bishop Phonsie again in front of the Waterford & Lismore clergy. The best spectacle to be seen in the diocese in many a year. The glass of water demanded by +Fonz (Happy Days) after the scolding was cherry on the cake.


Bishop Pat, total criticism of you today by the SDLP on the airwaves. They don’t discuss the fact Mallon hated Hume and vice versa. Pip squeak leader Eastwood (white patch on beard) explained it today as big personalities at that time in the SDLP – total laugh.


Brandy Canon? Tesco are doing a great deal on a well known brand for £30 a litre. Other well known brands are available.


Regrettable to say we would still have the old Unionist Stormant had we left it to the SDLP. The Shinners etc made the difference.


In contrast to the people I lived in clerical luxury in Divis. But I basically only slept in the house. I wanted to live in a flat with the people and the Executive offered me a flat. Daly refused to allow me.


Didn’t know that, Bishop P.. Kudos to you for trying.

That bastard Daly was determined to keep a social distance between clergy and laity.


I was very friendly with the NIHE area manager Mrs Kennedy – a Maggie Thatcher type.


Amy at St James’ Mullaghbrack tomorrow to honour the great Mallon, SDLP loving Irish News supporter and horrible man to deal with. Lover and supporter of Cahal Daly but nasty and fiercest critic of O’ Fiaach


Have you requested your file from the Diocese as well as the seminary Pat? I bet that Daly recorded a lot of shit about you.


6.06: Your usage of the word ‘shit’ sums up exactly the unpleasantness between Pat and Cathal Daly, an unpleasantness of shut caused by two stubborn, obstinate and divisive people. They are each responsible, though Patsy says differently.


Bishop Daly was a nasty man. When my brother was a priest he was dying he refused me to move in to look after him. I have the letter from him saying moving in with your brother could create scandal.


Can we see the letter?

Shame on him for not allowing you to care for your dear brother.

Daly had SMS – small mans syndrome.



Again, public image was put before human compassion and care.

Corporate reputation was everything to men like Daly.

Jesus cared not one jot for his reputation when he dined with the tax collectors and sinners, when he spoke with the Samatitan woman at the well, when he allowed a woman to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair, when he healed on the Sabba….

What is the point of continuing this exposé of these Christ-betrayers? They don’t give tuppence for the Gospel. For the institutional Church, yes. But that is all.

There is no such thing as a good Roman Catholic priest. And even less a good bishop.

Their express loyalty to this church gurantees that.


Just googled him as I’d not heard about him. He has a very big ring so obviously liked power and control.


The wounded healer is turning up at St James’s Mullaghbrack tomorrow to show crocodile years for Mallon. He is, after all, the Primate of all Ireland. Both jokes. Armagh PP


I like the fact you never bowed down to him Pat. Bet he was mad with you. Shame he never accepted your olive branch before he died. I bet your name was mud with the hierarchy lol.


When I was newly ordained I was called into see the Bishop and he was always one for offering up his ring to kiss. I was very nervous about seeing him, but carried out my duty and in a state of extreme nervousness I said “I don’t normally kiss a ring on the first date your Grace”. He replied “Nice to know I am the exception Father”. We laughed it off and I was duly posted to my first Parish.


‘I really did happen!’

is that some kind of philosophical statement? off to bed ya dope! you have school in the morning!


D &C don’t believe that GDPR apply to them. Their HR manager is more clerical than the priests! She knows little or nothing about GDPR legislation. I can guarantee you that they will not release all the information they have on you. If they don’t, ask for a review of their decision and then lodge a complaint with the ICO. D&C suffer from a superiority complex. Now that you are outside the fold Pat, you are part of what they would see as “the plebs”. I also have to laugh at 3:02 who states that they would have told us if they were planning to close churches!! Does this imbecile from D&C think we are stitched up the back? Of course they are planning to close churches. They’ve been discussing it for years. All about the money and lack of priests. Bishop Bling is in this to make money not lose it. How else is he going to maintain his palace and extensive grounds? How else is he going to keep his houses in the castle area for his minions? Watch this space. Ligoniel one of the first for the chop


Lollipop Josie at 8:00pm
Cahal Daly was an odious little hissing creep. He was a liar and a cover up merchant


Pat, you’re missing all the craic down here in the Holy Seminary of Gaynoof. You need to get down from Larne for a ringside seat.

Twas ructions earlier and Mick dah Extractor hit Fanny Mullaney a great clatter up the puss.

Pat, wee Mother Mary Paulette the Pryeress used to be able to keep the peace betwixt them but there’s peace no more under this roof now, Pat.

Mick d’Extractor lashed out, Pat. We’ll declare to God the man was provoked for Fanny going around with a great big puss on her and lecturing all and sundry on teeology. D’Extractor snapped Pat and hit out with a great shlap. Fanny ran squealin and bawlin to her rooms, Pat. Begorra this will end up yet in the Sunday Wurdled.


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