(Republished, here, with permission of the authors)
Dr. G.J.M. van den Aardweg
Borgerweg 1 – 2111 CG Aerdenhout
Prof. Dr. Ir. W.J. Witteman
D.Nijhoffstr. 14 -7552 GR Hengelo
Mgr. Dr. Aldo Cavalli
2517 KH ‘sGravenhage
Enclosed we send you, as representatives of a group of Dutch Catholics, a motivated Petition to the Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops of the Netherlands, consisting of three concrete requests.
We have limited the group of signatories, but it is clear to us that many orthodox Catholics support this initiative, among them many priests.
As you may notice, these requests are in line with several international initiatives such as the Polish action (with over 140.000 signatories), and, for instance, the call on the faithful in the U.S. by the Editor in Chief of Catholic World News, Mr. Lawler, to adress their Bishops with similar requests. The fact that we had the present requests ready before the above initiatives were made public, illustrates that the need inspiring this Petition is an international Catholic reality.
Fortunately, some recent clarifying statements by His Eminence Cardinal Eijk are clearly commensurate with this Petition; but given the actual situation in the Church, we hope that in continuation of them the Dutch Bishops will take the necessary further steps to protect orthodoxy and the faithful alike.
In principle. we consider this Petition as an Open Letter, for it s is not about accidental but essential questions which directly concern all Catholics. Therefore, we intend to make this piece public within shortly.
We hope the Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops will agree with the view underlying this Petition and not take its three concretized requests as criticism, but as support for their actions.
With all due respect,
on behalf of the signatories,
Dr. G.J.M. van den Aardweg Prof. Dr. Ir. W.J. Witteman
+ + +
I – Introduction
Until a few years it seemed inconceivable, but in recent years we are stunned to find that the Vatican, under the pontificate of Pope Francis, has taken a path that has touched the essence of the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexuality that must be called a road of degradation.
Initially one could try to condone the dubious statements and measures of the Pope himself or of his assistants, in the expectation that the mistakes or slips would be of a temporary nature and would be adjusted again. Now this is no longer possible. There is too much that cannot remain uncontradicted, there is too much division and uncertainty created.
A keyword-wise reminder of some questionable matters:
- The Vatican representation as if a consent to the scientifically unfounded and morally dangerous climate theory of the United Nations is a religious duty;
- The manipulated report on the 2014 Episcopal Synod in Rome, towards liberalization of divorce and recognition of homosexual relationships;
- The paragraphs in the encyclical Amoris Laetitia, in which an opening is made for valid married couples in a new relationship to receive Holy Communion without fulfilling the required conditions, and in which the principle that the subjective conscientious conviction can be above the known law of God;
- The persistent refusal of the Pope to provide the (correct & Catholic) clarification to the cardinals and others who have presented their “Dubia” respectfully and with strength of arguments – and the ignoring of the serious objections of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (cardinal Müller);
- The papal fiat to the bishops of Argentina, Germany, and Malta, who use the disputed paragraphs in the liberal sense in which they are intended;
- Honours to radical feminist abortion activists (including the Dutch scandal-Ploumen and its negligent treatment afterwards);
- The appointment inside and outside the Vatican of persons who reject Humanae Vitae or are even pro-abortion, and of advisors and bishops in different parts of the world who openly advocate recognition of homosexual relationships;
- The questionable attitude of a committee that “needs to re-examine Humanae Vitae”; the likely preparations for the elimination of the general priestly celibacy; probably making it possible to discuss “female deacons”;
- The misplaced Luther worship and the denial of the need to strive for the conversion of Protestants, schismatics and even Muslims;
- Looking away and trivializing the danger of Islam; to propose Islam as an innocent, humanitarian religion – we are of course not talking about the individual Muslim – and the neglect of Islam persecuted by Islam and of Christians who fled Islam;
- The delivery of Catholic bishops and 60 million believers in China to the Communist State, which can become one of the most serious scandals in the history of the Vatican.
These things are interconnected. The common thread running through it is roughly that of Modernism and Protestantism. Half a century ago we have experienced in the Netherlands how these errors have largely destroyed our once vital Church. But after consolidation and careful restoration under the pontificate of the previous Popes, the ideas and claims of the dissident theologians and their followers of the sixties now come to us from the Vatican itself. We therefore have no illusions as where this will lead to.
II – Three requests to the Dutch bishops
1. The priests and lay faithful for whom You bear responsibility as Bishops may rightly appeal to You at this moment of confusion and insecurity to lead them through an unambiguous, faithful position and education and to protect them from the errors in doctrine and practice that now get the chance.
With all due respect, we ask you to speak out:
-for integral enforcement of Humanae Vitae;
-for maintaining the doctrine and practice with regard to receiving Holy Communion by validly married divorced persons in a new relationship;
-for maintaining the moral doctrine concerning homosexual relationships;
-for maintaining the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent, in the wake of Vatican II (Lumen Gentium); especially for maintaining the doctrine about the supremacy of the Law of God over the subjective conscience.
In concreto, we summarize these separate requests in a single, straightforward request:
Would you like to express your loyalty to and uphold the doctrinal writings of the previous popes: Blessed Paul VI, St. John Paul II, and Benedict XVI?
2. In addition, we ask you, who as Bishops are the first appointed in the Church who, in imitation of St. Paul, can warn a Pope and / or other supreme authorities for serious mistakes and, if necessary, to correct them according to the procedures that are in place; to join those sincere and courageous prelates in the World Church who have addressed the Pope in the right way.
In concrete terms, we ask you:
Do you want to join the request for the correct clarification of the controversial passages in Amoris Laetitia, as directed to the Pope by the initiators of this “Dubia”, the cardinals Caffarra, Burke, Meissner, and Brandmüller?
Of course we hope that the Bishops and Auxiliary Bishops of the Netherlands will unanimously make such a gesture. If this does not happen, our request will apply to each Bishop and Co-adjutor Bishop separately, as the responsible authority in his own diocese.
3. Thirdly, we ask your attention for the urgent need of the Church in China:
Do you want to make an effort to keep the Vatican from delivering the Church to the communist regime, against the urgent pleas of those who really know what this will mean? Do you want to support Cardinal Zen openly?
Thank you for your attention, and with all the respect we owe you,
Dr. H.F. Boon, Hengelo
H. Bos, Ede
Drs. B.J. Bruggeling, Oldenzaal
Pastoor J.M. de Hommel, H. Landstichting.
Mr. C. de Kiefte, den Haag
Prof. H.C.M. de Swart, Tilburg
H. Huyskens, Ommen
Mr. drs. H.H.M. Jansen, Nederweert
Ing. A.J. Kors, Wassenaar
Ir. N.J.M. Kuipers, Delden
A.P.M. Meijknecht, Leeuwarden
Pastoor C. Mennen, lic., Vlijmen
Drs. Y.J.J. Postma, Leeuwarden
H. J. Rijkers, oud-hoofdredacteur KN, Malden
Dr. J. Schins, Amsterdam
Dr. G.J.M. van den Aardweg, Aerdenhout
H. van Winden, H. Landstichting
Drs. K.P. Wiecherink, Markelo
Prof. Dr. Ir. W.J. Witteman, Hengelo