Kerknet – the portal website of the Catholic Church in Flanders – attacks Ordinatio sacerdotalis

How do you say Fishwrap in Flemish?

My first thought was, this antic trumpery would not have been attempted in the pontificates of St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI.

A Belgian Catholic newspaper, what seems to be the official Flemish language catholic newpaper – Kerknet – has an editorial by the editor-in-chief Luk Vanmaercke against Ordinatio sacerdotalis.  HERE

The original text:

“Dat vrouwen nog steeds worden uitgesloten van het priesterambt, valt niet langer te verantwoorden. Pogingen tot theologische onderbouw van het exclusief mannelijke priesterschap rammelen aan alle kanten en overtuigen de overgrote meerderheid van de gelovigen niet langer.

Als vrouwen tweeduizend jaar geleden geen priester konden worden, was dat om cultuur-historische redenen.

Dat de Kerk vandaag vrouwen als tweederangsgelovigen blijft behandelen, is niet enkel betreurenswaardig, het is onrechtvaardig en niet langer aanvaardbaar.”


“That women continue to be excluded from the priesthood, is no longer justified. Attempts to theologically defend the exclusive male priesthood are shaky on all grounds and aren’t convincing for the vast majority of believers anymore.

If for two thousand years women could not become priests, it was for cultural and historical reasons.

That the Church today continues to treat women as second-class believers, is not only unfortunate, it is unjust and no longer acceptable.”

I thought everyone should know what sort of things are being published – seemingly with some kind of official approval – in Belgium.  Who runs and oversees this publication?  HERE

It is described as the “portal website of the Catholic Church in Flanders”.  The “Dioceses of Flanders” are among those who founded the portal.

Registered office and contact

Kerknet 2.0 vzw
Halewijnlaan 92, 2050 Antwerp
Tel. 03 210 08 82

Chairman of the Board of Directors: Herman Cosijns
Coordinator: Sim D’Hertefelt

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Someone please be the Garrigue says:

    Literal translation: vispakpapier. Ketternet would about sound right for a rebranded website.


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  2. Clinton R. says:

    Here is a perfect example of why the Faith is dying in Europe. It doesn’t matter what the Church has taught for 2000 years. We should just change everything for the sake of being “inclusive”. And who is asking for womyn priests? Most of the call for females in the clergy are old, bitter women whose orders are dying because they have long ago cast off their habits and good sense. If the Virgin Mary was not a priest, then what women could claim any right to the priesthood? A man is married to the Church when he is ordained a priest. If the bishops were true men and defended the Faith as they should, they would be concerned with inculcating the teachings of the Catholic faith and saving souls. Belgium and all of Europe is overrun with Muslims, while weak bishops have fallen for the ways of the world. If Europe doesn’t wake up now, it will be woken up with the blare of calls to prayer from minarets that have popped up like weeds all over the continent.

  3. Phil_NL says:

    Unfortunately, ‘Fishwrap’ doesn’t translate into Dutch (or Flemish, but one can debate if that’s a distinct language). The low countries never really had the habit of wrapping food in newspapers anyway – probably because of an instinctive knowledge of the unsavory contents of the printed media!

    That said, Kerknet isn’t really a newspaper – it’s a collection of online articles. With the benefit of the language, I can say that most have a strong tendency to the loony left, though there was also a recent article on the 10 achievements of the pontificate of St. JP II – but they couldn’t neglect to mention there that he defended tradition and opposed the ordination of women. Seems like they didn’t feel the need to editorialize on that – their audience would see that as a strong negative even without the hint.

    And that’s the main reason for sadness in all of this. It’s not that there are virtual-tambourine-wielding heterodox people in the Church in Flanders. That has been evident for decades, including in the hierarchy. It’s that they still – and perhaps even more than before – see their positions as inevitable; that their battle would have been long won were it not for the stubbornness of some hoisting up the white flag. That Rome itself is part of that opposition doesn’t matter, they ignored Rome for ages. Only when it suits their purpose they will listen, as now with large chunks of Francis. All of that is painfully familiar, but what grates most remains them projecting the aura of invincibility, fostered by decades of ineffectual opposition from orthodoxy. It’s very tiring.

  4. Phil_NL says:

    “Ketternet” is a great find though! Father, that deserves a gold star!

    (Litterally, it means ‘heretic net’, but it strongly resembles ‘knettergek’ too – which means barking mad!)

  5. Charles E Flynn says:

    In the pontificates of St. John Paul II or Benedict XVI, the antic trumpery would have been required to be removed from the marketplace of ideas, as was the infamous defective Dutch catechism. Flemland is in trouble.

  6. Kerry says:

    Belgium, great guns, (FN), great ales, but this…? “Great Ceasar’s Ghost!! Kent, get in here!”

  7. Melissa Johnson says:

    I’m really made anxious by this–and Catholic News Service reports, and subsequent comments left on Facebook posts. I feel idiotic, because my reasons aren’t necessarily well thought out– but my response is purely visceral: if the Church falls so far as to allow women into the priesthood, I shall really despair.

    If we relent on one part of the Faith, no part is worthwhile. I’m equal parts frightened and ready to wage (apologetic) battle.

  8. Matt Robare says:

    Quos Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

  9. mpolo says:

    At least one of the sees of Flanders (Bruges) is currently vacant. And Gent is likely to be vacant soon (it’s bishop is almost 75). So maybe there’s still a chance of turning this around. Of course the general church climate in Belgium and the Netherlands is pretty far gone. Their “great church composer” Huub Oosterhuis praised himself in a speech a few years ago for having personally (through his music) destroyed the faith in the Blessed Sacrament in the Netherlands.

    The German bishops cut almost all of his songs out of the current version of the common song book for German-speaking countries. (I think there’s still one in there, though.)

  10. Phil_NL says:


    The Dutch bishops did pretty much the same. Of course, those parishes with hymnals rather than the weekly paper ‘leaflet’ with the texts and hymns can easily ignore it, but I haven’t had to sing Oosterhuis in a long, long time. Deo gratias.

    I’d say we had an marked improvement over the last couple of years in the Netherlands with the bishops from the last years of JPII and more so with those from BXVI. Card Eijk is very solid, and that helps.
    In Belgium, I’d be less optimistic. From what I heard, the successor of Abp Léonard is not an improvement, and Belgium has many more mechanisms to slow down the biological solution (i.e., reasons why the loony left keeps itself involved with the Church). In the Netherlands, those people are by and large gone now. That is also slowly showing in priests and bishops who are less inclined to follies. Belgium seems to be behind on that curve.

  11. kiwiinamerica says:

    Belgium is gone. It’s the poster child for Western European apostasy. Islam will soon blow away this chaff and the faithful, persecuted remnant will go underground.

  12. Andreas says:

    MPOLO wrote, “The German bishops cut almost all of his songs out of the current version of the common song book for German-speaking countries. (I think there’s still one in there, though.)”
    I just checked. The following six Kirchenlieder composed by Herr (Father?) Oosterhuis appear in in the newest edition of the Catholic Book of Hymns (Gotteslob) that we are using here in Austria. These include:
    809: In tiefer Nacht trifft uns die Kunde
    499: Gott, der nach seinem Bilde
    460: Wer leben will wie Gott auf dieser Erde
    414: Herr, unser Herr, wie bist du zugegen
    422: Ich steh vor dir mit leeren Händen, Herr
    425: So lang es Menschen gibt auf Erden

  13. gaude says:

    Despite all that, it’s not all doom and gloom over here. I recently got back from the great (traditional) Paris-Chartres pilgrimage: c. 10 000 participants, the vast majority young (average age around 20!), priests (again many of them young!) walking in cassocks… We packed out both Notre Dames (Paris and Chartres), with many people standing outside… the final procession into Chartres cathedral was made up of a good 300 priests and seminarians give or take a few. Wow!

  14. jacobi says:


    I lived in Belgium for over twenty years and still have close friends there in Brussels, Wallone and Flanders.

    What is now left of that once soundly Catholic Belgium, (1970 ), with two or three exceptions based on traditional orders, is now a basket case – and that is putting it mildly.

    It can not be considered orthodox Catholic.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    gaude: That is great news, thanks! Deo Gratias.

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