The collapse of Dutch Mass attendance

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Netherlands: religious belonging and attendance still decreasing. Only 6% of those who say they are Catholic attend Sunday Mass

51% of Dutch people over 15 years of age do not belong to any Church or to any religion whatsoever. Just released by the National Statistics Bureau (Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek) as part of a survey of “social cohesion and welfare”, this figure shows a further decrease in the religious belonging of the Dutch: in 2016, 49% of them stated they did not belong to any religion, in 2012 they were 46%. The believing minority is composed of 24% Catholics, 6% belonging to the reformed Church and as many to the Protestant Church, 6% to other confessions, 5% to Islam. 78% of Dutch people have never or hardly ever attended a religious service, 10% of them attend once a week (6% for Catholics), 3% go 2 to 3 times a month, and the same proportion attends one religious celebration/meeting a month; 7% go less than once a month. The figures change depending on the age range and sex: 71% of Dutch people over 75 years of age stated they are religious, 34% that they regularly attend a celebration in a place of worship. The less religious ones are young people aged 18 to 25: 32% of them are somehow connected to a religious group, and 13% of them regularly see their group. As to men, 46% of them belong to a religious group, while 52% of women do.

6% Mass attendance.

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  1. Bellarmino Vianney says:

    There is a major point regarding the salvation of souls which is often overlooked when discussing “attendance” of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. (There is probably a more accurate word than “attendance”, but I cannot think of it off hand.)

    It is a mortal sin to miss even one Mass on Sunday or Holy Day of Obligation.

    If one dies in the state of mortal sin, one is condemned to hell. (This doctrine cannot be changed, even if thousands of priests or bishops or cardinals or Jesuits say or hint otherwise.)

    Even Mass attendance statistics are Protestantized/politicized these days, rather than approached from the Authentic Gospel standpoint, which is the salvation of souls.

    For those bishops and other clergy who have the duty of caring for the salvation of souls – if they do not inform baptized Catholics that they can end up in hell for skipping even one Sunday Mass (unless there is grave reason for missing Mass), they themselves have also committed mortal sin and will be condemned to hell (Ezekiel 33 et. al.).

    Further, for those bishops like a certain auxiliary bishop on the Left Coast in America who loves statistics and falsely claim or hint that nobody ends up in hell – based on the above story, if only %24 of 17 million people in the Netherlands are Catholic, and if only 6% of those attend Mass regularly on Sunday, then it follows that at least 4 million people in the Netherlands are on their way to hell.

    Can you imagine, as a bishop or priest, standing before God on Judgment Day and trying to explain how you allowed the loss of 4 million+ souls? And that does not even count the number of non-Catholics/anti-Catholics who denied Jesus and are also going to be condemned for doing so.

    Now, in America, the likely number of people to end up in hell solely based on the number of those who regularly missing Sunday Mass is 43 million. And that number does not include weekly Mass attendees who promote or vote for Democrat politicians.

    Jesus says in Luke 13 22ff that many people think they are going to heaven but *many* will in fact end up in hell. Many indeed.

    (For the record, there may be a very good Cardinal in the Netherlands that is aware of these types of things.)

  2. JonPatrick says:

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the remaining Catholics that still attend Mass are traditional i.e. attend the Extraordinary Form or an Eastern Rite liturgy. I bet it is going to become a larger and larger percentage and perhaps the majority sometime soon, in many places.

  3. JustaSinner says:

    Neo-Global Socialism…trashing everything it tiuches since 1913!

  4. Malta says:

    You would think it would be better in once-Catholic France; it is not. Last time I was there I attended mass in an almost completely empty church.

    I suspect it will get worse as more scandals unfold and Bergoglio tries to turn the Church ever more left.

  5. Malta says:

    The ONLY future left for the Church is in such societies as the FSSPX and the FSSP. I attended masss once at the FSSPX chapel in Phoenix, Arizona, and it was full to the brim with young families, and Catholics who took their faith very seriously.

    [I must object. The true hope are good diocesan priests, especially who use the traditional Roman Rite, who are also doing great work.]

  6. MacCheese says:

    “Further, for those bishops like a certain auxiliary bishop on the Left Coast in America who loves statistics and falsely claim or hint that nobody ends up in hell “

    I hear this from time to time yet I have never seen this claim or hint from him. Can you provide a link to this alleged claim from the Bishop?

  7. Henry Edwards says:

    Knowing nothing but hearsay about the Church in Holland, I wonder what percentage of the Dutch can find a valid Mass to attend.

  8. Nicholas says:

    Search YouTube for “Bishop Barron Hell” and the video where he makes the claim will come up.

  9. Ivan says:

    Over the next decade, Utrecht archdiocese will close down most of its 280 churches. Less than 15 churches will remain, according to Cardinal Wim Eijk.
    Talking to (September 15, 2018) Eijk disclosed that 1 in 10 of his parishes is already insolvent.

    After Second Vatican Council, the Netherlands were considered by the liberals as the example to emulate in realising the “Church of the Council”. Now about 173,500 out of 3.5 million nominal Catholics attend Sunday Mass. Almost all of them are elderly.

    In 2014 Eijk still believed that by 2028 less than 30 of his parishes would remain. Four years later it became clear that he was too optimistic.

    I don’t know where to start, or how to start…
    But I am afraid that most (Catholics) people, even in Europe, let alone outside, have even closely a real picture about the terrific high level of decadence of once Christian Europe.
    Holland and Belgium were for a certain time, true bastions of the Catholicism.They have had great saints, priests, teachers, monks, nuns, theologians, writers, missioners… But, that was so for a long time, but that time ended also a long time ago. At least, surely, about one hundred years ago.
    (Remember the masonic movement around, and very probably also inside the wals of Rome at the beginning of 20th century…-

    One must know also that the Netherlands owns a very strong lutheran-calvinistic mentality, since, wel…, a long time ago… It is not widely known that any true Dutch Catholic intellectual, high educated man, especially in politics and other important state sector, made no chance to be a part of it. At least not someone who could be on very important chair.

    In the 1920s-1930s-1940s-1950s, in Holland and Belgium, and broader, of course, not forget France and Germany, there were already forces who actively worked on undermining the true Catholic Church and Faith. They public endeavor and goal was of course so-called oecumene, and they began with nothing less than the Holy Scripture.
    In short, the last true Catholic Bible, translated and edited by many great Catholic priests scholars and theologians, with many apologetic footnotes and references to Latin Vulgate of st. Jeronimus (which is the only official Bible of RCC), printed and published by Catholic publishing theological society called “Petrus Canisius Stichting” in 1939 and 1941 the third edition, had to be forbidden for printing and banned because such Bible was simply too Catholic! De “forces” have managed somehow from that year on to stop not only printing, publishing and selling of already printed Bible, but they have even succeeded in abolishing the existence of that whole Catholic society “Petrus Canisius Stichting”.
    Shortly thereafter, they started with producing much more “ecumenically” inclined texts in the bible that were called “Catholic”, and later they converted the true Catholic society “Petrus Canisius” into a neo-catholic society called “St. Willibrord Bijbelstichting”, which since then produces neo-vulgate neo-bible, that you easily can find online here –
    (I have been looking for three long years to get anyhow an old piece of the original “Petrus Canisius” Bible, and God has heard me this summer. I have found it one day in our local parish Church, at the monthly “selling-old-books-day”, among 50.000 other books! Btw. our parish church is a typical NO feel-good business, where I cannot be a part of for 2 years long already. Since then I am driving sometimes a lot of kilometers on each sunday to attend a TLM, tha Holy Mass of all Times.)

    Their kind of so-called neo-vulgate bible is actually something that has not accidentally preceded the creation of Novus Ordo, the creation of the new way of praying from Breviary and the new kind of Catechism. Think here especially on their own masterpiece of heresy, in fact, apostasy, so-called “New Hollands Catechism” from 1969. If one don’t really know what peace of dissension that really was, one should find that out. Only then could man see and understand how badly not so small number of theologians, bishops, priests,… who were considered as respected Catholic man… were deceived by the false spirit.

    In the end, why be surprised when such people like Chardin, H. Kung, K. Rahner. E. Schillebeecks, Y. Congar, W. Kasper, and many others similar or worse,… are still today for many, the best Church intelligentsia-team ever?!

    And, if they are talking about the 6% of the NO goers in the Netherlands, I am afraid this statistics does not give a true picture of what it wants to present.

    Sancte Petrus Canisius, ora pro nobis.
    Sancti Martyres ab Gorkum, orate pro nobis.
    Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis.
    Sancta Dei Génetrix, ora pro nobis.
    Sancta Virgo vírginum, ora pro nobis.

  10. AlanLins says:

    Malta: My wife and I went to France in May of 2017. Everything I saw made me believe that the Catholic faith was dying in France. We rented a car for part of our trip. We drove north and west of Paris, passing through many small towns. Near the center of each town was a Catholic Church. From what we could tell, Mass was celebrated there one or two times per month. I chatted with this about one of our hosts at a B and B. The answer? “No priests!”. When we got home, the following video popped up on my Facebook feed.

    Notice the number of young people. They are the future.

    I have great hope for the future. TLM’s are the way to the future.

  11. e.e. says:

    What percentage of Catholics in the USA attend Mass any given week? Maybe 25%?

    My parish (a middle of the road NO parish) has been slowly decreasing in attendance for many years. The demographics of the neighborhood changed and Catholics in the area decreased, the story of many central city parishes all over the country. But it’s been a gradual decrease, a family here and a family there leaving. Over the past couple months, the decline has been obvious and the church is noticeably more empty. Are they leaving because of the scandals? Because of something else? I don’t know, but it’s clear that suddenly a noticeable number of parishioners stopped regularly attending Mass.

    St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle…

  12. hwriggles4 says:

    My brother spent a semester in Europe during the early 1990s. I had to ask him, “Is it true the only people going to church are women, small children, and old men cramming for finals?”

    Seriously, he said that was basically his experience. Looks like not much has changed. I have also heard that church attendance in certain Canadian provinces like Quebec is very low compared to the United States (I live in the Southern United States, and I think church attendance is higher in the South than the Northeast (sorry Fr Z, I am not experienced enough with the Midwest)) . I am told Quebec has many beautiful churches, and many are empty on Sundays.

  13. Gaetano says:

    Further evidence that entire schools of 20th Century theology – Kung, Rahner, Schillebeecks, Congar, etc. – should be written off as a complete loss.

  14. Simon_GNR says:

    Over say the past 30 years has no-one been teaching young Catholics that it is a serious sin to miss Sunday Mass, or on a Holy Day of Obligation, without good reason? Why are those being brought up in the faith so poorly catechised? It’s scandalous that the disciplines of the Catholic faith have been so neglected in the recent past. The blame for this must be laid at the door of bishops and priests who have failed to “hand on the Catholic and apostolic faith”. Shame on them!

  15. Dismas says:

    @Gaetano – Losses!? Rest assured that the intended object of those schools have been enormous successes!

    For the other side.

  16. Eric says:

    The springtime of the Church and the fruits of Vatican Council II! Father, while I don’t entirely disagree with your red comments to Malta, the SSPX kept the flame alive while being ostracized as schismatics and heretics, with Archbishop Lefebvre and the others also suffering an unjust excommunication. Meanwhile the majority of diocesan priests just accepted it, or didn’t agree but either kept silent or went along to get along. True, tradition will not be fully recovered until the diocesan priests are able to and actually want to restore to the laity what is rightfully theirs, the SSPX will continue to be the bulwark. If, no when, the Church comes to its senses, the majority of that credit should go to the Society that has fought to keep even that ability to survive.

    [A heck of a lot of long suffering and FAR MORE PERSECUTED diocesan priests kept that light burning. The real work will begin with the diocesan priests.]

  17. Eric says:

    I respectfully can’t agree. That some diocesan priests were sent of into a hinterland parish, forced into early retirement, or otherwise had their reputation and character attacked is awful, yes, but they were few and far in between compared to the vast vast majority who simply captiluated. And that has led to the fruits of empty parishes described above. I don’t think even those that were persecuted however can even be compared to actually being excommunicated. That isn’t a difference in degree but nature. There would be no traditional orders today, nor any Summorum Pontificum that gives the diocesan priests the ability to recover tradition, if the Society was not there then and now.

  18. Eric says:

    “Would the liberation of the traditional Mass have been possible if Lefebvre had not carried out his threat to ordain bishops? The answer is almost certainly no, which leaves us with another paradox.

    On that summer’s day three decades ago, the most stubborn of pre-conciliar French prelates was preparing the ground for a new flexibility in the Church: one that allows Catholics unsatisfied by what they regard as the glib spirituality of Vatican II (though not rejecting its teachings) to ‘pray like before the council’.

    The least they can do, surely, is to remember Marcel Lefebvre in their prayers.”

    Damian Thompson is editor-in-chief of the Catholic Herald and associate editor of The Spectator.

    This article first appeared in the June 22 2018 issue of the Catholic Herald.

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