Plans by a Catholic priest to publicly display the names and photographs of people who are formally leaving the church are ‘undesirable and not allowed in law’, church officials say.
Tilburg minister Harm Schilder said he wanted to pin the photographs in the doorway of his parish church. This, says Schilder, ‘will allow the congregation to pray for them and perhaps convince them to stay’.
There has been a sharp rise in the number of people leaving the Catholic church since the pope condemned gay marriage last month.
Schilder says he is not planning to ‘name and shame’ people leaving the church but that prayer is the only option open to try and change things.
Church officials from the diocese of Den Bosch say the minister is free to do what he wants, but urge him to respect people’s privacy.
The privacy watchdog CBP has also commented on the case and said it would have been ‘more decent’ if Schilder had asked people first if they minded being named in public.