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Catholic priest goes public with names of those leaving the church

Tuesday 08 January 2013

A Catholic church minister in Tilburg is planning to publicly display the names and photographs of people who are officially leaving the church, the Brabants Dagblad reports.

The photos will be pinned up in the doorway of the parish church, and, says father Harm 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.

The minister hit the headlines several years ago after he was banned from ringing the bells of his church at 07.15 every weekday morning.

He had argued the right to call the faithful to prayer is part of the right to freedom of religion.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Let's hope he'll also respect these people's rights, and ask them individually if they agree to have their photos pinned up there. (Those pesky personal data protection regulations may be in the way.)

By Robert | 8 January 2013 8:17 AM

Sounds like extortion. Surely the congregation need not be name specific when praying to their omniscient god.

By Puck | 8 January 2013 8:47 AM

One more good reason to leave.

It amazes me how disrespectful priests and church ministers can be, while preaching the opposite.

By joanna | 8 January 2013 9:19 AM

Religion is a private matter that should not be disclosed except by the choice of the individual him/herself.

By RWBos | 8 January 2013 10:56 AM

This is all about the Popes recent speech against gay marriage and the results are always an opportunity for the (COC Dutch lobby) to do some Catholic bashing in the media! The Catholic Priest is correct, any practising Catholic that supports gay marriage, abortion, or euthanasia, voluntary or involuntary, should leave the Catholic Church altogether. All of the above are in conflict with Catholic dogma? Also, if they are promoting their views against their church publicly, they should be named and shamed in turn. The Muslims are much more loyal to their faith and principals concerning gay marriage, and receive no criticism at all, I wonder why, fear? that there would be repercussions, so bash the Catholics instead. For example.....


By Transparancy | 8 January 2013 11:27 AM

Ive always known this as "Freedom of Choice" Obviously the church does not believe in this freedom !. It is like going back to the dark ages when what the church said, went.

By Karl H | 8 January 2013 11:32 AM

That minister must be really desperate to use such resources to try to keep his congregation in church. So pitiful...

By JF | 8 January 2013 2:01 PM

Well, I was wondering if he would agree to pin up the picture of the catholic priests that had been involved in horrible cases of children abuse. We will pray for them, too...

By A Maria | 8 January 2013 2:53 PM

Maybe they should just jail the people that have the audacity to leave the church. Forced religion is the way to go. I guess the Church has all the sexual abuse corrected so they can move on to more important items.

By Bobke | 8 January 2013 3:17 PM

Actions like this are wholly unacceptable, and can be the first piece if the pie for an incitement for hate and discrimination.

By Darrell | 8 January 2013 3:50 PM

What amazes me (apropos of Joanna's comment, with which I fully agreed, btw)is why people believe in sky-fairies (angels, demons, old men sporting white beards etc)in the first place.

By woods | 8 January 2013 4:04 PM

Basically, it's a case of "naming and shaming" (in his mind) those who've woken up and no longer bow before some sky-spook (while paying for the priest's choice of lifestyle, incidentally).

Where's the need to post photographs? Surely prayer alone would do the job? :)

As for the "freedom of religion" to make a noise at 7:15 AM - get modern. Send subscribers a text message. Or am I free to call this guy at 02:00AM to tell him I'm paying homage to the Flying Spaghetti Monster (Pasta be upon Him)?

By glenn_uk | 8 January 2013 4:47 PM


By Roger Carmen | 8 January 2013 5:38 PM

"And perhaps convince them to stay"

AKA "And hopefully they will be pestered in joining again"

By Someone | 8 January 2013 6:59 PM

Lots of Catholics don't understand the Church teaches on marriage. Media gets it wrong, people should look it up for themselves then make an informed decision. Using names with photos might not be the best way of going about it but I'll give credit to the priest for trying. Still, if in-name-only catholics (deliberate lowercase 'c') want to leave, let them, it's their loss.

By SMC | 8 January 2013 8:44 PM

You know what else goes against Catholic dogma AND the law? Physically and sexually abusing children, but that doesn't stop the Church, now does it.

By Natasha Cloutier | 9 January 2013 1:04 AM

I grew up in the Netherlands and was raised Catholic. During high school I was on the board of the church. One time the priest suggested to send harsh letters to non-paying (also non-attending) members. He didn't get it either. The church I now attend (not Catholic) is overflowing, adding young people daily and we have to expand our building, because we practice being Christ-like: loving, welcoming, and reaching out to those who struggle or stray. And yes, many who have fallen in sin, have returned and are accepted and forgiven. Just like Christ wants to forgive all of us.

By Observer | 9 January 2013 2:58 AM

It is because of people like this that I left the Catholic Church. I will send him my photo. He should be putting pictures of the priests who molested children. They will need more prayers as I here hell is very hot!

By Kees | 9 January 2013 9:07 AM

Maybe they will join the Old Catholics who have fought Rome for a couple hundred years.

By Charles Donaldson | 9 January 2013 9:33 AM

This Catholic church minister in Tilburg should instead consider publicly displaying the names & photographs of ALL church priests who raped innocent children for years while the church hid the truth from their loyal parishioners. The congregation should then pray for them & perhaps convince them to leave instead of merely transferring them to other churches to hide these guilty priests.

By Justin | 9 January 2013 2:56 PM

Oh wow, it gets even more ridiculous.

I read a bigger article about this in the newspaper today. Guess how this priest gets the pictures to display?

He wants people to add a picture of them to their resignation letter.

I wonder what he's going to do when people don't? Is he not going to accept their resignation then?

By Someone | 9 January 2013 7:48 PM

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