Johan Bonny

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His Excellency
Johan Bonny
Bishop of Antwerp
Bonny Bloedprocessie.jpg
Province Belgium
Diocese Antwerp
Installed 4 January 2009
Predecessor Paul Van den Berghe
Other posts Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity
Ordination 20 July 1980
Consecration 4 January 2009
Personal details
Born (1955-07-10) 10 July 1955 (age 59)
Nationality Belgian
Denomination Roman Catholic
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}

Johan Jozef Bonny (Oostende, 10 July 1955) is the 22nd Bishop of Antwerpen, Belgium.


Johan Bonny was born in Moere (Gistel) in 1955. He is the oldest of five children from a farmer's family. He is the son of Gustaaf Bonny and Marie-Jeanne Lootens. He went through primary school in Eernegem and Moere. He took the lower secondary education at the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Gistel College and higher secondary education at Sint-Janscollege in Meldert.[1] After his school in 1973 he went to the Major Seminary of Bruges.[2]


On 20 July 1980, he was ordained priest by Msgr. Emiel-Jozef De Smedt, then Bishop of Bruges. Bonny helped founding the community of l'Arche in Moerkerke [2] and remained attached to it as a priest.

In 1982 he obtained a doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Then Msgr. De Smedt appointed him archivist and professor to the Major Seminary of Bruges,[2] where he taught Church History, Dogmatic theology, Ecumenism and spirituality. At the same time, he worked with the renowned expert in Christian mystics Albert de Blaere. He defended in 1988 a doctorate on the Flemish mystic John of Ruysbroeck, entitled "Het ghemeyne leven in de werken van Jan van Ruusbroec" (English: The "ghemeyne leven" in the works of John of Ruysbroeck). In 1985 Msgr. Roger Vangheluwe appointed him director of the department of theology and, in 1991, spiritual director of the Major Seminary of Bruges .

Johan Bonny moved in 1997 to Rome with two new appointments. Firstly, on June 5, he was appointed collaborator to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.[2] Johan Bonny was responsible for ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches, mainly in the Middle East.[2] He took part in theological dialogue with the Orthodox church, with the Oriental Orthodox churches (including the Coptic, Syrian, Armenian and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) and the Assyrian Church of the East. He also kept the relationship between the Council and a number of communities or movements, such as Taizé and L'Arche.[2] Secondly, Cardinal Godfried Danneels and the Belgian bishops appointed him rector of the Belgian Papal College in Rome in succession to Msgr. Werner Quintens.[3]

On 9 January 2002 he was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness by Pope John Paul II.


On 28 October 2008 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Bonny the 22nd bishop of the Diocese of Antwerp. His bishop's motto is The Lamb will be their shepherd (Latin: Agnus pascet illos). On 4 January 2009, Johan Bonny was enthroned to bishop of the Diocese of Antwerp in the Antwerp's Our Lady Cathedral by Cardinal Godfried Danneels, Bishop Paul Van den Berghe and Bishop Roger Vangheluwe[4] in presence of various religious and civil dignitaries, including Cardinal Walter Kasper, Archbishop Wim Eijk and Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard.


  1. ^ "50 jaar Sint-Janscollege: lezing van Johan Bonny" (in Dutch). Sint-Janscollege. 2007. Retrieved 2009-01-06. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Portret van de toekomstige bisschop (English: Portrait of the future bishop)". Kerknet (in Dutch). 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-03. )
  3. ^ Werner Quintens (Dutch)
  4. ^ Danneels, Godfried (2009-01-04). "Homilie door kardinaal Godfried Danneels (English: Homily by Cardinal Godfried Daneels)". Kerknet (in Dutch). Retrieved 2009-01-06. 


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