Bishops' Conference of the Netherlands
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The Bishops' Conference of the Netherlands is a permanent body within the Roman Catholic Church in the Netherlands which determines policies and directs the apostolic mission within the Netherlands. It is governed by bishops from around the country.
The Dutch Catholic Church has an archbishopric and six suffragan dioceses under it as well as a Military Ordinariate. An archbishop stands alone at the head of the archdiocese, but he is not the "boss" of his fellow bishops or their dioceses. Each diocese has a bishop (ordinary) and some dioceses also have one or more auxiliary bishops.
If the diocese is sede vacante, then a diocesan administrator is designated. This does not necessarily have to be a bishop and sometimes is the vicar-general. If a non-bishop is diocesan administrator, he will attend meetings of the bishops' conference, but is not a voting member.
The apostolic nuncio usually attends meetings of the Bishops' Conference, but he is not a member of it because he is not a bishop of a diocese within the Netherlands. The nuncio represents the Holy See.
The Netherlands Bishops' Conference is usually chaired by a bishop with the highest rank, such as the Archbishop, but this is not mandatory. When Wim Eijk took offices as archbishop of Utrecht in 2008, he chose not to assume the presidency, in order to have more time for his work as archbishop. Therefore, Ad van Luyn was the President and Frans Wiertz the Vice-President (the two 'seniores "among the seven bishops).
Members of the Bishops' Conference
- Jan Liesen, bishop of Breda
- Dr. Hans van den Hende, Bishop of Rotterdam
- Willem Eijk, Cardinal, Archbishop of Utrecht, Chairman
- Jozef Marianus Punt, Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam and military bishop
- Antonius Lambertus Maria Hurkmans, bishop of 's-Hertogenbosch
- Frans Wiertz, bishop of Roermond, Deputy Chairman
- Adrianus Herman van Luyn SDB
- Gerard de Korte, bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden
- Johannes Gerardus Maria van Burgsteden SSS, Auxiliary Bishop of Haarlem
- Everardus Johannes de Jong, Auxiliary Bishop of Roermond
Positions Within the Bishops' Conference
The Bishops Conference has established a nine policies which referent is still a bishop, assisted by a secretary.
- Catechesis - Rob Mutsaerts
- Categorical Chaplaincy - Everard de Jong
- Communication and Media - Frans Wiertz
- Interfaith dialogue - Jan van Burg Cities
- Youth - Rob Mutsaerts
- Church and Society - Gerard de Korte
- Liturgy and Bible - Jan Liesen
- Mission and Development - Jos Punt
- Ecumenism - Hans van den Hende
- Education - Jan Hendriks
- Vocation and Training - Wim Eijk
In addition to the policies is a five thematic fields set, which is still a bishop referent.
- Marriage and Family - Anthony Hurkmans
- Relations with Judaism - Herman Woorts
- Medical Ethics - Wim Eijk
- Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community - Ted Hoogenboom
- Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe - Wim Eijk
- Church and Elders - Gerard de Korte
- New Movements - Jan van Burgsteden
- Pilgrimages - Herman Woorts
- Religious and Secular Institutes - Jan van Burg Cities
- Women and the Church - Gerard de Korte
There are eight Emeritus Bishop, but Jan Gijsen of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Roermond is missing from this list, since he last ruled a diocese that is not under the Dutch Catholic church province. There are also other Dutch bishops that a non-Dutch diocese boards.
The Secretariat of the Bishops Conference and the Dutch Church Province is conducted by the Secretariat of the Roman Catholic Communion (SRKK). The Secretariat is headed by a Secretary-General. Since June 2, 2012 this has been Rev. Mr. (deacon) Hans Nijhuis.
Leaders of the Bishops' Conference
|Archdiocese of Utrecht||Wim Eijk, June 22, 1953||Ted Hoogenboom, August 27, 1960
Herman Woorts, November 12, 1963
|Diocese of Breda||Jan Liesen, September 17, 1960||none|
|Diocese of Groningen-Leeuwarden||Gerard de Korte, June 13, 1955||none|
|Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam||Jos Punt, January 10, 1946||Jan Hendriks, November 17, 1954
Jan van Burgsteden, December 8, 1935 (emeritus)
|Diocese of 's-Hertogenbosch||Antoon Hurkmans, August 3, 1944||Rob Mutsaerts, May 22, 1958|
|Diocese of Roermond||Frans Wiertz, December 2, 1942||Everard de Jong, July 4, 1958|
|Diocese of Rotterdam||Hans van den Hende, January 9, 1964||none|
|Military Ordinariate of the Netherlands||Jos Punt, January 10, 1946 (apostolic administrator)||none|