Wim Eijk

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His Eminence
Willem Jacobus Eijk
Cardinal, Archbishop of Utrecht
Primate of the Netherlands
Mgr Eijk-Heilig Bloed.JPG
Archbishop Eijk in May 2007
Archdiocese Archdiocese of Utrecht
Appointed 11 December 2007
Installed 26 January 2008
Predecessor Adrianus Johannes Simonis
Other posts President of the Bishops' Conference of the Netherlands
Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto
Ordination 1 June 1985
by Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen
Consecration 6 November 1999
by Adrianus Johannes Simonis
Created Cardinal 18 February 2012
by Benedict XVI
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Birth name Willem Jacobus Eijk
Born (1953-06-22) 22 June 1953 (age 62)
Duivendrecht, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post Roman Catholic Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden
Alma mater
  • Noli Recusare Laborem
  • (Do Not Reject the Work)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Wim Eijk
Coat of arms of Willem Jacobus Eijk.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Willem Jacobus "Wim" Eijk (born 22 June 1953) is a Dutch cardinal of the Catholic Church. On 11 December 2007 Pope Benedict XVI appointed Eijk the Metropolitan Archbishop of Utrecht[1] and, on 26 January 2008 Eijk was installed in the St. Catharine's Cathedral in Utrecht. He is the 70th successor of Saint Willibrord (658–739)[2] on the See of Utrecht. He was formerly Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden. On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made him a cardinal.

Early life and studies[edit]

Coat of arms as bishop of Groningen

Willem Jacobus Eijk was born on 22 June 1953 in Duivendrecht, North Holland, Netherlands.[3]

Eijk studied medicine at the University of Amsterdam and received his degree in 1978. After an intensive deliberation with then Bishop Simonis, he started at the seminary of Rolduc in Kerkrade to become a priest. From 1979 he combined his theological formation with the study of medical ethics at Leiden University.

He was ordained to priesthood in 1985 and was incardinated in the Diocese of Roermond.[3] Then he went to work as a curate in the parish of St. Anthony of Padua in Venlo Blerick.

In 1987 he completed a PhD degree in medicine, with a dissertation about euthanasia.

Eijk is an alumnus of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas Angelicum where in 1990 he completed a PhD in philosophy[4] with a dissertation entitled The ethical problems of genetic engineering of human beings.[5]

Eijk also gained a master's degree and doctorate in theology at the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome. At the same time he taught moral theology at the seminary of Rolduc. From 1996, Eijk was Professor of moral theology at Lugano in Switzerland, in pontifical Faculty of Theology there. From 1997 to 2002 he was a member of the International Theological Commission.

Bishop and Archbishop[edit]

When Eijk was appointed as bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden on 17 July 1999, he chose the motto Noli recusare laborem ("Do not reject the work"), taken from the last prayer of St. Martin.[8]

Eijk is known to be orthodox. Some consider his views relatively extreme compared to the majority of the Dutch Catholics,[9] especially his views on abortion and homosexuality. Others have argued that he has done nothing else but restate official Roman Catholic teachings.[10] In 2001 Wim Eijk suffered from a subdural hematoma, but he fully recovered.

In May 2008 Pope Benedict appointed Archbishop Eijk a member of the Congregation for the Clergy in addition to his duties as Archbishop of Utrecht.

On 18 February 2012, Pope Benedict XVI made Eijk a Cardinal along with 21 others.[11] He was created Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto. In addition to his duties on the Congregation for the Clergy, on 21 April Cardinal Eijk was appointed a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis.

In 2014 Eijk decided not to invite Pope Francis to the Netherlands who therefore did not come, allegedly because of the feared lack of interest for the Pope among the Dutch public.[12] In 2015 cardinal Wim Eijk made negative headlines after ordering the sacking of a transgender treasurer of the board of the Norbertus Parish for whole eastern Flevoland and Northern Veluwe.[13]


External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Johann Bernard Wilhelm Maria Möller
Roman Catholic Bishop of Groningen-Leeuwarden
17 July 1999 – 11 December 2007
Succeeded by
Gerard de Korte
Preceded by
Adrianus Johannes Simonis
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Utrecht
11 December 2007 – present
Preceded by
Corrado Ursi
Roman Catholic Cardinal-Priest of San Callisto
18 February 2012 – present