Dutch cardinal rejects plan to sell cathedral

Crux | 3/23/2019 | Staff
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St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Utrecht, which dates from 1560 and is the main seat of Dutch Cardinal Willem Eijk, served mother church of the diocese since 1853, when the Catholic hierarchy in the Protestant Netherlands was restored after a centuries-long interruption.

In May 2018, the parish board released plans to close and sell the church, asserting the high cost of maintenance can no longer be borne by the parish. The parish also runs St. Augustine Church in the center of the city, and decided to use it instead, since it is less expensive to maintain.

Board - Museum - Catharijneconvent - Church - Museum

The parish board spoke to the Museum Catharijneconvent about possibly selling the church to the nearby museum for a symbolic amount of 1 euro.

However, Eijk would have had to give his consent to the deal, as would have the Vatican; but it won’t come to that, since on March 2, it was announced he cardinal had decided against the proposal.

Question - Parishioners - Board - Alike

The question that remains however, for parishioners and parish board alike, is: What happens now?

The parish board has been asked by Eijk to start raising extra funds to help create a more vital Catholic community around the cathedral.

Community - Questions - Period - Riet - Blom

“How are we going to create this vital community and what do we need to accomplish this? Those are the questions we will try to answer in the coming period,” said Riet Blom, vice-president of the parish board. “Up until now there was no such thing as a vital community there.”

According to her, that was exactly the reason why the parish board had advised to close the cathedral. She is disappointed the archdiocese overturned the board’s decision, but said, “The interests of the catholic community in Utrecht are what’s most important.”

Decision - Cardinal - Spokesman - Katholiek - Nieuwsblad

When asked to comment on the decision of the cardinal, an archdiocesan spokesman lets Katholiek Nieuwsblad know that the archdiocese will...
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