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The Dutch Are At It Again

The Dominican Province in the Netherlands has issued a 38-page booklet, Kerk en Ambt (“Church and Ministry”), to all Dutch parishes. The booklet advocates opening the priesthood to homosexuals, women, and married men. Where priests are currently not available, the Dominicans insist that lay ministers should be able to celebrate the Eucharist. (The Netherlands is suffering a severe priest shortage.)

According to John L. Allen Jr. (www.ncrcafe.org, Sept. 27), “The authors also suggest that all the people at Mass should say the words of institution together, symbolizing that these are not ‘magic words’ that are the sole prerogative of an ordained priest. Receiving the Eucharist, they propose, should be open to all, including members of other religions.” Magic? Transubstantiation is a miracle that can only be effected with the grace of God by a consecrated priest.

The Dutch Dominicans who wrote the booklet should be excommunicated. But they will not be — because of the dwindling clergy in the Netherlands. Before the Second Vatican Council, the Netherlands had a robust Church, sending missionaries throughout the world. Now it appears that the Netherlands has itself become mission territory.

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