Think, Dutch Catechism…
A CATHOLIC priest in the Netherlands who held an orange-themed Mass in support of the national soccer team before last weekend’s World Cup final has reportedly been suspended.
The Reverend Paul Vlaar wore an orange robe and decked out his church in orange before Sunday’s match against Spain, the BBC reported.
He even acted as a goalkeeper as a parishioner kicked a soccer ball down the aisle.
Footage of the unique service in the village of Obdam north of Amsterdam was seen around the globe after making it on to YouTube.
Bishop of Haarlem Jozef Punt was not impressed however, saying it had not paid sufficient respect to the sacred nature of the Eucharist.
In a statement, he said the service had “caused outrage” in the Netherlands and overseas, and he ordered Vlaar to enter “a period of reflection”.
The Netherlands lost the World Cup final one-nil in extra-time to Spain.
This from the fine blog In Caelo et in Terra who broke the story:
The Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam has published a statement regarding Father Paul Vlaar and his World Cup Mass, about which I wrote a few days ago. Here is my translation:
On Sunday 11 July, Pastor Paul Vlaar of Obdam celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the spirit of the Football World Cup, wearing an orange chasuble, and did insufficient justice, in text and form, to the sanctity of the Eucharist. The footage of this has caused indignation among faithful here and abroad.
In the past the bishop had impressed upon Fr Vlaar not to mix the Holy Eucharist with profane events. The pastor has said to fully support this and promised to abide. The pastor’s pastoral zeal and commitment are not under discussion.
Following this new incident the bishop again met with Fr. Vlaar, imposed an immediate time of reflection on him and relieved him of his priestly duties for the time being. Things will once again be considered at a later date.
The situation created by the ‘orange Mass’ was a difficult and painful one for many people. The comments in my blog reflected that. I am glad to see that Bishop Punt made the best decision at this time. Change must ideally not be imposed from Rome, but must come from the person in question. A time of reflection allows for that.
Let’s keep Fr. Vlaar in our prayers, that his time of reflection may be fruitful.
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