Transgender woman Rhianna Gralike, 56, has been wrongfully dismissed from her job as treasurer of a Catholic parish in Flevoland for nothing else than being a transgender woman. A few months ago she was called into the pastor’s office and was told that “being transgender goes against the Church”, a ‘message’ he was asked to pass on from the archbishop. Gralike plans to fight her dismissal even if she has to go to Rome to do so, which I hope is not necessary, considering there are laws in the Netherlands that supersedes any religion-based gut-feeling of an excuse to fire someone for their gender.
The Parish council is on Gralike’s side, saying the dismissal doesn’t match changes in society (an odd way of putting it), and her lawyer says the Church has no grounds to fire her whatsoever. The archbishop refuses to discuss the matter with Gralike, and so we’ll keep you posted.
(Link: www.welingelichtekringen.nl, Photo by Johan Wieland, some rights reserved)
Tags: Catholic church, church, transgender
Money willed to the bishopric of Utrecht earmarked for the congregation of Mother Theresa has been used by the impoverished bishopric to cover the administrative costs of dealing with the church’s many child abuse victims’ claims, NRC writes.
In 1994 Cornelia Witkamp of Utrecht left 300,000 euro to the church. She wanted the Missionaries of Charity to come to the city and help “the most destitute and abandoned of society, amongst which drug addicts”. The next year, the bishopric created a foundation called Stichting Caritas Moeder Theresa which was to execute the will. Unfortunately, the congregation never came. The foundation seems to have chosen to do the next best thing, which was to spend the money on similar causes.
However in 2012 the money that was still left, 166,000 euro, was donated directly to the bishopric which promptly started using it to cover running costs, among which the costs involved with running an office for dealing with the child abuse cases the Roman Catholic church is famous for.
At this point the NRC article devolves into a minor mud slinging match in which a spokesperson for the bishopric accuses whistle-blower and former board member of the foundation Jacques Klok of using money from the will to buy gifts for the bishopric’s staff.
If you’ve been following the news lately you will probably find this small fry compared to the bishops from the USA and Germany who were discovered building palaces and spas for themselves.
(Photo by Michele Ahin, some rights reserved)
Tags: bishops, Catholic church, charity, last will, Mother Theresa
NRC reports that the Roman Catholic church has been castrating minors in the 1950s.
In one case the victim was a boy who had been sexually abused by a priest in a Roman Catholic boarding school. The paper says there are indications that the church castrated dozens of more boys. The church had hoped to ‘cure’ the boys from ‘homosexual behaviour’.
In 2010 the church appointed a committee led by former education minister Wim Deetman to study sexual abuse of minors within the church. In its report, the committee somehow failed to make any mention of the castration cases, even though it knew about it.
The current right-wing government has always blocked a parliamentary enquiry into widespread sexual abuse by the Catholic church. Coalition partners VVD, CDA and PVV claim that this is because an enquiry would be of no use to the victims.
According to the optimistic Deetman report, the rape machine that is the Catholic church made tens of thousands of victims among children in the Netherlands alone between 1945 and 1985.
Last week Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) cheerfully reported at a congress for fundamentalist Christian youths—it is still anybody’s guess what he was doing there—that for him as a liberal, judeo-christian principles are very important. Somehow I doubt this government will do much to stop the criminal practices of white religions.
Tags: Catholic church, Catholicism, child rapists, Mark Rutte
In elementary school I was taught about the founding legend of my city of birth, Venlo. The story went that the leader of a local tribe, the Bructeri, fled a lost battle with the rival Chamavi tribe towards the fertile ground on the Meuse river in 96 AD.
In remembrance of this chief, called Valuas, giant dolls of him and his wife had been carried around the city for ages, and all kinds of companies, schools and clubs had been named after him. Valuas was Venlo.
Recently though I learned it’s all a crock, and all it took was a visit to Wikipedia. There is no such legend. Instead, the story was made up in its entirety in the 18th century, because the bishop of Roermond wanted to outlaw the use of dolls depicting Goliath and his wife in processions.
With Goliath given a new, non-religious identity, the bishop could no longer object to what was basically idolatry. Today, the local ceremonial shooting club, Akkermansgilde, still carries giant dolls of Valuas and his wife Guntrud around in processions and during carnival.
(Photo of Venlo city hall by Wikimedia user Michiel1972, some rights reserved.)
Tags: Catholic church, Catholicism, guns, legends, Roermond, Venlo
You’d think it was tough enough burying a loved one in a country where after a certain amount of years you have to dig them up again and shove them somewhere else to make room for more. The Catholic church had a problem with a gravestone that is 10 cm too wide and 6 cm too high, so they say, and confiscated it. In fact, if you look at the uncommon gravestone which depicts a Barcardi rum bat (isn’t this copyright infringement?), there could be many reasons other than the obvious but unspoken ‘it’s not very Catholic’. And I thought all of God’s creatures are supposed to be beautiful. According to the friend of the deceased woman who put back the gravestone by hand, he says many other gravestones are the wrong size, in a conflict that has been dragging on for almost a year.
It’s funny how the author of the article left out the Barcardi bit.
Tags: Bat, Catholic church, gravestone