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Catholic World News

Hundreds of Dutch churches to close

December 03, 2013

Between 600 and 700 Catholic churches in the Netherlands will be deconsecrated in the next five years, according to an article that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano.

The newspaper cited statistics provided by an official of the Future for Religious Heritage, an organization dedicated to the preservation of religious buildings. Between 400 and 500 Protestant churches are also expected to be decommissioned by 2018, according to L’Osservatore Romano.

It appears, however, that the numbers may have been transposed: according to a report issued in May by the Future for Religious Heritage, between 400 and 500 Catholic churches, and between 600 and 700 Protestant churches, are expected to be decommissioned by 2018.

The Netherlands currently has 1,267 Catholic parishes, 2,804 priests, and 179 seminarians, according to Vatican statistics.


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  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Dec. 05, 2013 12:16 PM ET USA

    The idea of "deconsecration" is bothersome. Here, an old German parish was deconsecrated and turned into a theatre where the archdiocese had to threaten legal action to stop a pornographic play. The idea of churches as meeting halls similar to beer halls to be bought and sold is just unacceptable. Islamic mosques are nothing more than "meeting halls". Catholic churches have the Blessed Sacrament and are not meeting halls as assumed by pastors that I have heard speak in sermons.