first-hand account from a priest in Holland
where the ravaging results of ecumenism are deadly - literally.
St. Willibrord's in
Amsterdam (at left and above), northern Holland, was dynamited in 1971
in response to the bishop's policy of ecumenism to remove symbols of
Many of those who
know I was assigned to the Society of St. Pius X's missions in Holland
have asked about my experiences there. Traditional Catholics find
Holland interesting because it is on the cutting edge of liberal
decadency. What is in Holland now will be everywhere else before long.
It is the example of what's coming. The Dutch pride themselves on
being at the head of liberal "progress."
My report is timely
because we are in the time of Advent, expecting the Messias, and
Christmastide, grateful for His coming. Liturgically, we are living with
the patriarchs in the hope that He will come to release us from our
problems. We are feeling with them what life was or would be on earth
without Him. I experienced some of this desperation in Holland because
here, as throughout the Western nations, our Lord is being more and more
expelled from society and families.
I was ordained in
Ecône on June 29, 1995. My first assignment was to assist Fr. Matthias
Grün, prior of Gerwen and superior in charge of our missions in Holland.
The first year of my priesthood was the most beautiful in my life for
reasons that are somewhat unexplainable and secret between the priest,
God, and the souls to whom he is given charge. The most difficult
problems did not fall on my shoulders but upon those of Gr. Grün, an
extremely good confrere and "fatherly" superior. He kindly and carefully
watched over my workload and made sure I got plenty of sleep. And the
Dutch people themselves were, at least in the beginning, kind and
engaging, especially to a new priest.
Our work was hard
because of its breadth, too much for just two priests, Fr. Grün said.
We maintained four
Mass centers, each with a catechism program, First Friday and Saturday
devotions, etc. Twenty invalids throughout the country were
brought Holy Communion every three weeks. We preached an Ignatian
retreat four times a year, provided days of recollection for Third Order
members, and led regular pilgrimages.
Holland is known to
be the most liberal in Europe. This means that its morals are the most
corrupt in the whole world. Liberalism, the freedom to do whatever you
want without regard to morality, is considered as a god, unrestrained by
Catholicism or even natural law. If one tries to teach morality, he is
labelled a fascist, because he is "imposing his own will upon all other
free wills in the country." When you respond that objective morality
comes from God, they answer that this God is only "between your ears,"
that "your god" is your choice and you "cannot impose Him on anyone
The idol of "free
will" is only limited by another's free will, because there is equality
between persons. It is like a traffic light. The road with more traffic
has a longer green light than the crossing road that has less traffic.
They call it democracy. Fifty-one idols are more than 49 idols.
Therefore, 51% (or more) decides for the country if abortion is a crime
or not. This democracy, combined with manipulation of public opinion by
the liberal mass media, leads to "democracy." "Demo" comes from the
Greek demos which means people, and "-cracy" comes from the Greek
kratei which means to reign; thus, democracy means the "people
reign." But in this situation, the people are under the influence and
pressure of evil forces; therefore, "demoNcracy" means that
demons finally reign. The liberals are so strong in Holland that the
most efficient way to get in prison is to be politically incorrect about
Jews or homosexuals (and I am not joking).
of Public Health, Mrs. Borst, recently spoke about a handicapped child
who was killed after being born. (By the way, "borstis a Dutch
word for "breast," but in the minister's case, she seems to have no
heart beating in hers.) She said that, according to penal law, it is
murder, but the Officer of Justice will not prosecute in this case
because the mortal injection was given by the doctor after consultation
with the parents. In any case, she declared this child had little chance
of "achieving an acceptable level of value of human life."
An ill woman in
Rotterdam told me of a TV interview of a Dutch surgeon telling how proud
he was of the success of a new operation. He had received 35,000 euros
[approximately $45,000 -Ed.] from the State Services for Public
Health to perform a sex change operation on two married people (with
children)-the father became "mother" and the mother became "father."
This is a triumph for liberalism-to choose what sex one is!
You see, Hollanders
are Germanic. Characteristic of the German peoples, they have a very
strong practical intelligence. What they are convinced of in their
minds, they do with their wills. In these modern times, they have
received and become convinced of the principles of liberalism. More
efficiently than any, they execute the practical consequences of
liberalism as far as possible. When convinced of Catholic principles,
they are amazing saints, but when full of the false principles as today,
the consequences are absurd and diabolical. This is one of the reasons
why I prefer my apostolate in Eastern Europe. In the West I saw and
lived in a kind of hell on earth. Now, these poor Eastern peoples are
being deceived by the mass media and are wishing to join liberal Western
Europe. O my God, have mercy on us, poor sinners! My American readers
will find very interesting the comment written me by one of their own:
This is exactly
why America (morally speaking) is not as degenerated as Europe. As a
people, we are not logical: we are sentimental. We cling to
Christian morality not out of conviction, but out of very vague
notions, some of which are good and some just feel-good sentimental.
This is good in that it slows our fall into immorality, but it also
makes it difficult for us to think correctly when given correct
principles; we cling to our errors just as illogically as we cling
In the opinion of a
Dutch liberal, God doesn't exist really. The concepts of God and
religion are only human, cultural phenomena. Everybody has the
constitutional freedom to choose religion-any religion-or not. Religion
is considered an element of human culture. It's on the same level as
theater, the movies, science, sports, etc. You're a fan of your
religion like you're a fan of your favorite sports team. You can say,
"My God is the best" like you're able to say, "My team is the best," or
"I like geometry and Chinese culture." But don't be too fanatical. You
have to know there are other religions, other sports, and other cultural
manifestations that you have to respect, too, even if you don't like
them yourself. Real humility is redefined to mean respect for
other's opinions (despite God's laws). True love is redefined as
the requirement to cooperate with all other religions to make the world
better-a new age!-instead of warring against each other in the name of
religion and God. If you are contrary, you are branded as proud,
fundamentalist, integrist, fascist, extremist, and dangerous. You are a
"terrorist" because you want to impose God on others and even die for
Him. You are absolute; you are not "relativating," but "absolutating"
The Society's "boat chapel" in The Hague, Our Lady of the Rosary.
It is 170 feet long and permanently docked in the quay not far
from the center of the city.
The priest has his own room, kitchen, and shower.
The sanctuary lamp constantly dances because of the gentle lapping
of the waves.
It comfortably seats 88 people, but 100 or more come each Sunday.
Christmas stable was made by supporters of the boat chapel,
the De Beer family, from which has come the first Dutch
priest of the Society,
Fr. Carlo de Beer, stationed in its priory in Antwerp,
This is the reason why the Society of Saint Pius X is considered
dangerous in Holland and is monitored by the state secret service. You
can choose what you want, but you cannot announce your choice to
everybody. In Holland, proselytism is a form of terrorism against
the freedom of conscience. I can choose Catholicism, but I cannot impose
it on anybody. I can choose a soccer team, but I cannot impose it on
anybody. The god you choose doesn't choose you just as the soccer
team doesn't choose you. If you believe that God has chosen you, that is
a "game" you're playing. But, please notice, it is only your
"game." If you forget that it is a "game," and think that God really
exists, you are dangerous. That's the opinion of a modernist and
is far removed from the supernatural faith in a real God who chooses
for usindeed. That we choose is true for those elements of
human culture such as science, art, entertainment, sports, etc.
These change because nothing that is human is perfect. And there is a
certain consideration and respect to be had for other cultures, but the
respect of error itself is the big exception. There is only one true
religion because this religion is not human but comes from God;
therefore, it is divine and perfect for all persons of all places and
Liberalism has penetrated so deeply into Holland that, without inciting
total chaos, its people have free access to all things-drugs,
sex, and Satanism, etc. Few police patrol the streets because the
Dutch believe too many police constitutes a fascist or "rightist" state.
The result is that people are attacked, wounded, and killed in the
streets without motive. Most crimes are committed by immigrants. The
police arrive two hours later. "What's the use?" they say, "If we arrest
these criminals, the judge will set them free the next day because it is
considered 'racist' to punish poor strangers."
one celebrated case, a man was keeping a house thief at bay with a
samurai sword until police arrived. The police set the thief free
because he was "a poor boy." But the homeowner was incarcerated because
he was "traumatizing the poor boy with a sword."
Holland now officially recognizes marriages between homosexuals.
entirely Catholic for 16 centuries, is falling into apostasy because of
the modernism of its clergy, and is following Holland closely in
decadency. It is the second country in the world where this abomination
of "homosexual marriages" is possible. [Since this report, the US has
made itself another country to do so, at least partially, by the vote of
the Massachusetts state legislature to recognize such unions. It is the
undeniable precedent for the rest of the nation that "marriage" be
redefined as any consensual group arrangement. -Ed.]
course, this independence of the Dutch from God results in big problems
accepting authority. This affects our faithful, not only in Holland. In
many Mass centers, people claim the right to criticize, control, and
even condemn each other, including the priests and superiors of Catholic
Tradition. When the priest in charge, having the right and duty to
correct his sheep, makes one little friendly remark to these same
critical people about a serious disorder, they do not accept it, become
very angry, and even prefer to quit Catholic Tradition forever. This is
one of the most difficult things with which I deal. On one hand, this
continual criticism systematically destroys our reputation and, on the
other hand, the prideful people undermine our authority. How can we
function seriously without reputation or authority? The fight against
the modernists is ferocious, we are in the most serious crisis in the
history of the Church, and we want to count 110% on our
faithful-brothers in the fight-and not be attacked in some way by them
also. I think that only the devil can be happy about such a situation,
because he wants to divide and conquer us.
Holland has also some remarkable qualities, but the work and its
problems have been extremely heavy for any priest assigned here. Bishop
Fellay reassigned the exhausted, good Fr. Grün to
appointed me superior of Holland to be assisted by Fr. Robert Schmitt, a
little, but strong, young German.
appears impossible to increase the number of faithful in this country
rotted by immorality. Fr. Grün told me that, in Holland, the Society of
St. Pius X can only expect to undertake Sterbensbegleitung, that
is, its priests should plan to accompany the faithful to their tomb and
then close its missions. As a newly ordained priest, these words of
Father made me sad enough that I refused to accept them and decided to
work as hard as I could to save what could be saved. I tried to bring
into Catholic Tradition a number of "soft" sedevacantists and members of
other conservative groups. For a time, we served nine Mass centers. But,
after five years, I exhausted myself and Bishop Fellay sent me for a
year to the chaplaincy at the monastery of Carmel in South Belgium
(Quievrain). At that point, I considered that Fr Grün might have been
no, God has the last word. Our main mission in Holland is miraculously
going forward. Two hundred faithful continue to keep the traditional
Faith despite this rotten situation. Humanly speaking, it isn't
possible. It is a great miracle of grace! This is another proof that God
only allows an evil in view of a higher good! The higher good is,
amongst others, the virtue of these heroic people.
merit of these people must be great because the preservation of
Tradition in Holland is proportionately more difficult than elsewhere.
As their spiritual director, I can certify that many of them are in a
higher stage of mystical union with God than anywhere I've been. If the
evil in Holland is the greatest, the good must also be the greatest! It
is pure theological logic and hard reality. Let me give you a smattering
of examples to support my point.
is no longer morally possible for Catholics to perform in certain
professions or to hold certain jobs. One of our faithful is a pharmacist
who left her field because she was obliged by law to give clients
contraceptives. She quit her position and began to work full time for
the Society. By the way, one of the requirements for graduating from
nursing school is to assist at an abortion.
Families with members with sicknesses justifying hospitalization are
heroic in their charity. But hospitals in Holland are no longer places
of healing. They are fearsome places where euthanasia is practiced
nearly automatically. Doctors have invented a new kind of euthanasia
called "mortification" where food and water are denied patients making
them die of hunger and thirst, that is, they are starved to death. A
1997 report revealed that 55% of nursing home patients are dying from
this lack of care called "mortification."
had experience with this. One Saturday evening, I was called by a
faithful parishioner from North Holland:
"Please, Father, come and give Extreme Unction to my aunt in the
"Is she close to death or dangerously old?"
"But why do I have to come when there is no such danger?"
"The nurse said that she might be dead in a few days."
"But what kind of death is the nurse telling you to expect?"
"The nurse said that she is in rather stable health, but that she
might be dead in a few days."
This is the
church of St. Clement's in Gerwen in the province of Brabant of
southern Holland, purchased by the Society of Saint Pius X for
220,000 guilders [$122,OOOUS].The rectory [seen to the right of
the church] was remodeled in 1994 so it could become a priory for
two priests. The church was used as a city shelter and survived
the attacks of Napoleon, who tried to burn it down, and Hitler,
who bombed it. Partial restoration of the exterior was necessary
when the Society became its owner.
famous apostle of Holland is St. Willibrord (+739), an Irish monk
who had a veneration for the fourth pope, St. Clement, whose name
he was given at his episcopal consecration in Rome. Where he
could, Bishop Willibrord-Clement bestowed the name of his patron
upon new foundations. The church of St. Clement was one of his
first in Holland.Over time, the church fell into the hands of the
Protestants, came back into Catholic hands, was sold to the city,
and finally bought by the Society.
altar was restored with Carrara marble. The images of 18 saints on
both sides of the altar-nine men and nine women-represent saints
known for their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Included in the
new statuary are SS. Xavier, Benedict, Paul, Eligius, Anthony,
Gerard Magella, and Joseph and Mary.
OK, I understood. This was euthanasia and the nurse was "good"
enough to relay this information so that the person could receive
the last sacraments. I came to give the last sacraments. The woman
was lying in the bed unable to move her hands because she was
paralyzed. On the table was a cup of water. I gave her a drink and
she drank voraciously. It was clear-she was dying from hunger and
thirst. Nobody was there to feed her; this was the so-called
mortification. And indeed, some days later, she died. I could do
absolutely nothing to stop it because the entire social and
political system has been organized this way. The only thing I
could have done was put the woman in the trunk of a car and drive
off to a normal country, but this was a crazy thought. There was
nothing I could do but pray.
When I was in Holland, I was aware of three cases amongst our
faithful caring for an ill family member because they did not want
to give them over to these criminal medical facilities. Two men
were each taking care of their mothers, and an elderly woman was
taking care of her sister in the most difficult situation you can
imagine. The woman ruined her back permanently; she will have
terrible pains for the rest of her life because she damaged her
back carrying her sister. Though he tended to his mother for
years, one man was called a sadist by the nurses because he
refused "mortification" for her. The other man was questioned for
hours by ten doctors because he refused "mortification" for his
The general situations in the Church and State are so corrupted
that normal persons suffer dire mental stress, anxiety, a constant
tension from them and have been "maddened" in various ways. I
would give them regularly the "Blessing of the Sick" because God
knows better than we what these "chaotical" souls suffer and need.
Poor people! They are in some way real victims (martyrs?) of
Normally, a priest's baptisms are mostly of children. Not in
Holland because there are few children. My first baptism after my
ordination was of a man 35 years of age in the slums of Amsterdam,
suffering from AIDS, and converted by the imposition of the
Miraculous Medal. He died six days later. What a country!
What problems there are for Tradition to survive! Let me give an
Una Voce of Holland is a conservative association of laymen who
try to collaborate with the conciliar Church to secure the
celebration of the Tridentine Mass. They asked the most
conservative bishop in the country, Bishop Bomers, to allow them
the use of a church once a year to celebrate the Mass of
Pope St. Pius V. Bishop Bomers replied that he wants to allow it,
but that it's not possible because he would have too many problems
with the progressives who do not want any concessions given to the
conservatives. Bishop Bomers advised Una Voce to approach the
schismatic Syrian Orthodox in Amsterdam because the Catholic
Church entered into agreements with the Orthodox stipulating,
among other things, that the Uniates [i.e., those
officially in union with Rome -Ed.] in Holland must receive
the sacrament of Confirmation from the Orthodox (schismatic)
Una Voce authorities went to the Syrian deacon of Amsterdam in
charge of the Orthodox properties and asked to get a church for
one Mass during one afternoon. This schismatic deacon agreed to
open a church if Una Voce was willing to pay for it. But in the
same Orthodox church every Sunday Opus Dei was celebrating the New
Mass. Opus Dei was also refused a Catholic church in Holland from
Bishop Bomers because they were too conservative also.
These Opus Dei members were paying the Orthodox deacon for the
weekly use of the church. Hearing about the new agreement, they
told the deacon they did not want Una Voce to celebrate the Latin
Mass in the same church and they gave him an ultimatum: "Opus Dei
or Una Voce but not both together." Because the deacon received
rent every-Sunday from the Opus Dei priests, he refused Una Voce.
Una Voce is again in the street without any chance of getting a
church anywhere in the whole country. They are persecuted by their
own "conservative" brethren-Opus Dei-who were themselves in the
church of schismatics to whom they had to pay rent, in this "most
conservative" Catholic diocese in Holland. One of the members of
Una Voce, a lawyer with many children, now assists at Mass in one
of our missions because he now sees us as the only reasonable
The so-called "conservative" primate of the
Cardinal Simonis of Utrecht, celebrated a pontifical High Mass in
a carnival tent. The carnival lights hung over the altar and the
participating nuns were sitting in bumper cars. We did not know if
we should laugh or cry.
A newspaper recently published an interview with Bishop Muskens of
Breda reporting that after
visiting the Kennedy Space Center, he is convinced there is no
heaven and no hell. He said his mother was euthanized by a
morphine injection; that he read pornographic books with interest;
that women should become cardinals, even pope; that he respects
the homosexual lifestyle; and that people should be given free
contraceptives. I have the original newspaper in my office.
The bishop of Limburg honored the choice of the Moslems for the
largest Catholic church in Maastricht, St. Mary's, to be converted
into a mosque. They preferred a church with a dome in order that
the transformation would be more convenient. Primate Cardinal
Bishop Simonis told journalists that Holland must financially
support Moslems to build mosques in the country. (This is a
logical statement for prelates convinced of religious liberty.)
But the authorities of Maastricht refused to give us permission to
buy a house in which to celebrate the Traditional Mass. In this
same (once upon a time) very Catholic city, an investor was
allowed to buy a Catholic church to turn it into a cultural center
used for rock concerts.
In 1971, the bishop of North Holland dynamited to the ground, the
largest, most beautiful neo-Gothic church in the country—St.
Willibrord's in Amsterdam-a splendid example of the
architect-genius Cuypers. Why?—Because, before Vatican II, the
Catholic Church was advancing rapidly and this church became the
symbol of Catholic "triumphalism" in Holland. The spirit of
ecumenism has practical consequences, said the modernists, so down
it came. Last year alone in Holland, 650 Catholic churches
The neighborhood parish priest near our priory argues that he
never wants to lead a procession of the Most Holy Sacrament "like
those Lefebvrists do...because it makes no sense to walk behind a
piece of bread." Ninety percent of Holland's clerical and lay
workers don't believe in transubstantiation.
A Cistercian brother complained to me that Buddhist monks were
invited to his monastery to share spiritual experiences. They
received Holy Communion without any conversion to Catholicism.
May the good God have mercy upon His Dutch people who, before the
Second Vatican Council, converted tens of thousands of Protestants
every year to Catholicism as a result of the beautiful Catholic
liturgy. This fervent country had then the highest percentage of
Catholic missionaries in the world! Now, there are virtually no
Catholic bishops in this country and, in a very short time,
Catholicism will be totally exterminated. Thank the good Lord for
the 200 at our priory!
Let us pray that our Lord Jesus Christ may come soon. We need Him.
Venijesu per Mariam!
Fr. Eric Jacqmin, a Belgian, was ordained for the Society of Saint
Pius X in 1995 in Econe,
He has worked in Holland and Lithuania, and is currently assigned
to the Society's priory in Warsaw, Poland.