Belgium’s new RC primate closes down burgeoning conservative seminary
The Primate of Belgium, who has been in office less than a year, has closed down, for dubious reasons, a priestly fraternity that had been blessed with many vocations.
At the end of last year, Jozef De Kesel was named the archbishop of Belgium’s main See, Mechelen-Brussels, the successor of the traditionally-minded Archbishop André Léonard. While his predecessor was outspoken concerning pro-life issues and attacks on human sexuality, De Kesel promotes a church “not closed within herself” and that gives “reverence to homosexual people.”
Now De Kesel has taken yet another step towards the “liberalization” of his diocese, by closing down a priestly fraternity established by his predecessor. Archbishop Léonard founded the so-called “Fraternité des Saints Apôtres/Broederschap van de Heilige Apostelen”, or “Fraternity of the Holy Apostles”, which was a public association of the clerical faithful, of diocesan right. Léonard entrusted the education of priests to the Fraternity and gave them two parishes in Brussels.
The founding of a fraternity seems strange for a bishop – being the highest in command in his own diocese, with all its resources – but it shows one more time just how many obstacles a conservative bishop must overcome. As in many dioceses in German-speaking countries, the alleged absence of priests due to plummeting vocations is often used as a justification for establishing or strengthening “lay-structures,” including “liturgies of the word” with the distribution of communion, or the implementation of all kinds of extraordinary offices, replacing priests and in effect making them superfluous. In many parishes in the north of Germany or in the countryside, no Masses are accessible to those without a car, or who are too old to travel; they are bound to participate in a pseudo-liturgy, led by laity.
This article continues at [Life Site News] BRUSSELS ARCHBISHOP DEALS POTENTIALLY FATAL BLOW TO AN UPRISING OF VOCATIONS