by Beth Webb DUTCH bishops will be returning to Rome next week, having come to an "impasse" in trying to implement decisions agreed upon at the Special Synod they held under the Pope's chairmanship earlier this year.
On their return to the Netherlands in January, the Special Synod of Dutch Bishops set up a Commission for inspecting the teaching in theological faculties and seminaries throughout the country. The intention was to ensure that the theological training provided was orthodox and of adequate quality.
A row blew up a few weeks ago, however, when one of the Commission members, Bishop Gijsen of Roermond, published a private letter sent to him from the Roman Congregation for Catholic Education, expressing doubts about whether the High school for Theological and Pastoral Training in Heerlen was up to scratch.
Further to this, Bishop ,Gijsen made it known that he would not accept a young priest trained at this college. into his diocese.
The Commission was designed to work in co-ordination with the Central Management Committee for Catholic Education but this latter group has refused to work with the Commission unless Bishop Gijsen withdraws his remarks. They feel that if the Commission is seen to be pre
judiced against one of the faculties at the outset, then fair and unbiased observations will nut be forthcoming.
Bishop Gijsen. however, is adamant. lie says he sees no reason why his recent comments should impede a "fair and unbiased" report in any way. The two other bishops on thc Commission, Bishop Ernst and Bishop Muller, argue that the personal letter from the Vatican to Bishop Gijsen concerning the Heerlen School. should never have been made public in the first place.
Bishop Gijsen has presented his arguments in a letter to the Vatican, and these will be taken into consideration when the Congregation meets next week.