FOUR new dioceses will be created soon in the Netherlands and conservative-minded bishops will be named to head them, according to La Stamm, a Turinbased daily newspaper.
The report said the new dioceses would be created from territory of the existing seven Dutch dioceses.
Quoting unnamed Dutch sources, La Stamper said Pope John Paul will name new bishops whose policies agree with those of Bishop Adrian Simonis of Rotterdam and Bishop Jan Gijsen of Roermond, the two prelates commonly considered conservatives in the seven-member Dutch hierarchy.
The appointments would shift the conservatives-liberal ratio in the Dutch hierarchy from two conservatives out to seven to six out of II.
Cardinal Jan Willebrands, president of the Dutch bishops' conference, recently announced the establishment of a committee to study the possible dividing of dioceses in the Netherlands. The new committee is headed by Bishop Gijsen.
During last year's Particular Synod of the Dutch Bishops, the proposal to create new dioceses was widely viewed by informed sources as an effort by the conservative minority to gain strength.
At the close of the synod participants expressed agreement with the principle of splitting some Dutch dioceses and thus increasing the number of bishops.