FROM A SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
FR. JOS VR1J BURG, a
chaplain at Amsterdam University, who is engaged to be married, has been given permission to preach at a non-Eucharistic service which includes only prayers and a sermon.
The 37-year-old priest is engaged to a 21-year-old social worker. He was dismissed from the Society of Jesus on October 28, after announcing his engagement, but has continued to live in the chaplains' community at the university student parish.
In mid-February the Dutch bishops refused to allow him and Fr. Jeroen Gooskens, who is also engaged, to preach at Mass.
In his announcement, made after consultation with Cardinal Alfrink of Utrecht, Bishop Zwartkruis of Haarlem also said that he would regard the student parish at the university as an "experimental parish."
The bishop also named a sixman committee of theologians headed by Fr. Frans Haarsma to offer guidance and advice to the chaplains in their experiments. The committee will also discuss with the student parish the form of the service.
The university chaplains said they were content with the solution to the controversy that began when Fr. Vrijburg announced in October that he planned to marry and leave the Jesuits but wanted to continue to exercise his priestly ministry.
Later Fr. Vrijburg and three other chaplains at Amsterdam University, Frs. Huub °osierhuis, Ton van der Stap and Jan van Kilsdonk, all Jesuits, said they planned to break with the official Church because of obligatory priestly celibacy.
The four said that from March 1 on they would consider celebrating Mass and preaching at different places in Amsterdam, but "outside the responsibility of the bishop of Haarlem," whose jurisdiction includes the city of Amsterdam.
Lengthy discussions between the chaplains and Bishop Zwartkruis followed.