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Catholic Editor Forced Out on Christmas Eve Over Criticism of Amoris Laetitia

Henk Rijkers, the editor of the Catholic weekly, Katholiek Nieuwsblad, was forced out of his job on Christmas eve for questioning Amoris Laetitia. Rijkers held the post of editor for four years and is a 59-year-old father of three adolescent children. Katholiek Nieuwsblad is known as an independent, traditional Catholic newspaper, but since the forcing out of Rijkers Huub Vromen, the new president of the paper’s governing council,  has announced a change in direction, “the tone must become more positive, with less emphasis put on doctrine and more on pastoral issues”.

Lifesite News reports:

“Under Rijkers’ direction, Katholiek Niewsblad (KN) published several articles setting out a critical position on Communion for the divorced and “remarried.” At that point, tension was already running high with Vromen, a former school director who objected to what he saw as overly harsh criticism toward the Pope.

Vromen became more critical of Rijkers’ leadership, leading the 59-year-old father of three adolescent children to realize he could not in good conscience continue as head of the editorial staff. On the day before Christmas, there was a contractual termination of his labor agreement.

Under Dutch law, Rijkers could not be sacked in the absence of an objective cause required to justify firing an employee, because he always fulfilled his professional obligations to the satisfaction of KN’s governing council.

But he had no other option than to negotiate his departure. Rijkers was faulted for upholding “Catholic truth,” he told LifeSiteNews, when the new leadership of KN wanted the paper to look for the “good” in other points of view. Among the reasons advanced by Vromen was Katholiek Nieuwsblad’s loss of subscribers since 2013, suggesting that readers were reacting to the paper’s rigid approach.

Many conservative print media in Europe are losing readers because of competition from free news sources on the Internet, a view that in KN’s case has been corroborated by the growing interest for its active website, which attracted 200,000 individual visitors last year.

Besides, Rijkers underscored, convicted Catholics are a rapidly disappearing species in the Netherlands. According to a survey in 2014, 49 percent of the Dutch said they have no religion at all, and only 24 percent proclaimed themselves Catholics, less than half of the proportion registered in 1900. Of these self-declared Catholics, less than 5 percent are regular churchgoers.

Rijkers is convinced that the only way Catholic media can continue to exist is by catering for those who are still attached to the faith.

While he and the editorial staff were accused by the KN governing body of being too rigid and traditional, it says a lot about Holland that Katholiek Nieuwblad is in no way “traditionalist” from a liturgical point of view, even if some attention was occasionally paid by the weekly to initiatives in that direction from groups faithful to Rome.”

Read the entire Lifesite News article, “Dutch Catholic editor questioned Pope Francis, and now he’s out of a job.


This is not the first time that a Catholic journalist has lost his livelihood for publishing critique of aspects of Pope Francis’s pontificate. In August 2013 Alessandro Gnocchi and Mario Palmaro were sacked from Radio Maria two days after publishing an article together in Il Foglio. Mario Palmaro was seriously ill and died in 2014. Pope Francis phoned him a couple of months after his sacking on hearing that he was ill, during the conversation they discussed Palmaro’s criticism:

When he got the phone call, Palmaro said he felt a “duty to tell the Pope that I criticized him. I did not think he would have read my articles, but I thought I was a coward in receiving such a great gift as a Pope’s phone call and not being sincere with him.” Pope Francis responded saying that he “understood that the critics had been moved by love for the Pope.” Palmaro concluded that “critics are useful, and the decisions taken during these last days confirmed me of the existence of the problems I highlighted together with my colleague Gnocchi.”

Adam Shaw lost his job with the Catholic News Service in November 2013 for writing a post that compared Pope Francis with President Obama.

In 2014 Professor Roberto de Mattei was also sacked from his weekly radio show by Radio Maria for publishing criticism of Pope Francis. Roberto de Mattei is Professor of Modern History and of the History of Christianity at the European University of Rome.

In 2015 Pat Archbold, one of the founders of Creative Minority Report, was sacked by EWTN’s National Catholic Register.

Canon law protects the rights of Catholics to make their concerns known to the faithful, while at the same time maintaining respect for sacred pastors and persons. Expressing criticism of the teachings or decisions of a pope is not inherently “disrespectful”.  It is important that everyone in the Church keeps a watchful eye on respect for Canon 212:

Can. 212 §1. Conscious of their own responsibility, the Christian faithful are bound to follow with Christian obedience those things which the sacred pastors, inasmuch as they represent Christ, declare as teachers of the faith or establish as rulers of the Church.

§2. The Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires.

§3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

Originally published at EWTN Great Britain.

70 thoughts on “Catholic Editor Forced Out on Christmas Eve Over Criticism of Amoris Laetitia”

  1. The last sentence from Vromen says it all: “We used to have to fight against a sort of anti-image in the world and now we have a Pope who has made things easier for us.”

    By contrast:
    John 15:18, “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.”
    Matt. 10:22, “You will be hated by all because of my name….”

    • Are you serious? These blatant machinations of power are encouraged by Francis. He leads by example. We have seen this with the demotion and humiliation of faithful prelates like Cardinal Burke and the recent removal of priests from the CDF who dare to question (however modestly) Francis’ agenda.

      • “demotion and humiliation of faithful prelates like Cardinal Burke” ??? Has anything untoward happened to the good Cardinal Burke? I mean apart from the fact that in November 2016 he was removed by PF from the membership of the Congregation for Divine Worship. It could have been a response to the dubia ‘doubts’ submitted by him, together with three other cardinals, to some points of Amoris Laetitia which appeared to them to be at odds with Catholic moral teaching. OK, that is not an issue. is it. He is and remains a Cardinal, and now has a less of the office work to do. I would also love such a deal, less work and same money (and even more fame or…notoriety?)

        • You obviously know nothing of Card Burke!” Less office work????” The man works himself to death. Do not defame a good and holy man, who shows great courage and humility in everything he does!. He has no desire whatever for ‘notoriety’!

          • If am not wrong, Madame, my posting was addressed to Kevin – vide supra. You came with an interesting note, but it was not an answer. I have asked some questions. Do you think that your posting (where you are advising me “Do not defame a good and holy man” – on what ground? What gives you the reason to think that I defame Cardinal Burke?) has provided any answer apart from telling me things which I might know already?

    • Pope Francis probably didn’t give the order personally.

      But the people who did it are undoubtedly following his flawed message and believe they are doing it in his name.

  2. Pastoral care is helping adulters , fornicaters, coming to the truths in Christ, that means living a greater life in Christ and showing paths to seek annulments to find out if your first marriage is valid or invalid, only the devil would show them a path to continue to live in sin, just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it not a sin more, God flooded the world with only like 6 people were saved he didn’t make the sins not a sin anymore because everyone was doing it. Remember what our lady of Fatima said, sins of the flesh send more souls to hell, and the 3kids saw souls falling in hell like snow flakes and that was 1917, image how worst it is today. Pray for bishops and priest that they may stand up for Christ because it’s a more terrible thing for a priest or bishop to lose it’s soul, they have a greater duty to speak the truth and are responsible if they lead any souls to hell, it’s a scary thing to become a priest or even think about being one because they will be judged on a greater account and strict, image the greater punishment if you face the lord and he says look at all the souls that are lost because of you not speaking the truth and standing up for me.

  3. This is just coming in: Bishop Mario Grech of Gozo (the other, more diminutive, Maltese Island) has threatened to suspend a divinis any priest who refuses to comply with the Maltese directive to give communion to the divorced and ‘remarried’ who feel at ‘peace with God’. Waiting for confirmation…

    Can you feel the mercy flowing?

    Update: from Bishop Mario Grech’s Facebook posted an hour ago: “What is being stated by certain sections of the (international) media with reference to Bishop Mario Grech, namely that he “threatens priests will be suspended a divinis for refusing communion to divorced/remarried”, is absolutely false.

    My question is this: If a priest’s says “Your excellency, I am not going to follow your pastoral directive regarding_______ (fill in the blank with anything)” The Bishop will say “That’s fine, I understand.” Really? How do you run a Diocese that way?

    What happens if parishioners complain to Bishop Grech that their pastor isn’t following the Bishop’s Pastoral Directive? The Bishop will side with the Priest who is openly disobeying him? REALLY?

    Maybe he won’t suspend them ‘a divinis’ but he will do something, that is a guarantee.

    • “You will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time will come when those who kill you will think that by doing this they are serving God.” John 16:2

      • Jesus warned us against one thing above all else – hypocrisy. It seems that is exactly the quality most readily found among the enemies of Jesus Christ these days. Poor satan, he just can’t get around the Words of Christ. Perhaps that is why He spoke them. Thank You Lord Jesus.

    • Bishop Mario Grech has just replied to me on a facebook comment, when I asked him if this report of suspension a divinis for faithful priests was true. He said “False”.

      • The guidelines Bp. Grech co-published on January 8 with Abp. Charles Scicluna of Malta’s archdiocese read, “If … a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages … to acknowledge and believe that he or she is at peace with God, he or she can NOT be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.”
        ( my emphasis)

        There it is, in black and white. Now, if your boss made such a statement regarding a policy in the company, what do you think will happen if you did not keep it?

        He’s an operator!

      • Let our weeping turn to strength and comfort for our priests dear Lord.
        Give us the fortitude to defend our priests and receive God’s needed graces and counsel from them.

    • The SATANIC MAFIA in action. Satan isn’t hiding anymore. This is OPEN WARFARE!! What HYPOCRITES! They violate the consciences of faithful Priests while they coddle and soothe the ill formed consciences of the non catechized laity.

      • You have described the tragic situation very well – the situation in Malta may very well be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Any idea if
        C. Burke has spoken to this issue?

    • I hope one of the 4 Cardinals is closely following the situation in Malta. Similar conversations must be occurring elsewhere. The Catholic world waits on the Letter of correction and its all important wording.

      • There may be a recourse for priests caught in this problem of conscience. I know of a case where a priest asked his bishop (an excellent one) whether he should refuse Communion to a Catholic politician in his parish who in his voting and pronouncements consistently took positions contrary to Church teaching. The bishop told him, “I decide who’s excommunicate, Father.” The priest therefore did not refuse him Communion, but took him aside and warned him he was eating and drinking condemnation to himself.

  4. Vindictive and retaliatory, all under the guise of obedience and religious submission to legitimate authority exercising pastoral charity.
    Life in the heterodox kirche is akin to life in the Soviet Union. Snooping, sneaking, backstabing. It is particularly rife within religious communities.
    No doubt Bergoglio is a master.
    It is pathological.

    • As a convert without any knowledge of the existence of that sect, I walked into the Catholic Church and soon found myself blacklisted because of my traditional orthodox point of view. Soon I found myself out of a job, etc. etc. I lost a lot until I figured out who were the operatives behind that. There are many out there who are priests, writers, publishers, TV hosts. producers, etc. who pose as Catholics but belong to that sect. Many appear weekly in Catholic TV but they are part of an effort to ‘protestantize’ the Church. I know one specifically who is a secret Calvinist. The hour is coming that Our Lord will reveal who those are. We can almost make a complete list of who the Judases are in the Curia Vaticana. We live in interesting times.

      • What sect? Do you mean the Newchurch-novusordoist thing, as distinct from the Catholic Church? I can’t find a reference to a sect in the post you are replying to.

        • I am referring to the homo-marxist-masonic wrecking crew. Is that clear enough for you? Marcion of Sinope has nothing on them.

          • Oh, them. The inventors of the Novus Ordo, the fabricators of the new doctrines of Vatican II and the makers of synthetic new rites – and FORMS – of Sacraments in the 60’s. Those people? I don’t see a problem.

      • “There are many out there who are priests, writers, publishers, TV hosts.
        producers, etc. who pose as Catholics but belong to that sect. Many
        appear weekly in Catholic TV” – are you a former member of the sect?

      • Hold fast to the faith for the tempest rages within the Church.
        I remember Scott Hahn (also a convert) speaks about priests in the Church who did not want to help him learn more about the Catholic faith; he persevered, and today he is a wonderful teacher of the one true faith.

    • In my life I have seen more than enough cruelty and deceit but none comparable to what priests do to each other. Read the life of Padre Pio and you will believe St John Chrysostom: “The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”

      • I’ve called it the ecclesiastical sandbox. They don’t play kindly with each other and it is in no small part a critical facet of the vocation crisis. What I have observed is not mirrored in secular life to the same degree at all.
        Of course, clerical atheism is also a contributing factor.
        There is a lot of work to do, but it isn’t going to get done during the Bergoglian catastrophe.

  5. Thank God we have Steve Skojec et. al. at ‘One Peter 5’ who are still able and willing to speak the truth. But one would not put it past Pope Francis to excommunicate them all for lack of total subservience to his arrogance and falsehood.

    • He should look in the mirror first. It is he who is scandalising the CC in circumventing the Ten Commandments & making mortal sin no sin. It is he who said there is no Hell, all can get to Heaven,we are all the same, no need for conversion, & following on his predecessors bad example prays with infidels, hosts Light Shows, allows satanic masses in Vatican (well reported), ignores the active sodomites there, etc. etc. One such as him cannot be Pope & neither can the laity submit to such craven & insulting behaviour before God coming from the ‘Vicar of Christ’.

      Four Cardinals & supporters please END this satanic charade. The One Holy Catholic & Apostolic Church of Christ is in ruins! We are all praying for you & the Holy Ghost is overlooking your actions so stay strong.

      • We all knew this was coming as it has all been foretold. But it was surely startling when it actually happened. I expect the situation to get worse before it gets better. We must pray for divine intervention directed particularly at the management of the Catholic Church.

        • Yes Michael, it has to start at the top as that’s where the real rot is. If that isn’t sorted the CC cannot be fully restored as all Catholicism stems from that source via St. Peter & the First Apostles. There is no point in travelling the world to non-regularised priestly orders no matter how well they have preserved the faith, as they are still illicit & don’t fulfil our Sunday obligation. NO Bishops are not obeying the right of Catholics to hear Holy Mass in the Old Rite & the Vatican is in cahoots with their disobedience. It is my hope that they will be properly regularised but under a new pope who will be Traditional. It is the only way the True Faith can be fully restored. However, this is now in the hands of the four Cardinals who have been the only source of hope we have had this past sixty years. I pray they don’t let us down.

          • Please explain yourself as to how your sedevacantist priests are valid & licit. I have responded to you already about sedevacantism heresy but of course I have yet to get a response on the real issue in hand – Apostolic Succession. Your sect is as good as PF – ignore the detail. If the Gates of Hell have prevailed (I don’t agree) for over a century then Apostolic Succession has been lost & we can shut up Vatican & Episcopates worldwide. Your Most Holy Family Monastery is a fake founded by a self-proclaimed Benedictine monk Joseph Natale who left after less than a year having taken no religious vows, & his successor was one of the Dimond Brothers who were un-ordained converts.

          • Mr. Scojec has informed me that he does not allow promotion of sedevacantism so I cannot answer any questions or misunderstandings you have about it.

          • As you can see we are working on it being restored. You are doing nothing to help in that regard. All Sedes do is troll Traditional Catholic websites trying to get Catholics in communion with Rome to desist & join them in their schism. Not going to happen. The four Cardinals will see off PF et al. They are working with Our Lady, one of whom has read the Third Secret of Fatima in full. None of your bunch has & cannot answer the basic questions put to you – rather like PF himself not answering the Dubia.

          • Well said Ana. There is only one, holy, Catholic Church and we will staunchly support those clergy who defend and protect it.

          • I believe what Catholics believed-prior to Vatican II.
            That is what I am working to restore. That is why I support those who have kept the true teachings of the Sacred Deposit of Faith and Sacred Tradition alive, particularly the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, who are unquestionably valid successor’s of the Apostles, unlike the doubtful succession of many who were installed under the question new rite of Paul VI.

          • So am I & I reckon all on this site are. We want to restore the CC from within – leaving it is not an option. The Modernists have taken over since VII but their plans go back a very long time, even before the infiltration during the 1930-40s. In 1907 Pope Pius X issued an encyclical Pascendi dominici gregis followed by an anti-modernist oath to be taken by all Catholic Bishops, priests & teachers of religion. Still Modernism took hold & after VII tried to change its name to secularism, relativism etc.

            This heresy isn’t new but few lay Catholics knew about it until VII & the advent of the internet. The laity has little power within the CC structure & can only urge our Cardinals to call a Council (of whatever name) to prevent Modernism from becoming part of the Magisterium of the CC. We suffer the enforcement of having to attend NO Churches under NO Bishops who will not permit any other form of Liturgy within their Dioceses. We continually write to those Cardinals & Bishops whom we believe might be in sympathy with us, hence the four Cardinals Dubia & hopefully the formal correction followed by whatever next steps that need to be done. A schism is actually taking place, but if you are not in full communion with the CC you have no right to say that anyone who severed their connection long ago have saved the Church of Christ on earth. Only those who remained & resisted will do so. No one can say that Jesus has abandoned us by not supporting His Sacraments or that the new Liturgy of the Holy Mass is not valid & licit or maintain there are no valid Bishops/Cardinals/Popes since Pius XII or, indeed, further back. The Sedes cannot support any of their theories & will never answer the question of how they retain Apostolic Succession. At least the SSPX has by acknowledging the Papal Office even though they still need to be regularised.

            Our Lady made these predictions so we know we have to live through them. Christ has said “those who persevere will be saved”. We are not upholding anything but the Deposit of Faith, Magisterium & Tradition of the CC which go back to the First Apostles. The Sedes have lost it & no amount of arguing will restore it – they must repent (like the other schismatics) & come fully back to the True Faith. Catholics should not be fighting Catholics but should study their faith more fully & the history of the CC.

          • “Non-regularised priestly orders” in a crisis as grave as this = supplied jurisdiction, licit, and fulfil one’s Sunday obligation.

          • I suppose you are one of those people who want me to travel over a thousand miles by plane to one of these Order houses to attend Holy Mass every week when a valid, licit & reverently celebrated NO Mass is 10 kms. away? What we in Spain miss are Old Rite parishes, i.e. TLM, all sacraments, devotions, retreats, schools, open churches etc. like in the old days. There are enough priests to go around & with the help of the laity (which has been lost) there is no excuse but VII. That has to be changed & can only be done from the top. SSPX & other Traditional Orders are not given faculties here so please don’t assume they are.

          • There are a lot of questions to be answered & I’m sure George Soros is central to them all. If enough pressure is put on PF & his administration he could decide to resign rather than face the consequences, but the matter of his election will have to be fully investigated as I cannot view it being legal with St. Gallen Group (Mafia) involved. History will need to know in order to categorise him properly – False Prophet, Anti-Pope etc.

            I wish the four Cardinals would tell us at what stage we are at – has the formal correction been made & if so why are they dragging their feet in calling an Imperfect Council. The world is looking on while the CC is floundering badly. It’s a shame!

      • Ruins? I would call it a cataclysmic awakening. It is the cataclysmic part that I pray to be prepared for.

        Hang in there! When the Four Cardinals present to the faithful, and they shall,. For not only do they have great love for Christ and His Church, but for many, especially, if I may pine, the faithful priests who are our shepherds in the faith.
        They will not abandon us!

        Great prudence is needed on their part, so as to prevent as much as possible, a scattering of the flock like ashes in the wind. Personally, I would love to see Francis say goodbye to Rome, leave town in his little Fiat, headed for the airport and fly away. But, there are his henchmen who are still in town and they are a mighty force. So, it would seem a formal schism is in the works.
        The Church, the faithful, cannot go through this travesty again. There must be a rebirth of the Church, and holy courageous leader to lead.
        Just my thoughts. But, I am anxious as well, and would just iike to get this over with and move forward with our Lord in His Church.

  6. As a person who has been banned from posting on the Church Militant Website twice, the first time for defending Malachi Martin, and the second time for criticizing Pope Francis and claiming that he is an illegitimate pope due to his actions which identify him as not being the true Vicar of Christ, I must offer a word of caution to those who might believe the evil stench of censorship isn’t found in many places which might appear to be the last place where you would find censorship of those who are aligned to the Truth. This new form of political correctness against those willing to defend our Faith is both disturbing and totally to be expected as the devil’s final battle against the Truth is reaching a crescendo. Censorship of opposing ideas is not the answer, responding to those ideas with the teachings of the Church or the Words of Christ must be the response those who recognize the power of the Truth as the ultimate tool of persuasion, that It is.

    • “… all under the guise of obedience and religious submission to legitimate authority…” I also share that distinction of exile from Church Militant. Papal idolatry is no substitute for fidelity to Jesus Christ and His Church. The notion is rather comical and contrary to the faith — clarified so well in “Pastor Aeternus” at Vatican I.
      We are all faithful to the perennial Magisterium or we are not. When that measure is not merely violated but trashed chaos reigns on the Chair of Peter — the local cathedra — the chancery — the parish — the monastery — the convent.
      Lies, chaos …. Who could be behind that?

  7. This pope has an agenda :

    12 Times Pope Francis Has Openly Promoted a One World Religion or a New World Order

    Special Report: ‘Unholy Alliance’ – Exposing The Radicals Advising Pope Francis on Climate

  8. If the bishops don’t care about Canon Law, why should Catholic editors?

    Blind obedience to ecclesiastical authority — even if that authority consists of company men who are nothing but careerists — has been too much of a hallmark of Catholic culture for far too long.


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