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Catholic Priest in the Netherlands to release pictures of members trying to leave the church

Catholic Priest in the Netherlands to release pictures of members trying to leave the church

Fr. Harm Shilder, the Priest of a Catholic church in Tilburg, has decided the best way to convince parishoners from leaving the church is to publicize their pictures and names.

In a story filed by the Raw Story, Shilder told the AFP,

“This is a large parish, and I don’t known everyone: by putting up the photos I thought someone might recognise someone they know who they could try to make stay in the Church.”

The report states that Fr. Shilder has received requests to leave the church by four people around Christmastime. He maintains that his plan is not to embarrass those wishing to leave, but to prompt other church members to pray for them, or persuade them to stay using other means that he did not elaborate on.

In order to leave the church, a parishoner is required to send a letter to the Parish Priest, along with a copy of their ID. It is from these identification papers where Shilder is obtaining the photographs and names.

The report also reveals that Shilder is the same Priest who decided it would be a good idea to start ringing the church bells at 7:15 in the morning, during the week.
The Netherlands is roughly 45% Christian, with about 28% being Catholic, 18% being Protestant and a full forty-four percent stating they have no religion.

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • oouchan

    No good will come from this. Any who left will feel humiliated and it will prevent others from leaving. Wonder if they will take him to court if he does this?
    I can also see other members harassing those that left. Not a proper way to do this.

  • Spuddie

    So why would anyone give this joker their ID's?

    If they want to leave the church, why wouldn't they just stop showing up on Sundays

  • When I left my church, I simply stopped showing up. When they would call me with "news," I would tell them, "Sorry, I am not available. Please take me off the phone list." I thin wrote directly to the church and asked to be removed from their directory and to not be contacted. Funny thing, before I did that, when I first left, no one bothered to even call to see WHY I wasn't there or to ask if I was OK. They only ever called me when they wanted to ask me to come help them out with some function.

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