Dutch Catholics Reject Pope Francis, Begin Turning to Populist Parties
Dutch Catholics turning to politicians against mass migration
A growing number of Dutch Catholic are now turning to populist politicians and parties and rejecting Pope Francis's warnings of its dangers.
Populist legislator Thierry Baudet last week “surged into the Dutch political mainstream as the biggest winner in nationwide elections."
According to Katholiek Nieuwsblad, he is the “the new face of Dutch populism,” appealing to many Catholics who have felt politically homeless.
Baudet is against mass migration, skeptical of climate change, and an outspoken critic of the “cartel party,” in reference to the elite Dutch political establishment.
Earlier this year, Francis blamed the shortcomings of globalization on the rapid rise of nationalism.
Francis did not highlight any specific countries of political parties but reflected on national policies favoring "quick partisan consensus" over patient efforts for the common good.
The Pontiff expressed worry that Europe and North America are limiting their acceptance to migrants in his speech to diplomats accredited to the Vatican.
Three Dutch practicing Catholics were interviewed by Katholiek Nieuwsblad, who said they sympathize with Forum for Democracy - as the newspaper describes a former member, a ‘dormant’ member and an active member of the party.
The former member, Michiel Hemminga, is a philosopher and pro-life who is sympathetic to many of the party’s positions, but critical of others.
According to Breitbart: Forum for Democracy suffers from a certain ambiguity in its platform, Hemminga said, and some of its positions are untenable for a Catholic.
While their opposition to overreaching from the European Union (EU) and unchecked migration is open and a viable option for Catholics, on other issues tensions cannot help but arise.
“According to one of the party’s plans, at a certain point all religious people should agree to the fact that the Dutch law is above their own religious beliefs,” Hemminga said.
“For me, as a Christian, that’s not an option. I’m not suddenly going to support gay marriage or abortion, because it’s the law.”
Erik van Goor, a Catholic convert, publicist, and blogger is an early member of Forum for Democracy, who has hopes that the party will be able to shake up the current political system.
“When I understood that a political party was in the making, I was very enthusiastic about it. I don’t know what the future holds for the party, but I do think the current system needs a breakthrough. Geert Wilders hasn’t been able to do that, but I hope Forum for Democracy will,” he said.
“People are becoming more and more secular and liberal,” van Goor said.
“We run the risk of living in a world where you cannot think or say anything that is opposed by the mainstream media.”
Forum for Democracy draws many people who worry about the whole “gender craze,” he said, attracting many conservatives “who feel abandoned by a liberal left policy.”
Another convert to Catholicism, Zlata Brouwer is a “dormant” member of Forum for Democracy, who appreciated the party’s commitment to preserving Dutch culture.
“When I received my religious education, I studied the moral and cultural roots of our Western culture and how they are intertwined,” Brouwer said.
“But we throw away our own culture. Although Forum for Democracy is not a Christian party, I believe it’s the only party who tries to preserve our culture, our democracy, for future generations,” she said.
Although there are positions espoused by Baudet that she disagrees with, as a whole, she finds him more convincing than the other candidates.
“I don’t think he’s acknowledging the true origin of what he likes to preserve. My hope is that one day he will, perhaps if he gets married and starts a family,” she said.
“You need only to look at the history books to realize that the traditional marriage and the family are essential to all things created within a culture.”