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Frans Haarsma

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Frans Haarsma 19 July 1921, Balk, Friesland - 25 November 2009, Nijmegen was a Roman Catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht He was a theologian and emeritus Professor in Pastoral Theology at the Radboud University Nijmegen formerly: Catholic University of Nijmegen

In his boyhood there was hardly room enough in the big butcher's family and therefore young Frans grew up at the house of an uncle and aunt who were without children There he could find his way through the seminaries to the priesthood and to higher studies, including a doctorate

In 1967 in the Netherlands all the Dutch seminaries were discontinued and Haarsma was asked to teach Pastoral Theology at the University in Nijmegen

In the years before, during and after the Second Vatican Council Haarsma was involved in almost everything in the Dutch catholic and ecumenical field

As a very prominent priest of the Archdiocese his name was often mentioned as a possible successor for Cardinal Alfrink, who was nearing retirement Actually Alfrink was succeeded by Cardinal Willebrands

Haarsma saw many fellow priests leave the priesthood, to marry or even to never set foot in a church again Haarsma was different He remained a very loyal albeit critical voice in the Church, critical both towards what he considered to be restorational tendencies from Rome as well as the policies of Dutch bishops See: Frans Haarsma, Morren tegen Mozes

During many years Haarsma cherished openly a friendship with his longtime contemporary and colleague at Nijmegen University, the feminist theologian Catharina Halkes

Haarsma published several works of which only one was translated into English: Watching the Vatican; it dates back from the sixties and the Vatican Council and was illustrated by Frederick Franck Valkhof 1999 ISBN 90-5625-067-1


  1. ^ http://wwwtrouwnl/naschrift/frans_haarsma
  2. ^ Het verraad der clercken, door Ed Simons en Lodewijk Winkeler, diss Arbor 1987
  3. ^ http://wwwcatholic-hierarchyorg/utrecht

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