The UCS Academy is a high quality events programme featuring world-renowned speakers, showcasing academic excellence both inside and outside UCS. The events include conversations with, lectures and guest lectures by experts across a wide range of disciplines
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Survival of One of the Smallest: The Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands - Bishop Dr Dirk Jan Schoon. The Old Catholic Church is one of the smallest churches in the Netherlands with a membership that continues to grow. This pattern contrasts with other churches in the Netherlands that face falling congregations. In his lecture, Bishop Dirk Jan Schoon reflects on
what it is that has sustained this church through the centuries and more recently. The Church governance has reacted positively to
modern theological insights, which resulted at the beginning of the 20th century in the use of the vernacular in the celebration of the
Eucharist, the abolition of compulsory celibacy of the clergy and the institution of a synodical way of decision making, while the church also made its contribution to the ecumenical movement. During the second half of the last century the ordination of women to the threefold apostolic ministry and a positive way of thinking in matters of ethics followed. The Old Catholic Church may be small but thanks to a strong theological tradition and the sharing of the responsibilities of church governance with a high level of commitment among its members it manages to fulfil its mission: to proclaim the Gospel.
Profile: Bishop Dirk Jan Schoon studied psychology and theology at the Universities of Amsterdam and Utrecht and has served as a parish priest in Amsterdam and IJmuiden. In 2004 he defended his doctoral thesis in church history and canon law on the development of the Old Catholic Church during the 19th century at VU University Amsterdam. In 2008 he was elected a bishop by the clergy and laity of the Diocese of Haarlem.
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