ROTTERDAM - The Rotterdam Bishop Bär has resigned. A month ago he called in sick. A spokesman for the Vatican in Netherlands, Pope John Paul granted dismissal.

It is the third time in a short time a bishop resigns in Netherlands. Previously also bishop Ernst van Breda (for reasons of age) and Gijssen bishop of Roermond (for health reasons) resigned. According to insiders, the vacant place in Rotterdam will not be quickly completed.

Bär currently resides in the Benedictine monastery at Chevetogne Ciney Wallonia. He was already forty years ago in the monastery.

Big loss

The departure of Bär is hard at the Rotterdam diocese. He was loved in the diocese and was known as a hard worker. Archbishop Simonis mentions the resignation of Bär a great loss to Rotterdam and the Bishops 'Conference'. But it came as no surprise.

"He wanted to keep everyone friend and could never 'no’ say. He therefore lived with a lot of stress and had rarely or never free. That does not man full "

(Archbishop Simon, Telegraph 15-03-1993)

Bär was the successor of Simonis in Rotterdam 1983.


Limburgs Dagblad was two weeks ago in Chevetogne, but Bär did not get to speak. But Abbot Van Parys said that the bishop is exhausted and looks tired '.

Maar, so the expectation of the abbot, it would not have surprised him if the bishop would recover quickly and would be back to work within two weeks.

On the other hand, according to insiders soon after his arrival in Chevetogne by the bishop requested his resignation. Official sources could not confirm, but since less than a month is between the sick report by Bär and his resignation, it is not inconceivable.

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Personal problems

Bär was known as the most accessible Bishop of Netherlands. Within the diocese he was very popular. Thus it was the opposite of Bishop Gijssen, Until recently the bishop of Roermond. Known for its tight and conservative line.

Also bear was much more progressive than its predecessor, the current Archbishop Simonis. Bär as suggested during the five-yearly visit to the Pope to also open the priesthood to married men older. That proposal was not welcomed with open arms by many of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands.

In the Diocese of Rotterdam is strongly denied the existence of personal problems. But recently Bär would be to have told a confidant that "everywhere I take a step, I find my way war '.

Hoe ging het verder?

Henk Müller, journalist van de Volkskrant, wrote in 1994 a book about Bär. He believed nothing of the existence of fatigue, because he was two months before reporting sick yet made a sprightly impression, so Muller said on Radio Rijnmond.

According to Müller, there was a power game. That had to do with the (forced) departure of Bishop Gijssen. A homosexual relationship between the conrector with a student on the course Priest, ultimately led to the Gijssen had to step down.

The conservative wing of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands, was terrified that bear strong because even though Bishop Ernst van Breda was stopped - was a leading candidate for the cardinal shelf.

"There was in fact a trade-off", Müller explains on Radio Rijnmond. "About Bär also went all stories. Gijssen road, therefore bear away. "

According to Müller, there was a case, But what is it he still does not know. During his time in the army, Bär was bishop army, there would be potential conflict of homosexual relations. And there were also photos of his. There would also be threatened with publishing those photos. That would have been the signal for Bär to resign.

Radio Rijnmond brings 1999 a visit to Bär in Chevetogne. Even then Bär gives no disclosure.

But the fact that bear it appears in the media, the Vatican does an eyesore. He gets into 2003 a speaking- and publication ban.

Yet Bär is still plenty of traveling and he is regularly in Netherlands. Also at the funeral of Ruud Lubbers in 2018 Bär is one of the invitees.

Text: Dave Datema

Date of publication: 13-03-1993

story number: 75


Het Parool – 18-02-1993 – Bishop Bär goes on sick leave

Limburgs Dagblad – 27-02-1993 – Bishop Bär some moulting

TVNZ – 13-03-1993 – Bishop Bär Rotterdam gets resignation of Pope

Leeuwarder Courant – 13-03-1993 – Bär also bishop of Rotterdam resigns due to health

Friend and – 13-03-1993 – Bishop Rotterdam mentally fatigued

Vergeten Verhalen – The sudden departure of Bishop Bär

RTV Rijnmond – 11-07-2003 – Pronounce Prohibition former Bishop Bär

RTV Rijnmond – 14-08-2003 – Van Ardenne stands up for former Bishop Bär

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