Roman Catholics: The Radical, Revolutionary Church of The Netherlands

The Second Vatican Council unleashed a passion for change in the Roman Catholic Church that has shown no signs of subsiding. And nowhere has the urge to question and challenge the past taken deeper roots than in The Netherlands, where a branch of the church once noted for its stodgy conservatism has suddenly become the acknowledged center of avant-garde thinking within Catholicism.

"Orthodoxy is the tragedy of Christianity," says the Rev. Joos Arts, the priest-editor of a Catholic weekly called De Nieuwe Linie. "What we need is a rethinking of all the basics of Christianity. We must break away from...

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