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Old 03-31-2009, 10:53 PM
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Question Religion and Religious Matters of the Dutch RF

I've not been able to find out in my poking around if the Bonaparte King Louis of Holland remained Catholic as monarch? I assume that if he did he was the only Catholic monarch the Dutch have had (since independence from Spain of course). Also, what exactly are the laws about religion and marriage with the Dutch monarchy? I know the parliament has to approve all marriages but is there a law about the monarch having to be a member of a certain church (Dutch Reformed?) and are there any laws against Orange royals marrying Catholics and keeping their royal rights like in Great Britain? I know some did and it did not make them very popular but I could never find out if this changed anything legally for them.

King Louis also interests me in general. It seems rather out of the ordinary that an imposed foreign monarch would become so popular and so identify with his own people that he would oppose his own family over it.
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Old 04-01-2009, 02:34 AM
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Cher Louis remained a catholic.There are no laws saying a Monarch has to be this or that denomination,
but tradition has it that the Oranges are protestant.

This is not Britain.The Heir,Alexander is married to a catholic Maxima,
Prince Maurits married a catholic Princess Marilene and they are still in line until Alexander takes over.
We don't take to way out of time medieval rules and regulations regarding faith and our Monarchy.

Louis Napoleon already has his own thread here.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:56 AM
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I'm certainly aware the Netherlands are not Britain, the Dutch have long been known for greater religious tolerance but there were once similar laws against Catholics which is why I asked the question about what exactly the laws are. So, the decision of the Prince of Orange and Maxima to raise their children Protestant was totally their own decision and had no bearing on their future and the throne?

I ask because the others are not in direct line of succession. I was not sure if this happened on its own or if there is a block against a future King or Queen of the Netherlands being Catholic.

I did notice the other thread on Louis but as it directs to the French board and my primary question concerned the Netherlands I posted it here. If I erred, have some mercy on a new member :)
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:32 AM
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I am not sure how liberal the religious views were in 1800, I suppose that the Dutch did not have any other choice than to accept a catholic king, since they were in no position to refuse him. Though Holland was indeed more tolertant than other countries in religion the tolerance is usually somewhat overrated, one of the reason of the split between the north and the south in 1830 for example was that the north was afraid to be ruled by catholics.

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Since the question relates to two topics I will do the following:
1) - Copy the posts to the thread on Louis Bonaparte in the Bonaparte subforum.
2) - Rename this thread 'Religion & religious matters of the Dutch RF'.
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Old 04-01-2009, 05:39 AM
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Religious matters had its restrictions here since the Reformation.Catholics could have their masses,but fe couldn't be a member of parliament.Until the early 1870's catholics were more or less discriminated and it wasn't till then that the Roman Catholic Church in
The Netherlands was allowed to appoint a bishop and install a bishopric in The Netherlands.First time in almost 300 years.

At that time it would have been impossible to any of our Royals to marry a catholic,the majority here being protestant,reformed and
holyer then thou,God fearing and proclaiming hell and damnation,(how very christian...) would have caused nothing short of a revolution here.
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Old 08-29-2020, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucien View Post
Cher Louis remained a catholic.There are no laws saying a Monarch has to be this or that denomination,
but tradition has it that the Oranges are protestant.

This is not Britain.The Heir,Alexander is married to a catholic Maxima,
Prince Maurits married a catholic Princess Marilene and they are still in line until Alexander takes over.
We don't take to way out of time medieval rules and regulations regarding faith and our Monarchy.
Exactly, while the expectation would be that the monarch and his family are protestant - and in practice, there is only one party in parliament vehemently opposed to Catholic brides -, that is not a formal requirement.

Friso and Mabel (although no longer in the line of succession) made it a point to state that while their daughters were baptized they were not registered as members of a specific church (and the ceremony took place at the Palace) because they wanted their daughters to pick one themselves... Imho a little weird to baptize them without an expectation to raise them in a certain way but that's for them and the one who christened both countesses to account for. At that time, it was also considered a bit problematic by church jurists... (see for example this article in Dutch)
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:43 PM
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The Netherlands may not be Britain, but Wilhelmina was absolutely adamant in searching for a Protestant bridegroom for Juliana. I always assumed that was law, but I suppose it could have been personal conviction and religious fervor.

Not sure what she would make of Maxima!
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
The Netherlands may not be Britain, but Wilhelmina was absolutely adamant in searching for a Protestant bridegroom for Juliana. I always assumed that was law, but I suppose it could have been personal conviction and religious fervor.

Not sure what she would make of Maxima!
That was a LONG time ago, when Wilhelmina was queen. The Netherlands is a fairly secular society now...
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Old 08-29-2020, 03:54 PM
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That was a LONG time ago, when Wilhelmina was queen. The Netherlands is a fairly secular society now...
A long time ago, but not that long as far as history or the massive Dutch Reformed tradition and influence is concerned.

Yes, I'm aware the Netherlands is very different now. I still wonder what Wilhelmina would do!
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Old 08-29-2020, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
The Netherlands may not be Britain, but Wilhelmina was absolutely adamant in searching for a Protestant bridegroom for Juliana. I always assumed that was law, but I suppose it could have been personal conviction and religious fervor.

Not sure what she would make of Maxima!

In fact, not so long ago, Princess Irene and Princess Christina marrying Catholics was an issue in the Netherlands.

I don't think Maxima's religion is an issue today (after all , over 50 % of the Dutch population has no declared religious affiliation). Still,

  1. Maxima was forced to agree to a Protestant wedding.
  2. Maxima was forced to agree that her children would be baptized in the Protestant church and raised as Protestants.
  3. As far as I understand, Amalia is attending a school with a Protestant Christian affiliation (I don't know about her sisters).
I guess that shows the Royal House still cares about its historic connection to the Protestant church. I wonder how much Maxima's Catholicism has influenced her daughters though.
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Old 08-29-2020, 06:08 PM
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In fact, not so long ago, Princess Irene and Princess Christina marrying Catholics was an issue in the Netherlands.

I don't think Maxima's religion is an issue today (after all , over 50 % of the Dutch population has no declared religious affiliation). Still,
  1. Maxima was forced to agree to a Protestant wedding.
  2. Maxima was forced to agree that her children would be baptized in the Protestant church and raised as Protestants.
  3. As far as I understand, Amalia is attending a school with a Protestant Christian affiliation (I don't know about her sisters).
I guess that shows the Royal House still cares about its historic connection to the Protestant church. I wonder how much Maxima's Catholicism has influenced her daughters though.
All three of them attend the same school. However, I am quite sure it wasn't for its religious affiliation this school was chosen given that Willem-Alexander and Máxima opted for a non-religious public school for primary school (for context: only 30% of pupils go to public school; 70% goes to semi-public/private school (financed by the government but with a private board - however, you need to proof that sufficient children will attend your specific type (mostly religious denomination or pedagogical approach) of school); very few students would attend a completely private school.

And yes, Máxima agreed that her children would be brought up in her husband's faith community - which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands. Her wedding as also protestant but with some Catholic elements. Nonetheless, I am sure she shared some of her religious experiences with her children and in some public occasions she still adheres to her own Argentinian Catholic tradition (Dutch Catholics for example don't wear matillas).
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Old 08-30-2020, 03:08 AM
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The Netherlands are essentially a non-religious nation now. The number or persons registered without any denomination dwarfs any other statistic. The number of baptisms, religious wedding services and religious funerals are minimal compared to the "standard" of only having the required civil wedding ceremony and the "standard" of having funerals outside any church.

The statistic correspondents with the level of education, the access to knowledge, the worldwiseness of the people. The higher the general education, the more accessible all and everything is and the more open the world is to travel and to explore, the less people stick to their church indeed.

This phenomenon is visible in all European countries. Even staunch Catholic countries as Ireland and Poland see secularization overtaking.

It is not for nothing that the public religiosity of the royal family is minimal. The King aims to be a King for all. Displaying himself as a Protestant King and naming his Christian God in every speech would be seen as provocative for a nation where the overwhelming majority is atheist. Even in his Christmas's Addresses he barely mentions God, while we actually know he indeed is a person of Faith.
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Old 08-30-2020, 04:09 AM
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If Queen Wilhelmina had found a suitable Prince to be her son-in-law and he was Catholic, could he not have become a member of the Dutch Protestant Church by converting?
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:40 AM
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Yes, of course
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Old 08-30-2020, 06:44 AM
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And one thinks of all the fuss caused by 2 Dutch Princesses marrying Roman Catholics and then later converting to that faith (Princess Irene and the late Princess Christina).How Dutch society has changed in 50 years today no one would bat an eyelid.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bones View Post
Also, what exactly are the laws about religion and marriage with the Dutch monarchy? I know the parliament has to approve all marriages but is there a law about the monarch having to be a member of a certain church (Dutch Reformed?) and are there any laws against Orange royals marrying Catholics and keeping their royal rights like in Great Britain?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prinsara View Post
The Netherlands may not be Britain, but Wilhelmina was absolutely adamant in searching for a Protestant bridegroom for Juliana. I always assumed that was law, but I suppose it could have been personal conviction and religious fervor.
The Royal House of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has never been formally required to be Protestant. See the laws of succession at the time of Princess Juliana's marriage:

https://www.denederlandsegrondwet.nl...r/vi7ilzebz7zm


Quote:
Originally Posted by lucien View Post
We don't take to way out of time medieval rules and regulations regarding faith and our Monarchy.
There are numerous monarchies in the present day, not only in medieval times, with rules and regulations regarding religion and the monarchy.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
All three of them attend the same school. However, I am quite sure it wasn't for its religious affiliation this school was chosen given that Willem-Alexander and Máxima opted for a non-religious public school for primary school (for context: only 30% of pupils go to public school; 70% goes to semi-public/private school (financed by the government but with a private board - however, you need to proof that sufficient children will attend your specific type (mostly religious denomination or pedagogical approach) of school); very few students would attend a completely private school.

And yes, Máxima agreed that her children would be brought up in her husband's faith community - which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands. [...]
Thank you for the clarification about religious/semi-public education.

In regards to "which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands", did Catholics not already outnumber Protestants (with the non-religious outnumbering either group as Duc_et_Pair explained) at the time of Máxima's marriage?
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post
The Royal House of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has never been formally required to be Protestant. See the laws of succession at the time of Princess Juliana's marriage:

https://www.denederlandsegrondwet.nl...r/vi7ilzebz7zm




There are numerous monarchies in the present day, not only in medieval times, with rules and regulations regarding religion and the monarchy.




Thank you for the clarification about religious/semi-public education.

In regards to "which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands", did Catholics not already outnumber Protestants (with the non-religious outnumbering either group as Duc_et_Pair explained) at the time of Máxima's marriage?

1960 was the turning point, since then the Catholics alone were overtaking all other Christian denominations in the Netherlands together. In fact the Catholics were already much longer the biggest Christian denomination but the Reformed, the Calvinists, the Lutherans, the Baptists, the Evangelicals, etc. counted together made it 50-50 for a long time.

That the Catholics were a massive bloc is shown in the polls. Since 1918 (general voting for all) the Catholics (RKSP, later KVP) have been the biggest political fraction until their merger into the Christian Democrats (with Protestant parties).

But as the elite still was predominantly Protestant, still it was waiting until 1918 for the first Catholic to become Prime Minister (the Limbourgian jonkheer Charles Ruys de Beerenbrouck). Before that the Catholic party was led by priests and it was out of the question that a priest (a servant of the Pope) could become Prime Minister for Queen Wilhelmina. The Queen did appoint one of the priests as a formateur though, to form the first Cabinet with a Catholic Prime Minister.
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Old 08-30-2020, 07:53 AM
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In regards to "which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands", did Catholics not already outnumber Protestants (with the non-religious outnumbering either group as Duc_et_Pair explained) at the time of Máxima's marriage?
I was mainly thinking about her marrying a member of a royal family. Generally, if you marry into a royal family, you are expected to adapt more to them than the family is expected to adapt to you. I don't think she would even consider asking that they move to Argentina, would attend a Spanish-speaking school etc. In that same vein, it doesn't make sense to expect the future king to raise his children in your denomination unless he himself decided that he wanted to change denomination.

With regards to the numbers in the Netherlands: at that time the Roman Catholics number about 30% and the protestants about 25% (which is wider than just the protestant church of the Netherlands - there are many other denominations that aren't measured that precisely by CBS); with the non-religious about 40%. However, among those considering themselves protestant the number of those that go to church at least once a month is higher than among those that were baptized Catholics. So, the number of 'active' Protestants is about 2 times as high as 'active' Catholics. The number of pastors/priests also could be an indication of how religious the flock is: the protestants have more than 3 times as many pastors/priests than the Catholic Church.

In general, (also based on regional data) it seems that Catholics are less likely to indicate they are non-religious than (former) Protestants; even if they hardly ever attend a church or don't believe the central doctrines of the Chruch, they will still count themselves as Catholics, while protestants would be more likely in that situation to consider themselves non-religious.

In addition, of those with a religious affiliation only 3 provinces (Noord-Brabant & Limburg - where over 80% is formally a member of the Catholic Church - and Noord-Holland - which has the highest percentage of non-religious) are pre-dominantly Catholic while the other 9 are pre-dominantly Protestant.

So, the Dutch royal family being rather liberal protestants fits quite well with the Dutch population - and having a queen who is Catholic works out fine as well.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Tatiana Maria View Post

In regards to "which makes some sense given that she married the future king of the Netherlands", did Catholics not already outnumber Protestants (with the non-religious outnumbering either group as Duc_et_Pair explained) at the time of Máxima's marriage?

According to Wikipedia, the breakdown in 2015 was as follows:


  1. Unaffiliated: 50.1 %
  2. Roman Catholic: 23.7 %
  3. All other Christian denominations: 20.1 %
  4. Islam: 4.9 %
  5. Hinduism: 0.6 %
  6. Buddhism: 0.4 %
  7. Judaism: 0.1 %
In other words, Christians were still a sizeable minority (slightly under 44 % of the population) and, among self-declared Christians, there was an approximately 54/46 split between Catholics and other Christian denominations (mostly Protestant).

The Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) properly, which is the denomination the RF is affiliated with, accounted for 5.7 % of the population in 2015 whereas membership in other Dutch reformed churches stood at approximately 9.8 % of the population.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:20 AM
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Yes, but I hadn't looked up the statistics for 2002, and it is possible for religious distributions to shift over two decades.


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I was mainly thinking about her marrying a member of a royal family. Generally, if you marry into a royal family, you are expected to adapt more to them than the family is expected to adapt to you. I don't think she would even consider asking that they move to Argentina, would attend a Spanish-speaking school etc. In that same vein, it doesn't make sense to expect the future king to raise his children in your denomination unless he himself decided that he wanted to change denomination.
An example of a king who raised his children in his wife's denomination without changing his own denomination was Leopold I, King of the Belgians (Protestant), who married a French princess (Catholic). In his case it was a sensible solution as it avoided what would have been an ostensibly opportunistic and insincere change for Leopold and showcased the religious tolerance of the Belgians while still guaranteeing that the kings of the future would belong to the same church as their subjects.


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Originally Posted by Duc_et_Pair View Post
1960 was the turning point, since then the Catholics alone were overtaking all other Christian denominations in the Netherlands together. In fact the Catholics were already much longer the biggest Christian denomination but the Reformed, the Calvinists, the Lutherans, the Baptists, the Evangelicals, etc. counted together made it 50-50 for a long time.

That the Catholics were a massive bloc is shown in the polls. Since 1918 (general voting for all) the Catholics (RKSP, later KVP) have been the biggest political fraction until their merger into the Christian Democrats (with Protestant parties).

But as the elite still was predominantly Protestant, still it was waiting until 1918 for the first Catholic to become Prime Minister (the Limbourgian jonkheer Charles Ruys de Beerenbrouck). Before that the Catholic party was led by priests and it was out of the question that a priest (a servant of the Pope) could become Prime Minister for Queen Wilhelmina. The Queen did appoint one of the priests as a formateur though, to form the first Cabinet with a Catholic Prime Minister.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Somebody View Post
With regards to the numbers in the Netherlands: at that time the Roman Catholics number about 30% and the protestants about 25% (which is wider than just the protestant church of the Netherlands - there are many other denominations that aren't measured that precisely by CBS); with the non-religious about 40%. However, among those considering themselves protestant the number of those that go to church at least once a month is higher than among those that were baptized Catholics. So, the number of 'active' Protestants is about 2 times as high as 'active' Catholics. The number of pastors/priests also could be an indication of how religious the flock is: the protestants have more than 3 times as many pastors/priests than the Catholic Church.

In general, (also based on regional data) it seems that Catholics are less likely to indicate they are non-religious than (former) Protestants; even if they hardly ever attend a church or don't believe the central doctrines of the Chruch, they will still count themselves as Catholics, while protestants would be more likely in that situation to consider themselves non-religious.

In addition, of those with a religious affiliation only 3 provinces (Noord-Brabant & Limburg - where over 80% is formally a member of the Catholic Church - and Noord-Holland - which has the highest percentage of non-religious) are pre-dominantly Catholic while the other 9 are pre-dominantly Protestant.

So, the Dutch royal family being rather liberal protestants fits quite well with the Dutch population - and having a queen who is Catholic works out fine as well.
Fascinating! Thank you both.
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