A holy war is brewing as drinkers are brandishing their crosiers at the Brussels Beer Project over Ste Kat’.
The brewer will launch Ste Kat at a ‘Holy Apéritif’ on 3 October in the church square, Sint-Katelijneplein. However on the Facebook page for Ste Kat’ Holy Apéritif some are questioning why BBP is linking up with a priest who supports the ‘anti-gay stance’ of the church and its allegedly active role in ‘moving young people, undocumented people, and houseless people’ from the very busy square.
‘A pitty to see Brussels Beer Project teaming up with a church that is actively campaigning against gay-marriage and abortus..Sad things..[sic] ‘ says ‘Felix Phonetics’, the first poster.
BPP waded into the froth with this reply: ‘Père Jérémie is a nice person, very active in the Saint Catherine’s neighborhood. Also when we discussed our open views on gay marriage or abortus [sic] with him, he showed no radical confrontation.’ I can imagine what that open conversation must have been like. ‘Hey here at BBP we are a socially conscious craft beer place and you are not a socially conscious organisation, so there.’
Another poster, a Tom Gijssels from Brussels who lives in the US, chimed in with the claim: ‘You can be nice to some people, while being intolerant towards others. The two are not mutually exclusive. It took me half a minute of googling to find info documenting the active role this church, its community and this specific priesthood have in, e.g., anti-abortion propaganda or campaigns (e.g. Marche pour la vie mentioned by Felix above). On top of that, over the past few years the church has also had an active role in cooperating with the city and the police in removing young people, undocumented people, and houseless people from the square. Of course, these people are precisely the ones who made up the community of 54 and named the square that way. Co-opting the 54 name for financial purposes, while providing financial support and legitimacy to the organization that actively seeks to destroy the 54 community, is ironic, to say the least.’
While I don’t know if the latter claim about bundling the homeless and others out of the square is true, it would seem a strange stance for a church whose claim to fame on the tourist circuit is its outdoor toilets. Tourist guides invite you to ‘pee against a church’.
Those toilets would at least seem to show some sympathy for those who need a toilet and/or don’t have one of their own. If it is true, and I wish Tom Gijssels had posted some links to back these claims, then certainly I would look askance at BBP. But who knows?
It is however a bit of a stretch to knock the Catholic church for its views on abortion and gay marriage when those are well known. If we were to take it to the extreme we would stop drinking Trappist beers and all the other beers made by monks and abbeys (when they are really made by abbeys). Hold the beer and cheese please!
The BPP collaboration is meant to help Father Jérémie raise funds for his non-profit association. The profits will finance the further development of the church. BPP says of its collaboration: ‘Not the most probable association, right? Father Jérémie knocked at our door a year ago & if we were a bit hesitant at first, his enthusiasm became contagious fast enough! We feel he brings a great energy to the neighborhood & we were certainly interested in the challenge of refreshing the abbey beer! We are glad to make this collab for the second year in a row ! Come this Wednesday October, 3rd at the Church front court and get Père Jérémie to pour you a fresh “Ste Kat'”! We’ll have DJ Lee bringing some more swag to this Apéritif.’
Oh, and about the beer: it is described as a ‘revisite le style de bière d’abbaye avec moins de sucre et plus de houblons’.
Sounds like a good idea, and don’t forget to pee that beer against the church (right now only for the guys, even if they are married to a guy).
Ste Kat’ Holy Apéritif, 6-10 PM on 3 October in the church square, Sint-Katelijneplein.