Catholic Diocese fires openly gay Amsterdam priest

Rosary on an open bible
Rosary on an open bible. (Photo: IzelPhotography/DepositPhotos)

The diocese of Haarlem dismissed gay priest Pierre Valkering of Amsterdam. Valkering was first suspended in March after he came out during a mass in the Vredeskerk in Amsterdam and revealed in his biography that he did not abide by his vow of celibacy.

Valkering told NOS from his vacation that he is "not happy" with the diocese's decision. "But this way of operating does not surprise me." He does not yet know whether he will take steps against his dismissal. "I will let it rest until after my vacation. My life has been turned upside down enough and it is nice to be able to take some distance."

The parishioners of the Vredeskerk were informed about Valkering's dismissal on Sunday.

During mass at the end of March, Valkering talked about the "big pink elephant" in the Catholic Church. He criticized the culture of silence in the church around homosexuality. "I suffered a lot from that", he said at the time. He also presented his biography, in which he describes his life as a gay man. In the biography, the Amsterdam priest acknowledged that he visited dark rooms in the past and that he was addicted to watching pornography.

Because the biography showed that Valkering did not abide by his vow of celibacy, the diocese demanded his suspension immediately after the mass. 

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