Catholic church fires Amsterdam priest who wrote book about being gay

An Amsterdam priest who was told to stop practising after he came out as gay and wrote a book about his sexual experiences has been fired, public broadcaster NOS reported.

Pierre Valkering (57) unexpectedly presented his book ‘Ontkleed niet naakt staan’ (Undressed not standing naked) during a service celebrating his 25 years as a priest in April, telling the congregation about his visits to gay saunas and criticising the Catholic church for its stance on homosexuality.

In a statement at the time, the diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam said that ‘it understands human frailty and the struggle of every person to grow into a state of holiness’ but could not accept his failure to ‘aim for an ordered, celibate life’.

Volkering told NOS that he is ‘not happy’ with the decision but ‘not surprised about [the diocese’s] ‘way of operating’. He said he would leave the decision to dispute the dismissal until he returns from holiday.

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