Monday 19 April 2021

Gay priest’s confessional book ruffles Catholic feathers

A Catholic bishop has demanded an Amsterdam priest stop practicing for being openly gay and writing a book about his sexual experiences, the NRC reports.

Pierre Valkering unexpectedly presented his book Ontkleed niet naakt staan (Undressed not standing naked) during a service celebrating his 25 years as a priest on Sunday. He told the congregation about his visits to gay saunas and his addiction to porn and criticised the Catholic church for its stance on homosexuality.

In a statement, the diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam said that ‘it understands human frailty and the struggle of every person to grow into a state of holiness’. The fact that Valkering ‘does not even want to aim for an ordered, celibate life’ is not something the church can accept, the statement said.

Bishop Jozef Punt commented that he appreciated Valkering’s honesty but that the time had come to for Valkering to consider his position and refrain from his duties as a priest for the time being.

Valkering earlier told the Gaykrant newspaper that he realised that by publishing his book he would be treading ‘a minefield’ but that he hoped it would help make the church ‘more real and more liveable’.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.