Sunday 12 July 2020

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’.

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