The Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam in the Netherlands has asked a gay priest to lay down his priestly duties “for the time being, and enter into a period of reflection.”
In his new book and in several interviews Father Pierre Valkering has talked openly and in detail about his homosexuality. The Dutch priest, who works in a parish in Amsterdam, spoke about his sexual relationships and also said he visits gay saunas and dark rooms, and likes to watch porn.
In a statement to De Gaykrant, a Dutch newspaper for the gay community, Bishop Jos Punt said that while he appreciates Valkering’s honesty and understands his struggle, he nevertheless asked him to lay down his priestly duties because the priest refuses to abide by his vow of celibacy.
“This is incompatible with a worthy exercise of the priesthood.”
A statement from the diocese said the bishop received Valkering’s book “in good order.”
“It did surprise him as he wasn’t aware of its publication. Based on previous publications the bishop asked Father Valkering several times how he lives out his vow of celibacy. He always replied that he handles this in a responsible manner. He now unmistakably said in public that he has not kept his celibacy vow, and cannot and will not keep it,” the statement continued.
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