Vatican rejects dismissal of Dutch gay priest

The Vatican has rejected the dismissal of the Dutch Catholic priest Pierre Valkering, who was suspended and dismissed after his coming out. Valkering shared the news during an interview with a Dutch radio station.
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He came out in March this year, during his jubilee for his 25 years of priesthood. After a rather short suspension, he was fired. The Congregation for the Clergy, responsible for overseeing matters regarding priests, ruled the firing of the priest was unfair, due to many procedural errors.

But if Valkering can hold his title, is uncertain. In the radio show Dit is de dag, he explained that the Catholic Church suggested that he himself resigns. He has to make the decision before Christmas. “Clearly, they have a problem with me and think I should be on the sidelines for a while.”

After Valkering came out as gay, he published a revealing book about his life. He described his varying sexual contacts as well as his visits to dark rooms and gay saunas. In the book, he frankly spoke about his porn addiction. The reason for his suspension was his violation of the celibacy oath, which states that priest are not allowed to have sexual contact with others.

“I have tried in many ways to encourage our church to deal with homosexual people in a more pleasant way, that doesn’t avoid the topic. I have always been told that it was not appreciated," the priest said during the radio program.

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