A Catholic priest was fired after he came out as gay.
It seems that the Catholic faith has been especially strict against gay members in recent history. Two schools were told to fire their gay teachers by high ups within the Catholic faith. And now, one Dutch priest was fired after his sexuality was made public.
57-year-old Pierre Valkering came out during a mass in Vredeskerk, Amsterdam earlier this year. He then released an autobiographical book titled Ontkleed niet naakt staan. Within the book, Valkering talks about dealing with past obsessions like visiting dark rooms and being addicted to pornography.
The novel ended up creating controversy within the neighboring Catholic community. It appears that it wasn’t the fact that the Catholic priest had come out that upset his congregation, and those of the Catholic faith, but that he was openly discussing violating his oath to stay celibate.
Then, Valkering was put on suspension with the hope that this controversy would die down. But on July 8th, the Amsterdam Peace Church released a letter to parishioners saying that the diocese of Haarlem had let the priest go on the basis of him violating the celibacy oath.
Speaking to local news source NOS, Valkering, who is still an official priest despite no longer working for the Peace Church, shared that he doesn’t plan on appealing the decision.
“I will let it rest until after my vacation. My life has been turned upside down enough and it is nice to be able to take some distance.”
In addition, he admits his fault in the situation by writing about his sexual past in his book.
“It is clear that with this book I am going on particularly slippery ice, or even a minefield.”
“Because it is largely about sex and about the priesthood and those are, certainly in combination with each other, great taboo subjects where the signals quickly turn red and the alarm bells start to ring.”
So it seems, for now, Pierre Valkering is without a job.