BISHOP REFUSES TO MEET PRIEST WHO CAME OUT AS GAY

New Ways Ministry
24/04/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 24/04/2019 05:57

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BISHOP JOS PUNT

Fr. Pierre Valkering at the Mass where he came out as gay and announced his book
A Dutch bishop is refusing, at least temporarily, to speak to a priest of his diocese who came out as gay this spring. Meanwhile, the priest has written a letter to the bishop, to parishioners, and to others in the Church further explaining his decision to come out and to publish a book on his experiences.

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FATHER PIERRE VALKERING

Responding to Fr. Pierre Valkering’s coming out last month, the Diocese of Haarlem-Amsterdam said Bishop Jos Punt would not meet with the priest until he has ‘finished his media campaign.’ The suspension of his priestly faculties would likewise remain in place until Valkering was, according to the diocese, ‘truly repentant’ and sought to ‘repair the damage he has done.’
Valkering’s coming out, coupled with the publication of a book in which the priest describes his experiences as a one-time sexually active gay priest, led to the suspension in late March.
To further explain his position, the priest posted a letter online to the bishop, parishioners, and others in the Church. He acknowledged that the book’s publicity came largely from his admission that he had had sexual encounters and relationships in earlier years. These items can be ‘confronting and shocking,’ he wrote, and could contribute to gay-negative stereotypes that provoke judgement. But Valkering clarified that he was now living a celibate life, and ‘would like to devote myself to it with all my heart, releasing everything which does not contribute to that.’
The real problem, according to Valkering, is the culture of untruthfulness which functions in the Church. He wrote:
‘What has become visible in my life has, in my opinion, everything to do with and is partly a symptom of ways of thinking and doing. . . I myself have clearly been untrue but untruthful is actually encouraged by how the church often ‘works.’ Because in order to be able to continue to cherish a certain ideal image of church and priesthood, so when the reality and truth of the lives of homosexual people and certainly those of homosexual priests is brought to light it is considered problematic. That reality and truth is often not or hardly allowed and would rather be left in the dark and withheld.’
This culture is, according to Valkering, what led him down mistaken paths. But now he stands ‘in the light and in the truth’ with his book, such that he is entirely transparent about his life. And it is precisely that openness which prompted such a stern and swift reaction on Bishop Punt’s part. In a secretive, clerical culture, Valkering writes that ‘openness becomes tackled, stealth is rewarded.’
Concluding his letter, Valkering said the pain caused by the events surrounding his coming out and book are hopefully leading the Church to ’emerge stronger and better’ together. In his own life, being open and authentic about his sexual identity and his life is ‘substantially better’ than before. But he apologized as well for ‘what I have done in His and in your eyes’ before ending with an appeal for Punt to reinstate him for Holy Week celebrations.
When news of Valkering’s coming out and book first appeared earlier this month, there were questions about whether or not he was presently committed to celibacy, which could help determine if the suspension was justified or not. Opinions from Bondings 2.0 readers and other observers were mixed. But these latest developments reveal a deeply unjust situation. Bishop Punt’s refusal to meet with a priest he is charged to support is unnecessarily disrespectful. Perhaps the bishop believes the suspension is pastorally necessary or in the priest’s best interests. We cannot know his intentions. But from the outside, the refusal to dialogue appears to be simply punitive.
Valkering’s honesty and authenticity are gifts to the Church. His courageous witness and the witnesses of other openly gay priests are precisely what a deeply broken Church strangled by clericalism, homophobia, and criminality needs. Catholics must stand with our beloved gay priests when they are unjustly treated by Church leaders like Bishop Punt.
Here are two ways you can stand with gay priests:
1. Spread the Wordabout New Ways Ministry’s upcoming retreat for gay priests, bishops, religious, and deacons, ‘All Are Welcome. Are All Welcome?’ with Fr. Peter Daly. Over the course of this retreat, attendees will be looking at a variety of questions pertinent to this moment in the Church, such as ‘Is my ministry welcomed by our church?’ The retreat is designed to assist attendees in developing better self-understanding, spirituality, friendships, and relationship with the institutional Church. For more information or to register, click here.
2. Sign ‘The Gift of Gay Priests Vocations,’ a campaign by New Ways Ministry to show our support for gay clergy and vowed religious who faithfully, dutifully, and effectively served the People of God and to call on church leaders to end the falsehoods about and lift the ban on gay priests. To add your name to this show of gratitude and solidarity, click here.
-Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry, April 24, 2019

25 thoughts on “BISHOP REFUSES TO MEET PRIEST WHO CAME OUT AS GAY

  1. A coadjutor bishop was appointed in December 2018 to assist Bishop Punt, who was aged 72 at the time, with administering the diocese.

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  2. Fr Valkering has spoken quite openly about his gay relationships, his love of saunas and porn…….

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  3. It reminded me of Cardinal Daly re Bishop punt. whose arrogance and bravura putting up their front. Church does thrive in secrecy and stealth as well. It’s an intelligence network. Thought this blog is about exposing church’s abuses and their corruption not gays. It seems it got sidetracked of what this blog is about- exposing abuses et al. Bishops here operate in their own fiefdom nothing else matters except for money.No wonder their sheer arrogance. Saw Bishop Crean at a rugby field new pitch opening. Locals didnt speak to him as they kept to themselves.
    Is RCC dying here? they are barely surviving as next 10-20 years would be massive dent in their money collections. I remembered Bishop Magee wanted to build a church worth 1M. How crazy was he when looking back now but he backed down after local revolt. Cos their money would go to superslush fund of 1M.

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    1. This blog is about corruption in the church whether by gays or straights.

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      1. Thanks . Corruption haven’t gone away as it would continue due to secrecy/stealth and lack of openness and lno transparency in the church. two churches –
        1. Vatican/pope/cardinals/bishops et al
        2. us – the laity.
        There is no communion in the RCC as it splits into two now- them and us. So much of their hypocisy re communion.

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      2. But we all know you are obsessed with gays Pat not straights.

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    2. 4.34
      I would suggest that you enroll in a course in basic written English.

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      1. LOL 🙂

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      2. @4.45
        The clue is in ‘deaf.’ Deaf people’s first language is signing. They speak English with less grammatical accuracy as it is their SECOND language and they learn it through reading, not by hearing spoken English.
        Last week I, myself, was doubtful that the contributor was actually deaf as his first two posts had very poor grammar and the next one was long but much more correct. I suspected that someone was using the name to make points which they thought no-one would challenge in case it was non-pc.
        Having now read numerous posts by deaf user I can see that they are generally gramatically similar.
        I don’t agree with all of his points but his posts are very easily understood.

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      3. Pat, I’m the commentator who posted at 4.45. I apologise to the poster at 4.34 for my comment. I would appreciate it if you would please remove it. Thank you.

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    3. MissJaneBrody. 29th Apr 2019 — 5:34 pm

      4.34: Maybe if you wrote your comment in good, basic English we might ascertain what you’re trying to say. As it is, it’s indecipherable. Back to school……

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  4. Is Bishop Kunt Robbie Coltrane’s twin?

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    1. Western Rite bishops shouldn’t have beards. End off.

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      1. The West would be right not to have bishops. End of.😆

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  5. 5.36: No I’m both in denial about the horrendous, criminal acts of sexual abuse and have said frequently that all perpetrators should face the full rigour of civil law. No denial on my part about these crimes but I am also talking about the human failings that are part of all our lives. Somehow when a human being who happens to be a priest has ordinary, human moral failings, boulders are thrown at him. Read my comments carefully and incidentally the article is about celibacy, being a gay priest, acceptance of such, gay priest relationships, married priesthood and the need for openness, truth and respectful conversation. Of course any priest with a modicum of humanity and compassion abhors and rejects all abuse, whoever the perpetrator is. Do you NOW understand……? Keep to the topic. Please.

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    1. 5:11pm
      There’s a Freudian slip of the finger!
      Don’t forget to include the crimes of clergy due to their… er….unfaithfulness to the celibate state.

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  6. While I understand Fr. Valkering’s persinal experience and Bishop Punt’s responsibilities re: church teachings, I do not believe there would be widespread acceptance of a declared gay priesthood and partners living within parishes. The reality of gay priests is a challenge already for the Church and for communities. We also seem to suggest that a married priesthood would be widely accepted. There’s an assumption that both human realities, openly gay priests in relationships and married clergy woukd automatically applauded and that they may contribute to a more caring, human and compassionate Church. Apart from accepting such realities, there are issues of financial, housing and pastoral considerations. While there is a major dysfunction within the Church, would throwing out all beliefs and moral teachings be a step too far for many? Our communities would be very divided and probably very unaccepting of priest couples, gay or straight, who would, like the rest of humanity experience infidelity, promiscuous behaviour, daily disagreements, conflicts, rows, anger, lust, management/relationship difficulties..etc….There are many truths to be acknowledged, thought through in depth and considered before we accept experimentation or changes of such a radical nature. These are serious issues. Discussing them openly and honestly as Fr. Valkering and others suggest is a beginning, but we have a long road to travel. Presently on this blog we get expressions of hostility, judgment and vitriol against moral and sexual failings and sinfulness of priests, some of it justified, but can you imagine what these same harsh critics might say if married/gay priesthood is declared as officially accepted by the Church!! We all need honest, balanced and respectful discussions around these issues.

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    1. I am just back from a parish where a gay priest is PP and who had two brushes with the law over WC incidents.

      The people love him and say he is a great priest.

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      1. These places are like magnets for priests, Bp Pat, always has been.

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      2. In the old days he would have been before the Magistrate on a charge of gross indicency and then in the local paper. The PSNI look away now.

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    2. 5:19’….. moral and sexual failings and sinfulness of priests’…
      Are you in denial? It’s crime committed by priests and covered up by bishops, world wide.
      Lives have been destroyed. It’s still going on.
      Many victims of clerical child rape and cover up are in their graves prematurely.

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  7. A GENTLE REMINDER 29th Apr 2019 — 7:38 pm

    Indirectly related to today’s topic of celibacy or lack of same ;
    What’s the bill to date for Cardinal Pells celebrity lawyer?

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  8. Magna Carta's Mum 29th Apr 2019 — 8:06 pm

    Magna darling, at last a priest for you to marry, and you were so keen on the Dutch Catechism at one time. However I see that Fr Valkering is 59, so is rather younger than you, darling, but I’m sure he could learn to live with the difference.

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  9. Fly On Th Wall 29th Apr 2019 — 8:56 pm

    Gay but not happy happy but not gay sure tis a mess hi Clergy are not gay straight male female or shaped like a corkscrew hi. Ordained clergy are called affirmed and hopefully not cracked too much in the formation washing machine but. Is the divils real name sex. May he rot in hell hi. This whole sex obsession has wrecked the church while the divil May he rot in hell hi makes another xxx rated movie and schticks it on tinternet hi but

    Like

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