Amsterdam priest Pierre Valkering, who came out of the closet during a public Mass in March, has won a Vatican appeal against his dismissal as pastor of the Vredeskerk Peace Church.
Valkering himself revealed the news of his successful appeal against his suspension on radio program Dit is De Dag, as the NL Times reported.
The priest, a long-time LGBT rights campaigner, said that the Congregation for the Clergy, the Vatican department that deals with priestly discipline, had found his April dismissal by Bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam Jos Punt unjustified on the basis of procedural errors.
According to the NL Times, the Vatican upheld Valkering’s appeal for three reasons:
“It was unclear exactly what Valkering had done wrong, the evidence against him was insufficient, and he was not questioned or given the opportunity to give his side of the story”.
Though The Tablet reported that the Congregation for the Clergy supported Punt’s suspension of Valkering in theory, in practice the Vatican ruling means that the bishop’s dismissal of the priest must now be repealed.
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