'Orange priest becomes navy chaplain
A Dutch priest who was suspended after celebrating a mass for the 2010 World Cup is leaving his parish in the North Holland town of Obdam.
Father Paul Vlaar has accepted a position as navy chaplain at the naval base in Den Helder.
In the summer of 2010, just ahead of the World Cup final, Father Vlaar made headlines when he celebrated mass wearing an orange cassock the colour of the Dutch national team sang an orange song and decorated the church with football flags. In his prayer, he asked for solidarity and team spirit in the Dutch team.
Bishop Punt felt Father Vlaar had gone too far and suspended him for a two-month period of 'reflection', arguing that images of the ‘orange’ mass had outraged Catholics both in the Netherlands and abroad. Father Vlaar was the priest of St Victor’s Parish in Obdam for eight-and-a-half years.
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