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Conscience Magazine

New Jersey priest is suspended for supporting LGBT rights

December 20, 2016

Rev. Warren Hall of New Jersey was suspended in August for supporting “gay advocacy groups.” Archbishop John Myers claims that Hall, a gay Catholic priest, is “confusing the faithful.” Hall is prohibited from attending Mass in public or continuing to work in New Jersey parishes, according to Reli­gion News Service.

Hall’s disagreements with the archbishop began last May, when Hall was fired from Seton Hall after displaying support for groups that advocate for marriage equality. James Goodness, spokesperson for Archbishop Myers, defended the firing in an e-mail to the National Catholic Reporter, which claimed that “every Catholic priest promises to be reverent and obedient to his bishop,” and that ordained priests must agree “to accept the bishop’s judg­ment about assignments and involvement in ministry.”

Francis DeBernardo of New Ways Ministry released a statement objecting to Myers’ decision to fire Hall, stating that the “archbishop is saying that his church fears associating with LGBT people—a fear which is contrary to the gospel.” Hall says that this only furthers his incentive to inform others of God’s love for all, and to support Catholics who choose to “stay in the church and work for wider acceptance.”