If you need another reminder of they hypocrisy nestled into oh-so-many of the world’s religions institutions (as if there weren’t enough already), the following statement should do the trick: A priest has been fired after encouraging his community to — get this — exercise compassion.
Rev. Warren Hall claims he was relieved from his position as director of Seton Hall campus ministry in South Orange, New Jersey after he made a Facebook post supporting the LGBT NOH8 campaign.
Here’s the now-deleted Tweet he sent when he broke the news:
“Seton Hall University does not comment on personnel matters,” Laurie A. Pine, a spokeswoman for Seton Hall, said in a statement. “The Archbishop of Newark appoints the Director of Campus Ministry, who serves at his discretion.”
Ethan Kraft, a student at Seton Hall, started a Change.org petition, asking the Archdiocese of Newark to reverse its decision.
“This action is neither in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ, nor the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis,” Kraft said. “Father Hall is a well-loved member of the Seton Hall community, and much of the student body is shocked and saddened by this decision.”
Hall addressed his supporters on Twitter, still managing to encourage positivity:
Grateful for all the support. Dont be angry!! Turn this into an opportunity for open/reasonable discussion on LGBT issues on a Cath Campus.
— Warren Hall (@Warrmeister) May 15, 2015
For an extra dose of duplicity, the Washington Post reports that the firing comes as the university basketball team is recruiting Derrick Gordon, who is the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player.
The Post adds:
Seton Hall’s administrators rejected students’ attempts to form a campus gay and lesbian organization in 1993 and 2003, according to the Asbury Park Press. In 2010, Archbishop of Newark John J. Myers publicly criticized the offering of an undergraduate seminar titled “The Politics of Gay Marriage.”
Myers has been under fire for a $500,000 renovation of his retirement home and for his handling of the sex abuse crisis in his archdiocese.
Seton Hall, a school of about 5,000 undergraduates in South Orange, N.J., has made a push to recruit Gordon, who drew national attention after he came out on ESPN last year.