More than a year after his removal as Director of the Office of Campus Ministry at Seton Hall, Rev. Warren Hall was suspended, effective Aug. 31, from his priestly duties by the Archdiocese of Newark.
Hall, who was fired from Seton Hall in 2015 after posting a Facebook photo in support of NoH8, a pro-LGBTQ organization, was serving as a priest at St. Peter and Paul Church in Hoboken, N.J.
In a statement sent to The Setonian via email, Hall wrote that he was notified of his suspension via phone call by Msgr. Thomas Nydegger. According to Hall, Nydegger said that Archbishop John Myers was suspending Hall due to his continued association with LGBTQ organizations.
Hall, who openly stated that he was gay after leaving the University, has shown support for organizations like PFLAG, the country’s largest family support group for the LGBTQ community; Gays Against Guns, a LGBT group against gun violence in the United States; and New Ways Ministries and DignityUSA, organizations that have advocated for LGBTQ Catholics.
Hall also openly supported Kate Drumgoole, who was fired in January from Paramus Catholic High School after administrators learned that she was in a same-sex marriage.
“After all,” Hall wrote in his statement in reference to Drumgoole, “I know what it’s like to be fired unjustly.”
Hall said that since his firing from Seton Hall and coming out as gay, he has an obligation to support LGBTQ people and let them “know of God’s love for them and to encourage those who are Catholic to stay in the church and work for wider acceptance.”
Hall said that his disagreement with Myers about helping the LGBTQ community is what cost him his priestly ministry.
Myers, who turned 75 years old in July, submitted his retirement papers to Pope Francis since he reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops.
Hall is to move to the St. John Vianney home for retired priests in Rutherford, N.J. since he can no longer preach.
When asked about Hall’s suspension, Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Newark, directed all questions to a statement provided to The Record newspaper.
Goodness told The Record that priests are required to uphold the teachings of the church.
Goodness declined to comment when asked about the possibility of Hall’s suspension being lifted.
Hall said that he is looking forward to a change in the leadership in the Archdiocese.
“It is my hope that a new Archbishop will be appointed soon who will begin to implement the church reform that Pope Francis has started before more harm is done to our people,” Hall said.
In an exclusive email with The Setonian, Hall said that he worries that the Archbishop’s decision to suspend him will push more gay Catholics away from their church. He also said that “this will push gay priests and seminarians further into ‘the closet’ because they figure my end will be theirs as well.”
Ashley Turner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.