The Hypocrisy of the Archbishop | Editorial

The Star-Ledger
May 28, 2015

Archbishop John Myers greets parishioners on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart following Palm Sunday mass 2014. (John Munson/NJ Advance Media)

When Newark Archbishop John Myers removed a popular priest at Seton Hall, he insisted through a spokesman that it had nothing to do with his Facebook posts supporting a group promoting gay marriage.

"That could not be farther from the truth," said Jim Goodness, whose unenviable job it is to come up with excuses for Myers.

The reassignment, he said, was part of the "normal transfer cycle that involves scores of priests each June." Only when pressed did he concede the posting "was a factor."

Now, Fr. Warren Hall has decided to come out as gay, and open up about his removal to a gay magazine. He said he received a note to call the archbishop five months after the Facebook issue was already resolved.

It's unclear whether Myers knew he was gay at the time. But Hall says the archbishop told him: "None of us want bullying, but you have a further agenda here, and I can't have you at Seton Hall because of that."

In response to his revelation, here's what the archdiocese said today: It would not comment on Hall's specific case. But there is nothing in church teachings that says a gay man can't remain a priest, having taken a vow of celibacy. And "every person is to be accepted with respect, compassion and dignity," Goodness said.

So where is that respect, compassion and dignity? Why remove Hall from his post, against the will of his parishioners? Who really has the agenda here?

Remember, Myers was the one who tried to sway the last presidential election to Mitt Romney, by writing a well-timed letter saying Catholics have a "duty" to cast their vote based on opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

He was the one who said gay parents are bad for children, and gay marriage is a threat to religious freedom; that all Catholics must embrace his views, and those who refuse should not take Holy Communion.

He is the one who has clung to his office despite the strong opposition of parishioners to his lavish spending of church funds on his retirement home -- and even worse, his coddling of priests who were credibly accused of sexual abuse.

So why remove this priest from his position? Myers is the one who should go.








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