first openly gay governor has become an Episcopalian and
been accepted into a seminary, according to a published
Former New Jersey
governor James E. McGreevey, who was raised as a Roman
Catholic, was officially received into the Episcopal
religion on Sunday at St. Bartholomew's Church in New
York, said the Reverend Kevin Bean, vicar at the
entered the church's "discernment" phase, which
usually precedes seminary work, Bean told The
Star-Ledger of Newark in a report posted Wednesday on
its Web site.
whether McGreevey hopes to become a priest. He did not
return several messages left Wednesday by the Associated
shocked the nation in August 2004 by proclaiming himself
"a gay American" who had engaged in an extramarital affair
with a male aide and said he would resign that
November. The aide denies having an affair and claims
he was sexually harassed by the former governor.
been accepted to study at the General Theological Seminary
in New York City, the oldest seminary in the Episcopal
Church, school spokesman Bruce Parker said Wednesday.
Parker did not know whether the former governor wants
to become a priest.
has been admitted to the master of divinity program
and he will be starting in the fall," Parker said. "Where
Mr. McGreevey goes with this is up to him. We have a
lot of people studying here who are not interested in
ordination at all."
Growing up in
Middlesex County, McGreevey was an altar boy and attended
Catholic schools. While in office, he continued to practice
the religion but differed from church teachings in
several areas, including his support of abortion
become an issue in his contentious divorce proceedings. His
estranged wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, has demanded that
their 5-year-old daughter not be allowed to receive
communion in the Episcopal Church because she is being
raised a Roman Catholic.
The issue of gay
clergy has exposed divides in the worldwide Anglican
Communion, which includes the Episcopal Church in the United
States. Anglican leaders this year demanded the U.S.
denomination step back from its support of gays or
risk losing its full membership in the Anglican