A Catholic priest who recently lost his job at Seton Hall University after he posted a pro-LGBT message on Facebook has now come out as gay.
Rev. Warren Hall, who until earlier this month was director of campus ministry at the Catholic college in South Orange, N.J., made his announcement in an interview with Outsports, published Tuesday. He recalled a student asking him if he was gay, and reminding him that he had always espoused the value of honesty. He ended up nodding to her.
“That student was right,” Hall told Outsports. “I have to be myself. I can’t worry what other people think.” He was out to a few people in his life, but the Outsports interview marks his first coming-out to a wide audience.
Hall says he was dismissed for posting an image for the “No H8” campaign on Facebook. “I was going to say I chose to leave, or that my time here was finished,” he told Outsports. “But that wasn’t true. It wasn’t. I’ve never lied to a student about anything. I couldn’t lie about this.”
The news of his firing came around the same time it was reported that Derrick Gordon, the first openly gay Division I men’s basketball player, was transferring to Seton Hall from the University of Massachusetts. The priest had always given much support to student athletes and had even taught a course on sports and spirituality. He said that despite his own dismissal, he thinks Gordon will have a largely positive experience at Seton Hall.
“I don’t think he’ll have trouble here with the student body or with the faculty,” Hall said in the Outsports interview. “How the administration handles that, I do not know. When he’s walking across campus holding hands with his boyfriend, what is the administration going to think of that? But the student body here is very open and welcoming.”
Seton Hall is run by the Archdiocese of Newark, which is planning to reassign Hall. He has requested a six-month sabbatical to consider his future before he receives the new assignment, but he hasn’t heard yet if it will be granted.