The local news is abuzz with the firing of a popular priest at Seton Hall University in South Orange, the Rev Warren Hall. Rev Hall’s crime was to express support for gay and transgender people, something also done by the current Pope.
Shortly after, Rev Hall came out as a gay man. By all accounts he has been true to his celibacy vows, but was fired anyway by Archbishop John Myers of Newark for the crime of supporting gays and others.
I rarely use the word execrable, but John Myers of Newark is an execrable man. There is credible evidence, including pages of testimony from victims, that he knowingly protected child molester priests. He has lied about transferring known child molesters to clergy positions involving children. He has appropriated Church funds to build himself an enormous retirement mansion in a tony part of New Jersey. He has threatened Catholics who do not vote for conservative candidates with exclusion from communion. He is such a horror that the Vatican has appointed a “co-Archbishop” to run the parish and who will succeed Myers when he mercifully retires. It is Myers who removed Rev Hall, despite the protests of the Seton Hall students.
The only puzzle is why Pope Francis has not removed Myers entirely, as he has done with other church leaders. One can only guess that he has powerful friends in Rome who are protecting him. All the more pity for a good and caring priest, Father Hall, who is now out of a job.