Gay priest removed from Seton Hall breaks his silence to Outsports

Outsports has spoken with Warren Hall, the former Seton Hall chaplain who was removed from his position for posting a NOH8 photo on his Facebook page. In the wide-ranging interview, Hall spoke about his service to the Roman Catholic Church as a priest, about his love of sports, and about being honest about being gay.

Hall's chaplain position is not directly hired by Seton Hall University, but appointed by the Archbishop of Newark. By all indications, his work on campus was well received and highly effective. According to Hall, he posted the photo after incidents in Ferguson, Missouri, and Staten Island, New York, highlighted racial disparities and tensions in the United States. However, the view of the hierarchy of the church was that the photo was too tied to a message of support for marriage equality, which the hierarchy of the church actively opposes.

As Outsports reports:

This wasn't the tradition of Christian universities he knew. For Hall, Catholic schools had for centuries signified a willingness to learn, places to exchange ideas and enhance intellect. Shutting down conversation because the Pope or Archbishop didn't like the direction of the conversation? That is not Hall's understanding of a Catholic university.

"Let's discuss gay marriage as an anthropological and sociological issue. What's wrong with that? Why can't we talk about that? We're a better place when we have people who have studied these issues. The idea that 'we can't talk about that' makes no sense. If the students want to talk about that, let's talk about it with them. When we say we can't talk about something, that goes against he very nature of what a Catholic university is. That conversation should happen here with the students and the faculty, not firing somebody because of their view on an issue."

His image of Seton Hall shattered, he took to social media. He had thought about staying quiet, sweeping under the vestments the real reason for his departure from the campus he had grown to appreciate and the students he had grown to love.

"I was going to to say I chose to leave, or that my time here was finished," Hall said. "But that wasn't true. It wasn't. I've never lied to a student about anything. I couldn't lie about this."

GLAAD has been working with Warren Hall, offering support and advice. Read the full story at Outsports.