he former director of New Jersey school Seton Hall University’s campus ministry lost his job because he agreed on social media with a gay marriage equality group, Rev. Warren Hall said Friday on Twitter.
The tweet, which has been taken down, said he got canned for using his Facebook page to back California-based NoH8 Campaign, which began in 2008 in response to the state’s Proposition 8 banning same-sex marriage.
“I’ve been fired from SHU for posting a pic on FB supporting LGBT ‘No H8’.” Hall previously wrote, according to NJ Advance Media. “I’m sorry it was met with this response. I’ll miss my work here.”
Representatives for the South Orange-based Roman Catholic university told the publication that the priest was appointed by the Archbishop of Newark and “serves at his discretion.”
A spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Jim Goodness, declined to disclose the reasons for Hall’s dismissal in an interview with NJ Advance Media. He said Hall was being reassigned within the archdiocese, which covers Bergen, Union, Hudson and Essex counties.
Goodness didn’t immediately return a request for comment early Sunday morning.
The move immediately provoked alumni and students, who started a Change.org petition demanding his reinstatement.
“The Archdiocese of Newark’s decision to fire Father Warren Hall from Seton Hall University is in line with neither the teachings of Jesus Christ nor the words of Pope Francis,” the group’s letter to the archdiocese said.
The petition, which had garnered 1,225 signers by early Sunday morning, said Hall “contributed greatly to the academic and spiritual lives of the students.”
Efforts to contact Hall on Sunday morning were unsuccessful. He thanked his supporters in a Tweet he posted later Friday.
In 2010, the school began offering a course on the politics of gay marriage over the objections of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers, who heads both the Board of Regents and the Board of Trustees, the Newark Star-Ledger reported at the time. The school went ahead with the undergraduate seminar despite Myers’ objection that the class legitimized a point of view “running contrary to what the church teaches,” according to the publication.
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