Community Rallies to Support Fr. Warren Hall

By Glen Bradley, New Ways Ministry, September 25, 2016

Catholics and other members of the Hoboken, New Jersey, community gathered to support Fr. Warren Hall, a gay Catholic priest who was recently suspended from ministry by Newark Archbishop John Myers.

A local clergywoman speaking at the rally

According to, parishioners, LGBT community members and other locals gathered in a rally organized by Hoboken Pride and Jersey City Pride to show their support for Fr. Hall. The rally took place at Stevens Park in Hoboken, New Jersey.

In 2015, Hall was assigned by Myers to be a parochial vicar at both St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church in Weehawken, New Jersey, and Saints Peter and Paul Church in Hoboken, after he was dismissed from his position as the Director of Campus Ministry at Seton Hall University for supporting the NOH8 campaign. One reporter said that the suspension from priestly ministry came after Hall openly supported unofficial LGBT events at the World Youth Day last July, as well as PFLAG New Jersey, Gays Against Guns and New Ways Ministry.

Hall also publicly supported counselor and coach Kate Drumgoole, who was fired from Paramus Catholic High School for being in a same-gender marriage. As New Ways Ministry reported earlier, Paramus Catholic’s alumni organized and signed an open letter condemning the school’s decision and showing support for Drumgoole. After receiving the letter, the school announced that two top administrators have been suspended.  

Hall spoke at the rally thanking the organizers and attendees while reinforcing his stance against Paramus High School’s dismissal of Drumgoole. quoted him:  

It seems to me she was fired because of her sexuality… We don’t see schools letting people go because they’re divorced and remarried or living with someone

Laura Knittel of Hoboken Pride

Laura Knittel of Hoboken Pride, also spoke at the rally saying:

Change is here, it can happen, it has happened, it will happen… Let’s pray for the archbishop. Father Warren, you’re work has just begun in a whole new chapter of your life.

Michael Billy of Jersey City Pride

Michael Billy of Jersey City Pride noted:

We the people have a god-given right to stand up for what we know is right… This archbishop is vastly out of touch with what is going on in the world.

Joyce Flinn, a parishioner at Saints Peter and Paul and a supporter of Hall, spoke about Archbishop Myers’ decision, telling a reporter, “This is a terrible outrage… I appeal to this archbishop to retire.”

Fr. Hall being interviewed at the rally

Hall explained in a video interview (see below) from that while he understood the rationale behind Myers decision, which was reported as being based on breaking the vow of obedience, Hall insisted that he never actually spoke against the church or church teaching.

In the video, Hall explained:

I think by being involved with the groups I was involved with, who are viewed by the archbishop and some church leadership as being opposed to Catholic teaching, I think in that regard they believe i am being disobedient because in a letter or notice that the archbishop sent out last year, you know, he made clear that groups that have positions opposite of the Catholic Church, we should not be involved with.

Hall clarified:

However, my belief in that is that my involvement with those groups were for positive reasons: PFLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbian and Gay Children. I went to those groups to talk about how God loved their children and that we should welcome their children. And so I think I see why I’m accused of being disobedient. But I don’t believe it’s disobedience because the message that I brought to those groups, in every case, was not anti-catholic.

Hoboken Councilman Michael DeFusco

According to, Hoboken Councilman Michael DeFusco, a gay man and parishioner of Saints Peter and Paul Church, read Mary Oliver’s poem, “Sunrise.”

You can die for it —

an idea,

or the world. People

have done so,



their small bodies be bound to the stake,


an unforgettable fury

of light.

DeFusco concluded with his own words, saying, “Thank you, Father Hall.”

While instances of retaliation against LGBT workers in Catholic organizations and LGBT-supportive priests continue, the support of communities to those discriminated against is truly encouraging. When Catholics gather together in support of their LGBT and LGBT-positive family, we find new life in our faith. For those who support Fr. Warren Hall or other dismissed church workers, being at a rally or signing a petition is an authentic way to live their faith.

6 thoughts on “Community Rallies to Support Fr. Warren Hall

  1. Wilhelm Wonka September 25, 2016 / 8:49 am

    Every enduring story has a tried and winning formula: a hero and villain as its central characters.

    This story is no exception.

    I have to remind Archbishop Myers that the hero always wins in the end; good always triumphs. That’s the way these stories go.

    So who’s the villain here? Well, these stories usually present the hero as the underdog; this is what makes their eventual triumph all the more remarkable.

    Archbishop Myers, you ain’t no underdog.

  2. Thomas September 25, 2016 / 9:10 am

    Archbishop Myers is compounding one mistake by making another. This refusal to see all God’s children for who they are is profoundly sad. Caught up in the power and prestige of office, many bishops, archbishops and cardinals have lost sight of their vocational aspirations, viz., to serve God and minister to his people as does a shepherd to his sheep. Last I checked, no shepherd kicked out any sheep for not conforming to the next sheep. Perhaps this generation of bishops should consider going out to pasture.

  3. Friends September 25, 2016 / 8:50 pm

    As I’ve mentioned before: Fr. Warren Hall would be warmly welcomed here at the UMass-Amherst Cardinal Newman Catholic Center. He would need to contact Springfield’s Bishop Mitch Rozanski. and explain his situation, and offer his duly-qualified priestly services to the Diocese. At this moment, Newman has (as associate priests) one cleric from Africa, and one from Poland — both of whose English-language skills are, I must say, heavily-accented and rather difficult to decipher. I believe that this very liberal and progressive university-based Catholic community would welcome Fr. Hall with open arms. The rest is up to him, if he’s following this blog, and if he wishes to take the necessary initiatives.

  4. miriamtf September 25, 2016 / 10:19 pm

    Thanks again. My heart and mind need this news.

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