89-year-old parishioner welcomes gay priest

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A group of parishioners have welcomed the appointment of a gay priest, with one saying “What the heck is the difference?”

Openly gay pastor Reverend Warren Hall – who says he was fired from his post at a local university over a pro-LGBT Facebook post – starts his job Saints Peter and Paul Church in New Jersey next week.

Parishioners have welcomed the move, with one saying “What the heck is the difference?”

“If the Boy Scouts can put gays in there, what the heck is the difference?” 89-year-old church goer Joe Bradley told nj.com.

“I don’t care what priest is here as long as we have a priest,” he said. “The priests have been back and forth here so much lately we don’t know who they are.”

“He ain’t gonna bother anybody at church. He’s just going to say the Mass,” said Anna Bradley, Joe’s wife. “As long as we have a church, that’s the main thing.”

Marie Hablitz, who is a minister and second grade teacher at the church, was also “glad we got someone.”

“I’m really happy,” she said, adding that one of her best friends growing up was gay.

“You know, some people, they don’t bother you, you don’t bother them. … I know it’s against the church but — what are you gonna do?

“What are you going to do, isolate them? It’s not fair. It’s not human.”

Another parishioner took the opportunity to criticise the church’s stance on homosexuality, saying she thinks it is time they clarified their opinion on the subject.

“(There is support for a gay priest) yet they’re against gay and lesbian marriage and everything,” Carol McLaughlin said. “I don’t understand why. They should explain themselves more.”

“They’re like hypocrites. Maybe they’ll explain it.”

A congregation was in for a big surprise recently when their priest came out as gay before divorcing his wife and marrying a younger man.

Rev. Juan Andres Quevedo-Bosch, from New York City, came out as gay at the pulpit a just over a month ago.