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NJ’s ’Gay American’ Former Gov. Not Assuming Title of ’Reverend’

by Kilian Melloy
Tuesday Apr 26, 2011
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Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who electrified the nation when he stepped down from his post with the words "I am a gay American," was hoping to follow up his political career with one as a gay Episcopal clergyman.

But the church is not willing, at this point, to ordain him the New York Post reported on April 25.

McGreevey made his admission in 2004. A divorce from his wife, Dina Matos McGreevey, and a memoir titled "The Confession" followed. Following his emergence from the closet and his resignation, McGreevey converted from Catholicism to the Episcopalian faith. He enrolled in a three-year program at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan in 2007.

The Catholic Church does not allow gay candidates to enter the seminary, a policy that came into effect in the wake of the pedophile priest scandal despite the overwhelming majority of pedophiles identifying as heterosexual.

Sources told the New York Post that the church viewed McGreevey’s having embarked on a spiritual path with some skepticism.

"[H]e was sort of looking for every angle to make a complete redo of his professional life," one source said. "He ran to the church for some kind of cover, which isn’t fully appropriate. Even if he’s a good guy, he should wait five to 10 years to get over his issues."

Another pointed to the public, and messy divorce process McGreevey went through with his ex.

"It was not being gay but for being a jackass" that McGreevey’s bid to become an Episcopalian priest ended in failure, another source said, adding that the former governor "didn’t come out of the whole divorce looking good."

However, the article added, those wishing to become clerics in the faith are often told upon their first attempt that they are not yet ready, and are sent to study or to engage in charitable work. McGreevey himself related that he’d been told he was in need of "more seasoning," according to yet another source, the Post reported.

McGreevey still lives in New Jersey, with his partner of six years, Mark O’Donnell.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor, writing about film, theater, food and drink, and travel, as well as contributing a column. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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