NEWARK, N.J., April 25 (UPI) -- Former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey, who resigned after announcing he was gay, was denied his request to become an Episcopal priest, a church official said.
It wasn't McGreevey's sexual orientation that was a problem for the church, which has embraced gay parishioners and clergy, but the former governor's bitter divorce, a source with the Episcopal Diocese of Newark told the New York Post in an exclusive interview published Monday.
"It was not being gay but for being a jackass," the official said. McGreevey "didn't come out of the whole divorce looking good."
The official said some church leaders feared they were being used, expressing concern about McGreevey's sudden embrace of their faith after his scandal.
After resigning as governor, McGreevey "was sort of looking for every angle to make a complete redo of his professional life," another church 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."
McGreevey, citing the confidentiality of the priesthood process, declined comment to the Post. Bishop Mark Beck of the Newark Diocese also declined comment.