News » Religion

Gay Catholic Group Threatened With Arrest During Silent Protest

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Monday May 6, 2013

What began as a silent protest in response to a blog post made by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, ended with threats of arrest for a group of gay Catholics and allies in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City this past Sunday.

As reported by GLAAD the group stood outside the iconic cathedral with their hands covered in ash to protest a statement made in a a blog post made by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who said gay Catholics were welcomed to the Church but with the "clear expectation" that they must first "wash your hands!" of sin.

As detailed in the Huffington Post by protest organizer Joseph Amodeo, four police cars, eight officers, a police captain and a detective surrounded the group soon after they arrived at St. Patrick's Cathedral. He added that Kevin Donahue, head of operations of the cathedral, told the group, "if we entered St. Patrick's Cathedral with dirty hands, we would be arrested and charged with criminal trespassing."

The group took offense to Dolan's blog post titled, "All Are Welcome!" where the cardinal, who vehemently opposes gay rights and marriage equality, said while the Catholic Church believes "homosexuality is no sin at all...God's teaching is clear that sexual acts are reserved for a man and woman united in the lifelong, life-giving, faithful, loving bond of marriage."

"The message that gay and lesbian people are tainted by dirty hands was too much for Joseph Amodeo," GLAAD writes on their site. He also wrote on HuffPo that St. Patrick's Cathedral's door was "slammed in our faces. As I began to write this article, I'm cognizant of the raw emotions that I feel deep inside my heart. It's a feeling that I'm unfamiliar with because until today, I have never been denied a seat at Christ's table. In fact, today marks the first day that I have ever felt disowned, abandoned, and lost."

"In the wake of today's events, I only desire to once again feel welcomed in the Catholic Church," Amodeo said in a statement to GLAAD. "The Archdiocese's response to our silent presence, leaves many of us with a feeling of spiritual homelessness."

In an email to New Civil Rights Movement Amodeo also stated "'The NYPD did confirm that if we entered the Cathedral, we would be arrested and charged with criminal trespassing - a felony. Those participating were not only LGBT Catholics, but also allies and, perhaps most importantly, parents of LGBT children. We gathered not in protest, but as a silent witness."

The activist added, "I hope that the doors of the Cathedral will be opened to us not on a conditional basis, but rather with the understanding that we are all created in the image and likeness of God."

GLAAD's Director of News and Faith Initiatives, Ross Murray, also criticized Dolan and said he fails "to understand God's creation. There is no dress code to experience the love of God. Threatening worshipers with arrest displays no grace nor pastoral care. The action clearly tells LGBT people that they are not welcome. For someone who wants to 'do better' at reaching out to LGBT people, Dolan is failing miserably."

Dolan has yet to respond to the group's protest.


  • gdhamf, 2013-05-06 20:25:33

    I love GOD in all that I have and all that I do, I was raised Catholic and I am actually ashamed of of now. A sad sad day! It is taking all of my self control not to walk into my local church and demand official divorce. This is a sick TRAVESTY not religion.

  • WayGay, 2013-05-07 14:55:26

    I don’t understand why any gay Catholics are Catholics? They’re like gay republicans. Why would anyone want to be in a church that absolutely does t want them there? Try the episcopal church. Send a message to the CEO of the Vatican and say FU you’re foolishness.

  • Wayne M., 2013-05-08 17:50:20

    I am an active Christian and former Roman Catholic. Quite frankly, even if these churches do believe that homosexuality or homosexual sexual activity is sinful, for them to deny entry to LGBT people on those grounds is a clear defiance of God’s commandment through Jesus Christ to welcome all people and let God work to change people’s lives. Of course, as they know and are afraid to admit, LGBT people are not changed either inside or outside of the church - and for the same reason you cannot change a person’s race or ethnic origin. God has made us who we are and expects us to use our sexual orientation or gender identity as gifts to glorify Him and support others through love and compassion.

  • GAG'EM, 2013-05-10 23:51:05

    Will someone explain to me why so many fine gay people are so anxious to belong to the International Catholic Hypocrite Pedophile Organization? Do you really believe that they have any moral authority at all? I have no need to prove to Mr. Dolan that I am worthy of his acceptance; he needs to prove that he is worthy of mine, which he is a long way from doing. And if you really want to join a group of pedophiles, I’m sure NAMBLA would take you. At least they’re honest about what they do.

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