Last week, Bondings 2.0 reported that Joseph Amodeo, a member of the junior board of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, resigned his position in protest of Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s insensitivity to LGBT concerns, and particularly how such insensitivity impacts negatively on LGBT youth.
Yesterday, Amodeo renewed his opposition to Dolan’s insensitive remarks by launching a Change.org petition asking Dolan to meet with LGBT y0uth. A HuffingtonPost.com essay by Amodeo explains his reasons for starting this campaign:
“As Catholics and others listen to the messages coming from those in positions of power in the Church, I hope they will realize that the heavy-handed approach to LGBT issues is not shared by all Catholics. Although those in the hierarchy may have the pulpit, there are far more pews than there will ever be pulpits. As Catholics speak out and call upon the Church to live out its call to be a beacon of social justice and love, those in the hierarchy will begin to see another way in which Christ has risen — he has risen from the silence and has cried out for equality. We can only hope that those in the Church leadership will turn and listen to our voices, so as to see that our prophetic witness is merely asking them to look into our hearts and see the people God has created us to be.
“For this reason I have decided to launch a petition on Change.org to be presented to Cardinal Timothy Dolan to let him know that Catholics stand in solidarity with the homeless LGBT youth of the Ali Forney Center and all LGBT youth in need. Through this Change.org action, the voices of gay and straight Catholics will unite, will break through the silence, and will call upon those in positions of power in the Church to see that the people of God will not allow the cries for help of God’s children to go unheard and unanswered. So please join me in signing this petition, so that we might invite Cardinal Dolan into a dialogue about this important issue that faces us all.”
You can sign the petition by clicking here.
Amodeo’s essay begins with a powerful story which illustrates how Catholic lay people are in the forefront of religious groups in their support of LGBT justice and equality:
“A little over eight years ago, I came out as a gay man to my family and friends. Amid this revelation, I continued to practice my faith as a Roman Catholic. It was at this time in my life that I came to witness the overwhelming support that Catholics have for LGBT people. In my role as a religion teacher, a priest once informed me that a parent had expressed concern over having a gay man teach religious education. The priest called a meeting of the parish on a weeknight and asked that anyone who had concerns related to my teaching should speak up publicly. The night of the meeting, I entered a packed Church and slowly made my way to a pew where I sat next to my father. As the meeting began, one-by-one congregants rose and expressed their real concern: why this was even an issue. The reality is that my experience from nearly a decade ago is representative of the vast majority of Roman Catholics. We live in a Church that is called to welcome and affirm people’s humanity and identity without exception. It was in reflecting on this faith experience that I had such a difficult time reconciling Cardinal Dolan’s comments with the Catholic faith that I live and experience every day.”
Show that you are one of those Catholics who know that our faith compels us to work for LGBT justice and equality. Sign the petition today!
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry