So much for Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s statements welcoming everyone to the Church. A protest this past Sunday of Dolan and the Catholic Church’s treatment of LGBT Christians was met with some very unchristian actions, including a threat of arrest.
ThinkProgress noted that “Last month, Cardinal Timothy Dolan compared gay Catholics to people with “dirty hands,” suggesting that anybody who engages in same-sex sexual acts is unwelcome at Church.” A group of gay Catholics and allies arrived at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with literal dirty hands and tried to gain entrance to Mass.
Joseph Amodeo wrote about what transpired. He wrote:
It is what transpired in the moments after soiling our hands that I have trouble understanding and placing in the context of the Christian experience. At around 9:30am, the ten of us gathered were greeted by four police cars, eight uniformed officers, a police captain, and a detective from the Police Commissioner’s LGBT liaison unit. The detective informed us that the Cathedral would prohibit us to enter because of our dirty hands. It was at that moment that I realized the power of fear. The Archdiocese of New York was responding out of fear to a peaceful and silent presence at Mass. Even in light of this, we decided that we would walk solemnly from our gathering spot to the Cathedral with hopes that we might be welcomed.
As we reached St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we were approached by Kevin Donohue, who identified himself as being in charge of operations for the cathedral. Sadly, Mr. Donohue’s tone was both cold and scolding. What astounded me most was when he said that we could enter the cathedral so long as we washed our hands first. Even now, writing those words I find myself struggling to understand their meaning, while coming to terms with their exclusionary nature.
It was at this moment that Mr. Donohue advised us that if we entered St. Patrick’s Cathedral with dirty hands, we would be arrested and charged with criminal trespassing. Upon hearing those words, I remember standing there thinking, “How can I be charged with criminal trespassing in my own home?” It was then that I realized what it meant to be spiritually homeless.
Shortly after the ascension of Pope Francis I, Cardinal Dolan tried to sound welcoming to everyone, including LGBT Catholics. He even closed out his post saying that with “Hate the sin; love the sinner.”
Of course, Dolan was trying to sound more welcoming in order to do damage control over the fact that even many Catholics are turning against the Church over their homophobia. While they love to claim that they hate the sin, the reality is that the hate the sinner.
When faced with marriage equality legislation, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops or USCCB, which has been lead by Dolan, often takes Catholic Charities hostage and often threaten, even if there are exemptions written into the laws for them, that they would rather shut down adoption services or any charity work in order to try and stop the bill.
To date, they have failed in that, but a pro-marriage equality priest was defrocked in Argentina, the home nation of Pope Francis, and the Catholic Church is often responsible for some of the worst propaganda regarding the “evils” of homosexuality.