Group of LGBT Catholics and Supporters Threatened With Arrest at N.Y. Cathedral

The group tried to enter with deliberately soiled hands, a response to the New York archbishop's recent statement that LGBT worshippers were welcome if they washed their hands.



Joseph Amodeo
Joseph Amodeo

A group of LGBT Roman Catholics and allies held a silent vigil outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City Sunday after being barred from entering under threat of arrest.

Both police and an administrator at the cathedral denied entry to members of the group because they had “dirty hands,” writes Joseph Amodeo in a first-person account at The Huffington Post, as they had deliberately soiled their hands with ash in response to a recent statement by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, that LGBT people were welcome in the Catholic Church as long as they washed their hands. Amodeo’s group was met near the cathedral by several police officers who warned them against going in, and then met at the cathedral by an operations manager who said if Amodeo and his companions entered, they would be charged with criminal trespassing.

“I remember standing there thinking, ‘How can I be charged with criminal trespassing in my own home?’” Amodeo writes. “It was then that I realized what it meant to be spiritually homeless. This realization was particularly difficult for me in light of the private meeting that I had with Cardinal Dolan on November 27, 2012, at his office in Manhattan. It was during that meeting that he expressed such love and welcome that I find his subsequent ‘conditional welcome’ to be difficult to understand.”

Read the full article here.