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. This prompted a protest on May 5th featuring gay Catholics and their allies arriving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with literally dirty hands seeking entry for liturgy.

Protest organizer Joseph Amodeo wrote about the “cold” welcome they faced when they attempted to enter:

“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.”

Strange goings on in New York. But then the Cardinal Archbishop’s new PR person used do the same fine work for Sarah Palin. I guess it is all about leadership styles.

Thinking of leadership, I remember what former US Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “Leaders are those people who create the conditions of trust that great things can happen.” I like that.

Even better, I like the words of Jesus in the Gospel. (Jesus forgot to mention dirty hands however.) “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant. Whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.” (Mt. 20:25-27)


8 thoughts on “Dirty Hands? Keep Out of NY Cathedral!

  1. Isn’t this just what Jesus would do if he had all the fact the Cardinal has? I would follow Colin Powell over any hierarch. He has courage, honor, and integrity, qualities not found in many church managers.

  2. Thanks Jack for forwarding this story and for all your efforts to keep us informed. As a former priest but now a confused agnostic, I am still very interested in watching this fear filled and hypocritical institution (which has very little to do with basic Christianity) as it falls on its sword.I do admire you and all the genuine Catholics who are striving to preserve the real Christian message.

  3. Did the police monitor everyone entering the cathedral to see if their hands were clean also??
    Or is it just “distrubing” Catholics that are banned??
    Several times, Jesus was confronted by clamoring, disturbing, PERSISTANT persons seeking Him, but the crowds or religious leaders tried to block their access to Him.
    In all cases (eg, the woman bleeding for 18 years, the paralytic whose friends let him down through the hole in the roof, etc), He said, “Let them be & don’t hinder them, for they seek the Kingdom of God”…

    1. Maybe the next thing will be a retina scan as one enters…a scan to see if one is pure enough to enter the New York sanctuary…… 🙂

  4. Recently Franciscan Fr. Jose Rodriguez Carballo, the newly appointed secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Religious, said, “The new pope wants to remind people that the mission of the church has to embrace everybody . . . that means we’re not going to exclusive, we don’t exclude others, the mission of the church is always inclusive, it doesn’t exclude anyone”. The cardinal interprets this idea to mean people have to “wash their dirty hands” before they can be welcome in the church, and he will determine what dirt has to be washed. Perhaps he thinks his actions in denying entry to the folks reflect the Eucharist Prayer IV for Various Occasions: “Open our eyes to the needs of our brothers and sisters; inspire in us words and actions to comfort those who labour and are burdened. Make us serve them truly, after the example of Christ and at his command. And may your Church stand as a living witness to truth and freedom, to peace and justice, that all people may be raised up to a new hope”. But, maybe he doesn’t use this prayer.

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