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Former NY Catholic Charities Member Launches Gay Youth Petition

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A former board member of New York’s Catholic Charities organization is urging Cardinal Timothy Dolan to meet with gay rights advocates and homeless LGBT youth after initially avoiding a request to do so.

Joseph Amodeo resigned from the Junior Board of Catholic Charities two weeks ago, citing both Dolan’s refusal to help teens at New York’s Ali Forney Center and the Church hierarchy’s relentless use of anti-gay rhetoric. The religious education teacher has now launched an online petition asking Dolan–the President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops–to meet with members of the LGBT community.

Amodeo tells OutQ News that the petition is more of an invitation to start a dialogue with the local archdiocese and to exercise a “teachable moment.” He says it’s important to point out that the Church hierarcy does NOT represent the vast majority of Catholics, who now tend to support LGBT rights.

AMODEO: At the same time, I think what’s more important is that Catholics have started to realize that we should speak up, that when there is an injustice, if the hierarchy is not acting the way Christ would act, that’s when we as Catholics, gay or straight, have an obligation to really stand up and to say ‘something’s wrong here’ and we need to be the voice that calls the Church back to its pastoral mission.

Amodeo says while Dolan–and much of the Catholic leadership–is aware of his resignation, the Cardinal has yet to formally respond to the petition that now has about 400 signatures. It is set to be delivered to his office on May 17th, a Catholic holy day.

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