Catholic Charities Board Member Resigns After Archbishop Disses LGBT Youth-Services Org

After careful consideration and prayerful discernment, it is with mixed emotions that I submit my resignation as a member of the Executive Board of the Junior Board of Catholic Charities. Although I have a great deal of respect for the work of the organization and the incredible talent behind its efforts, I have found it difficult in recent weeks and months to reconcile serving on the Executive Committee of a board under the pastoral leadership of Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

The comments that His Eminence has made regarding same-sex couples, the LGBT community in general, and his recent inaction in response to the Ali Forney Center’s plea for pastoral assistance, has left me with no other choice but to resign. Contrary to His Eminence’s response to Ali Forney’s Executive Director, Mr. Siciliano’s comments were not inflammatory, they were truth; they were a call for help; and they were expressive of the cry in the wilderness that LGBT people have been making for far too long. As a religious and pastoral leader for millions of Catholics, [Dolan’s] voice is needed as together we work to create homes that are safe, affirming and welcoming for LGBT youth.

The LGBT community is not asking the Cardinal to change Church teaching, but rather to exercise the Church’s social justice teachings. I hope the day will come when things will be less about “clear teachings” and more about what is truly right and just in the eyes of Truth itself.

This resignation should not be seen as casting an aspersion on Catholic Charities, but rather an ethical dilemma of a personal nature related to Archdiocesan leadership. As someone who believes in the message of love enshrined in the teachings of Christ, I find it disheartening that a man of God would refuse to extend a pastoral arm to the Ali Forney Center and the hundreds of LGBT youth that are housed, fed, educated and provided free health services. These are concerns that I will share with the Office of the Cardinal and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council as well.

As a gay Catholic who teaches religious education (more than eight years in service to the Archdiocese of New York), is active in parish life and supports Catholic organizations, I’m afraid that the Archbishop has caused my heart to ache and my soul to feel pierced. With a discerning mind, I have tried to overlook the Cardinal’s actions and comments, but this has now become impossible in light of his curt words to Mr. Siciliano and New York City’s homeless LGBT youth.

It has been a great honor to serve Catholic Charities and to be a voice for the organization in my social circles as well as through my writing and online activities, so it is with a heavy heart that I make this decision and submit this resignation.

I submit this resignation with great respect for Catholic Charities and with hopes that one day the vision of peace and love that Christ promised will be realized.

—Catholic Charities junior board member Joseph Amodeo, resigning from his position after Archbishop Timothy Dolan rebuffed criticism from the Ali Forney Center, a New York-based nonprofit that provides shelter and essential services to LGBT runaways.

Photo via QSAC

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  • Bailey

    you go gurl!

  • Charlie in Charge

    It’s unfortunate, I worked with Catholic Charities for a few years doing anti-homophobia outreach in schools; it may sound like strange fit but Catholic Charities really did quite a bit to fight homophobia back then.

  • Cohen Tortures Us

    First off, kudos to Mr. Amodeo for standing up to what he believes in for the sake of those less fortunate.

    After reading the article linked to in this post I must say that I am sorely disappointed in Archbishop Cardinal Dolan’s response to Mr. Siciliano’s letter. If anything, the response seemed threatening: “In the future you ought to be more careful about personally attacking the character of those who espouse beliefs different than your own.” It did not seem as if anyone’s character was attacked or called into question. If anything, the letter seemed like an impassioned appeal for the well-being of those who are more often than not thrown out of their homes and discriminated against on the basis of religion.

  • Ogre Magi

    No self-respecting gay should have any thing to do with those vermin!

  • Pat Duffy

    Our local aids org uses Catholic Charities and Lutheran Services to pretty much cover their clients. This happened as the actual aids-folk and their families were pushed out by the county and state and replaced by “professionals”.
    I have to use their services….there’s nothing else here. I WILL NOT use certain programs and would rather become Homeless or even dieif I had certain one run by ‘phobes. The last straw was one that changed “spouse” to “roomate” on the forms and made repeated comments that I’d be getting 100% instead of 50% assistance if I’d been in ANY Heterosexual relationship. BTW, THAT program wasn’t CC, it was Lutheran Services, so don’t think it’s only Catholics that are the Bigots…

  • EdwardT

    It is sad to see a dedicated and caring person leave a well-respected caregiving organization, but the offense for which he leaves, namely the most egregious comments of Cdnl.Dolan were far from surprising. His eminence has strongly and frequently pronounced in his comments a hardening stance on the part of the Church, that seems to say “hate the sin, Punish the Sinner,” or even “I’m Christian unless you’re gay.” It’s all quite a huff over a percieved “grave sin” (homosexuality and/or gay sex) that Jesus neglected to mention during His public ministry.

  • LGBT Catholic Charities Intern

    I would like to point out a very interesting point to any and all LGBT Catholic Charities personnel and those who may seek out its services. There is a tremendous difference between the Arch dieses and its agencies. Yes money is funneled from the Arch diesis to each agency, but many that are employed within these agencies are strong advocates for social justice. It is not a smart idea for any and all LGBT associated with Catholic Charities is any other religious based agency to remove them from its works.

    Ethical dilemmas are vase in many areas of life, however it takes a keen eye and savvy ingenuity to navigate against policies that maybe stifling. Places such as Catholic Charities need all of its LGBT advocates to remain and help fight the good fight!!!

  • Cam

    Their hate is far more important to them than anything else.

  • James Hart

    Amodeo is nothing more than a publicity seeking pig.

  • bishincub

    Two brothers were looking at yonex bag some beautiful paintings.

    “Look,” said the doyenne brother. “How nice these yonex badminton shoes paintings are!”

    “Yes,” said the younger, “but in all these yonex sports paintings there is merely the maw and the children. Where is the father?”

    The elder associate trace in requital for a time and then explained, “Apparently he was painting the pictures oiiiocde.”

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