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Cardinal accused of double standards on gay issues

A lesbian Catholic says the cardinal's actions are frequently at odds with his statements on this contentious subject.

Cardinal accused of double standards on gay issues
Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter
United States

April 8, 2013

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Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York made headlines on Easter Sunday morning during an interview with George Stephanopoulos when he professed his love for gays and lesbians, saying:

“Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness. And — and we — we want your happiness. But — and you’re entitled to friendship.’”

I’m getting weary of bishops and cardinals who tell me how much they love my gay and lesbian friends and me, while at the same time willfully misunderstanding us, refusing to talk to us and devaluing our relationships. (I would include my transgender friends here, but no hierarch, to my knowledge, has even uttered the “T” word yet.)

Dolan has claimed to love gay people before. Back in June 2011, on the Sunday following the historic passage of marriage equality (which by coincidence was also the day of the NYC gay pride parade) he told the press inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral:

“To the gay community, I love you very much. If anything I ever said or did would lead you to believe that I have anything less than love or respect for you, I apologize.”

Dolan said this just three months after his infamous interview with “60 Minutes” where he likened same-sex marriage to incest, saying, “I love my mom, but I don’t have a right to marry her.”

As he spoke to the press that Pride Sunday, just outside the cathedral doors stood dozens of Catholic LGBT people and their allies in a peaceful act of witness and a call for dialogue with the institutional church. The witness is an annual event organized by members of the New York City chapter of Dignity USA, and it has gone on for decades. Dolan knew they were outside, but like every archbishop before him, he refused to engage with those gathered.

I didn’t believe Dolan’s profession of love back then, and I am no more convinced since Easter Sunday. When Stephanopoulos pressed Dolan to articulate how he could push an agenda against marriage equality without seeming anti-gay, Dolan appeared baffled (one of his standard rhetorical devices), saying:

“Well, I don’t know. We’re still — we’re — we’re trying. We’re trying our best to do it. We got to listen to people …”

Apparently, for Dolan, “trying our best” in 2012 looked something like this:

  • Co-signing an anti-marriage equality document with some of the most vociferous anti-gay leaders of Evangelical churches.
  • Refusing to respond to a letter and petition written by Joseph Amodeo, a former member of the junior board of Catholic Charities of the New York archdiocese, pleading with Dolan to meet with LGBT homeless youth, many of whom were thrown out of their homes by religious parents. Amodeo later resigned from the board, without public reaction from Dolan.
  • Failing to speak out when his brother bishops and priests turn the Eucharist into a political weapon, denying communion to LGBT people and those who support marriage equality.

Given the harm of the recent past, it is understandable that Dolan’s head-scratching felt a bit disingenuous to many Catholic gays and lesbians.

Full Story: Dolan and Cordileone: Please don’t call it love

Source: National Catholic Reporter

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