A group of LGBT and allied Catholics were barred from St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. The group had soiled their hands with ash before attempting to enter the church, but were told by police that if they went inside with “dirty hands” they would be arrested.
Cardinal Dolan of the cathedral stated that gays and lesbians have “dirty hands” and in a backhanded attempt to welcome gay Catholics into the church he stated that they “must wash their hands before gaining entrance.”
In response, Joseph Amedeo, who organized the demonstration said, “in the wake of today’s events, I only desire to once again feel welcomed in the Catholic Church. The Archdiocese’s response to our silent presence, leaves many of us with a feeling of spiritual homelessness” in a statement in GLAAD’s press release shared with 429Magazine.
Amedeo, along with approximately a dozen others, including Nicholas Coppola – who was barred from his duties at St. Anthony’s parish for being gay – were greeted outside the church by a group of police officers and barred from entering the church.
Coppola arrived to the demonstration with a petition with 18,600 signatures and GLAAD asking his bishop to reinstate him. His bishop disregarded the petition and sent back a rely, stating simply, “From Your Faithful Roman Catholic Bishop.”
Coppola now has a petition on Change.org where he has asked to share a meal with Cardinal Dolan with the support of 22,000 signatures.
Cardinal Dolan has not replied.
“Today, we knocked at the door of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, but the door was not opened. Rather, it was slammed in our faces” said Amodeo in GLAAD’s press release.