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04/16/2012

Cardinal Dolan's anti-LGBT advocacy has harmed humans; will he take steps to own/correct that fact?

by Jeremy Hooper

Right before Easter, I told you about Joseph Amodeo, the young man who resigned from the Junior Board of Catholic Charities because he just couldn't stomach the anti-LGBT rhetoric that Catholic leaders like Cardinal Timothy Dolan have been pushing to the fore with careless abandon. Today the next phase.

Screen Shot 2012-04-16 At 9.32.00 AmAmodeo has launched a Change.org petition calling on Cardinal Dolan "to meet with leaders from the LGBT community and homeless LGBT youth" so that he will hopefully "hear their stories, and collaborate in responding to the epidemic of LGBT youth homelessness." Add your name here:

Ask America’s Highest Profile Cardinal to Support LGBT Youth in Need [Change]

This comes at a really good time, considering the deepening divides between lay Catholics and their leadership. Polls are showing deep divides between how everyday churchgoers see their faith's contributions in the area of LGBT rights and acceptance and how Catholic dioceses (and advocacy groups like the National Organization for Marriage, state Catholic Conferences, the Knights of Columbus, etc.) are politicizing issues like marriage and adoption. Groups like HRC and Freedom to Marry, sick of seeing this dangerous misfocus harm LGBT people, are highlighting the politicization of the church. As I wrote in this week's NOM Exposed wrap, the church is going to have to deal with this disconnect at some point!

While repudiating his own, often harsh engagement is unlikely at this time, Cardinal Dolan could take a strong step here. As he looks to his own rise within his church over the next years and decades, he must also look at the rising tide of Catholic acceptance. Even if he thinks "culture wars" must still fire, he can help reduce the collateral damage.

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