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Church charity board member quits due to Cardinal Dolan's stance on gay youth

Catholic Charities board member steps down
Cardinal_Timothy_Dolan_February_2011.jpg

Yesterday (7 April) Joseph Amodeo announced he was stepping down from the junior board of Catholic Charities because Cardinal Timothy Dolan has allegedly ignored the plights of LGBT youth.

'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,' the former board member said in his letter to Catholic Charities (as reported by Huffington Post).

Amodeo's actions stem from a letter exchange between Dolan, the leader of the New York's Roman Catholic archdiocese, and Carl Siciliano, the founder of the Ali Forney Center. The nonprofit works with homeless LGBT youth. Siciliano, a Catholic, charged in a letter the cardinal's public stances on gay issues make it easy for parents to turn against children who do not identify as straight.

'As youths find the courage and integrity to be honest about who they are at younger ages, hundreds of thousands are being turned out of their homes and forced to survive alone on the streets by parents who cannot accept having a gay child,' Siciliano said in his letter.

Dolan responded with his own letter, dated 28 March.

'For you to make the allegations and insinuations you do in your letter based on my adherence to the clear teachings of the Church is not only unfair and unjust, but inflammatory,' Dolan replied. 'Neither I nor anyone in the Church would ever tolerate hatred of or prejudice towards any of the Lord's children.'

Amodeo found this response inadequate.

'[Cardinal Dolan] failed to respond to a call for pastoral assistance, to answer the question, "What can we do together as a church and as a people for youths who are homeless?"'

A National Public Radio story, that aired last November, pointed to studies that say 30 to 40 percent of homeless youngsters identify as LGBT.

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