Siciliano's plea went out to the Cardinal on March 20, and said:
I invite you to visit the Ali Forney Center, only 30 blocks from St. Patrick's Cathedral, and meet with youths whose Catholic parents drove them from their homes. I want you to hear them tell you what it is like to have their parents be ashamed of them, and tell them that they are against God. I want you to see what their lives are like alone, unloved, and abandoned in the streets. I hope that by meeting our kids you can understand the pain and anguish you help to cause.It is interesting to note, Siciliano is no stranger to the Catholic Church, he was once himself a monk. He has left the Church, and now devotes his time and energy to sheltering, clothing and generally ministering to the health and well-being of a downtrodden and disenfranchised population. His charge are teenagers who have been forsaken by their family, their community, their church and even the state.
The Cardinal's reply was terse, and non-responsive:
March 28, 2012Amodeo posted his open letter of resignation to the Huffington Post, saying "When a Young Catholic Has Had Enough, He Resigns." His introduction reads:
Dear Mr. Siciliano,
Your letter of March 20, 2012, together with enclosure has been received.
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. Neither I nor anyone in the Church would ever tolerate hatred of or prejudice towards any of the Lord's children. In the future you ought to be more careful about personally attacking the character of those who espouse beliefs different than your own.
With prayerful best wishes for a blessed Lent, I am,
Faithfully in Christ,
Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
In light of Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan's comments directed at the LGBT community, I resigned from the Executive Committee of the Junior Board of Catholic Charities. By this action, I seek not to disparage the work of Catholic Charities, but to voluntarily remove myself as a leader with an organization under the pastoral leadership of Dolan. Below is an open letter that I sent to the Chief Development Officer and the staff person assigned to the Junior Board:And excerpt from his open letter:
The comments that His Eminence has made regarding same-sex couples, the LGBT community in general, and his recent in-action 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, his 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.Amodeo finishes:
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.
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.Dolan's ascension to Cardinal in February was a disappointment to anyone who hoped the Catholic Church might moderate on social issues. He continues to lead his Church by disparaging the LGBT community. He has proven himself a front-runner in the war on accessible birth control, and a thorn in the Obama administration's side on that issue.
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.
Cc: The Rev. James Cruz, Priest-Secretary to Archbishop Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities
Now, he is driving young talent away from the Church's other charitable endeavors. It is a shame all around, but you didn't need to have any holy visions to see it coming.'
Bravo to Mr. Amodeo. May his principles and courage inspire others.