Monday, May 6, 2013

Cardinal Dolan's 'Dirty Freddy' Story Was No Joke

No dirty hands can pass through the doors of St Patrick's Cathedral on Cardinal Dolans' watch.  Well, unless they belong to OD bishops.

The following is an excerpt of an article written by Joseph Amodeo from Huffington Post about a small demonstration--10 people--they attempted to conduct at St Patrick's Cathedral.  It was in response to Cardinal Dolan's 'dirty Freddy' blog post from the previous week.  I wrote about this blog post myself.  The response from the Archdiocese was completely over the top.  It was all about fear, not dirty hands and not dirty gays.  I'm quite sure in a future blog post, Cardinal Dolan will tell us he had nothing to do with it.

Cardinal Dolan Denies Catholics Entry at Cathedral Because of Dirty Hands

Jospeph Amodeo - Huffington Post - 5/5/2013
 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" (Matthew 7:7-8).

Today, myself and others knocked at the door of St. Patrick's Cathedral, but the door was not opened, rather it was slammed in our faces. As I begin to write this article, I'm cognizant of the raw emotions that I feel deep inside my heart. It's a feeling that I'm unfamiliar with, because until today, I have never been denied a seat at Christ's table. In fact, today marks the first day that I have ever felt disowned, abandoned, and lost.

Earlier today, a group of Catholics including myself gathered on the corner of East 46th Street and Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. We gathered for a simple purpose, to dirty our hands as we prepared to attend Mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral. We were soiling our hands as a silent response to Cardinal Dolan's column last week in which he suggested that LGBT people were welcome in the church so long as they washed their hands. As we began to rub our hands together with pieces of ash, our hands took on the look and feel of the effort that has defined our work to receive an equal seat at the table of Christ in the Catholic Church. Those participating were not only LGBT Catholics, but also allies and, perhaps most importantly, parents of LGBT children. We gathered not in protest, but as a silent witness.

It is what transpired in the moments after soiling our hands that I have trouble understanding and placing in the context of the Christian experience. At around 9:30am, the ten of us gathered were greeted by four police cars, eight uniformed officers, a police captain, and a detective from the Police Commissioner's LGBT liaison unit. The detective informed us that the Cathedral would prohibit us to enter because of our dirty hands. It was at that moment that I realized the power of fear. The Archdiocese of New York was responding out of fear to a peaceful and silent presence at Mass. Even in light of this, we decided that we would walk solemnly from our gathering spot to the Cathedral with hopes that we might be welcomed.
As we reached St. Patrick's Cathedral, we were approached by Kevin Donohue, who identified himself as being in charge of operations for the cathedral. Sadly, Mr. Donohue's tone was both cold and scolding. What astounded me most was when he said that we could enter the cathedral so long as we washed our hands first. Even now, writing those words I find myself struggling to understand their meaning, while coming to terms with their exclusionary nature.......


It took 10 of New York's finest to respond to this 'threat' from 10 of Cardinal Dolan's sheep?  Are you kidding me?  Over dirty hands?  Or maybe the real message is no one gets to poke fun at Cardinal Dolan's expense and protecting his dignity necessitates 10 of New York's finest including a precinct Captain.  If I had any doubts that Cardinal Dolan was a walking, talking, joking, smiling, bundle of personal insecurity, I don't any longer.  He strikes back like any other bundle of insecurity we usually call a bully.  Dirty Freddy indeed.

I feel for Joseph Amodeo.  From the rest of his post it is obvious he was nurtured in a very different form of Catholicism from one that Cardinal Dolan represents.  It does hurt when that other form, the one with all power, strikes out from it's black and white view of 'us vs them'.  The US Church seems especially plagued with black and white bullies in the Episcopal ranks.  Just ask the LCWR.  All Catholics need do to be received by this bunch of bishop bullies is admit they are apostates and can't lead themselves, wash their hands, or completely disempower themselves is some symbolic fashion to gain admittance to the table.  Wash their hands, bow their heads, and I assume brown our noses while we're at it.

In the meantime I have another question.  Why is it that Opus Dei Bishops like Kansas City's Finn and Newark's Meyer's are never disciplined when they egregiously violate not only the Dallas Charter, but secular law?  Why don't they have to wash their figuratively dirty hands?  Why isn't Cardinal Dolan demanding these men wash their dirty hands?  I can only come to the conclusion that at his childhood table the dirty Freddies may have had to wash their hands, but that rule didn't apply to dirty priests.  There is no other conclusion to draw.


  1. This makes me cry. And it also makes me relieved that I am not so desirous of a faith community anymore that I would tolerate this form of abuse from the clergy. I simply separate myself from it and pray my own prayers.


  2. I was beyond mad when I first read this, and still am.

  3. Funny, Jesus was condemned by the Dolans of his time for not washing his hands. I wonder what Gospels the happy cardinal is reading between sips of Jameson's.

  4. I sometimes wonder if he hasn't had so many sips of Jameson's he can't read.