NEW YORK CITY, May 7, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – After Timothy Cardinal Dolan wrote a column comparing practicing homosexuals and others who approach Holy Communion in a state of serious sin to children who fail to wash their hands before supper, homosexual Catholics and their supporters showed up for Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral with filthy hands as a form of protest, and were denied entry.

Joseph Amodeo, the organizer of the protest, said that the act of dirtying their hands was an attempt to tell Cardinal Dolan that those who practice the gay lifestyle should be accepted as they are.

The small group of about ten protesters was intercepted by NYC police, who informed them that the Cathedral would not allow them to protest the Mass.  Undaunted, Amodeo and his allies proceeded to St. Patrick’s anyway, where they were informed that they were welcome at Mass, provided they washed their hands. 

Amodeo said he was “astounded” by the request. 

“What astounded me most was when he said that we could enter the cathedral so long as we washed our hands first,” Amodeo wrote in The Huffington Post. “Even now, writing those words I find myself struggling to understand their meaning, while coming to terms with their exclusionary nature.”

In his column Cardinal Dolan had written, “All are welcome!”

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“But,” he added, “welcome to what?  To a community that will love and respect you, but which has rather clear expectations defining it, revealed by God in the Bible, through His Son, Jesus, instilled in the human heart, and taught by His Church.”

“Blessed John Paul II used to say that the best way to love someone was to tell them the truth:  To teach the truth with love,” Dolan wrote.  “Jesus did that — He was love and truth in His very person — and so does His Church.  We love and respect everyone . . . but that doesn’t necessarily mean we love and respect their actions.”

Added Dolan, “Who a person is?  We love and respect him or her …. [but w]hat a person does?  Truth may require that we tell the person we love that such actions are not consonant with what God has revealed.”

Of homosexuality, the cardinal wrote, “The Church loves, welcomes, and respects a woman or man with a same-sex attraction ...  while reminding him or her of our clear teaching that, while the condition of homosexuality is no sin at all, still, God’s teaching is clear that sexual acts are reserved for a man and woman united in the lifelong, life-giving, faithful, loving bond of marriage.” [Emphasis Dolan’s.]

Amodeo called Dolan’s words a “false welcome” and implied that a true welcome would entail embracing homosexual activity as licit and normal, without conditions.

“[Cardinal Dolan] stands at point at which he can choose to see the inherent dignity present in all people or to follow a path laid with judgment and accusation,” wrote Amodeo.  “I and others are standing at the doorway to the Church knocking, seeking, and asking.  By this action, I hope that the doors of the Cathedral will be opened to us not on a conditional basis, but rather with the understanding that we are all created in the image and likeness of God.”