Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth Appears in Full-Page ‘NYT’ Ad


Faith in America has taken out a full-page ad in today's New York Times to make an impassioned plea to Pope Francis on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. The letter to the Pope is written by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, NYC's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Read the ad HERE.

GoldWrites Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold in a press release:

"So much has been accomplished for LGBT legal equality….now we hope the next wave will be an all-out effort for LGBT spiritual equality…one that will especially protect vulnerable teens….and one that will enable all legislation to be passed. Just imagine for a moment if so many of the kids that have killed themselves did not grow up being taught that homosexuality was sinful….if when they came out to their parents they were totally embraced rather than being told they were “disappointed” and needed counseling….if they felt they had family and church to turn to?

"I’ve come to see that in the final analysis it is this “sin” hurdle that is the basis for too many to be against LGBT equality and it is clearly one of the most harmful parts of an LGBT teen’s life. Just a few months ago a precious 13 year old in my community told me how he agonizingly contemplated suicide for over a tortuous year. Why? Because he thought he was a sinner. On a very basic, simple level I believe we must dismantle this wall of outdated, misguided and ill-informed religious teachings. Not an easy task….but one that has to be done… all of us, with a concerted effort."

A Facebook page was also launched to accompany the ad.


  1. terryp says

    I’ve waited over 73 years to see something like this. I still resent the RC church. I hope I can forgive them before I die. But I don’t think so.

  2. pete n sfo says

    Pope Francis is just a more effective Front Man.

    The other day when he “begged forgiveness” I couldn’t help but wonder, does he know that his Sargents had diocese declare bankruptcy rather than pay damages to victims.

    Does he realize the worst offenders were moved to jobs at the sovereign Vatican to avoid prosecution?

    I don’t dislike the man, but thus far he’s just another, albeit better, PR person.

  3. BobN says

    Asking the Church to reverse itself on its contrived theology of human sexuality is a worthy goal, one that will bear fruit in approximately 2413, perhaps a tad sooner if we all pray super hard…

  4. says

    Instead of directing something like this to the Pope we should be directing our outrage at the Catholic church to our elected leaders and push to have all Christian ministries banned from the United States. The Catholic Church has no standing or respect in this country as far as I’m concerned.

  5. oncemorewithfeeling says

    There are no gods.

    The Catholic Crime Cartel exists only to exploit those stupid enough to allow them to steal from them, destroy their families and rape their children.

    Instead of appealing to the figurehead of a criminal organization, these are the truths that any decent person or organization should be running.

  6. GregV says

    @BobN: Well, it did only take the Vatican 400 years to finally forgive Galileo for the sin of saying the earth is round and revolves around the sun (though I’m not sure how much relief that gives for taking away his freedom while he was alive).
    But in this new age of literacy and information, people are much more able to have access to facts than they ever have been, which is a huge reason that the nonsensical anti-gay arguments are losing currency much more quickly than has happened in the past.

  7. Paul R says

    None of us can dispute the sentiment, but appealing to the Pope in a NYT ad seems like a big waste of money—though clearly the Pope isn’t really the ad’s intended audience.

    There’s no reason to believe that the Pope or his church care about LGBTs—young or old, homeless or not. As someone with extensive knowledge of the church, the author knows that. Hopefully the ad will raise awareness and money, but its effect on the church will be nil.

  8. simon says

    It will be seen by the Church as interference in their “religious freedom”. Are we going to
    ask them to revoke their belief that non-believers go to hell? It has a far more damaging effect on children not just the gay ones.

  9. Merv says

    What a degrading waste of money! We shouldn’t be begging for mercy from our oppressors, but rather we should be forcibly wresting away their power over us.

  10. northalabama says

    with the catholic church being dragged kicking and screaming to admit their role in the systematic cover-up and enabling of child abuse, why would anyone think they would grant spiritual equality to gays or women after centuries of oppression?

    god is alive, and the church is dead – it was suicide.

  11. Leo says

    The ad is quite powerful, but I cringed somewhat at it’s chosen recipient (and sigh at some of the comments). Then again, as mentioned, the Pope probably isn’t the real target of this ad.

    Tangible changes in THIS lifetime do not occur whilst screaming “get rid of religion and you’ve solved the problem” (which, to be clear, I’m not against at least starting).

    Millennials have started the disillusionment shift from religion, yes, but sizable shifts that really make a dent aren’t happening for the next THREE lifetimes. The English bible translations won’t be changed, so the most to hope for would be the annoying “tolerance as we are all sinners but you’re just more so” stuff. Which leads to Francis.

    The most we can hope for from the Pope is the minimally positive “tolerance” route, which won’t get us that far regardless.

  12. Choccywoccy says

    MERV, rather than shaming others with emotionally charged words [‘degrading’ ‘waste’ ‘begging’] from trying to make changes the way they want to, simply follow their lead and try to make changes the way YOU’RE inclined!!!

    On your own according to your own plans, or with the help of other like-minded individuals, YOU start forcibly wrestling away power over us!

  13. Gaj says

    Most Americans are Protestants not Catholics. Not sure what this ad is suppose to accomplish unless if the guy is trying to get some PR out of it by targeting the Pope.

  14. ElCid says

    I think a LOT of people in this thread are full of hate. I believe the ad is very powerful and the writer gives the reason why it was sent to the Catholic Church: because it is the largest christian organization in the world, thus it is influential. The guy is also making a little bit of PR as well (it looks like it’s their 25th anniversary) but that does not diminish the value of being able to speak out in a positive, loving and educated manner to the leader of one of the largest religious communities out there.

  15. Jack says

    I wish the ad did not make the offensive reference to LGBT youth. There’s no such thing as LGBT youth. There are LGB youth and there are T youth. It is offensive to tell gay boys and girls that they are transsexuals.

  16. Marek says

    I understand – since I feel much the same- that many are not forgiving or kind to the Catholic Church. However, instead of being so cynical about *everything* and pushing for fast progress that we know we can’t get out of that very old institution why don’t we just praise the fact that Pope Francis is trending in the right direction? Some people can’t ever say- hey- he seems like a good guy. It always has to be a cynical plot – like a plan to market his views; or we have to demand that he come out for marriage equality not just civil unions as he said. Um, this is progress. Let’s praise it as progress which is imperfect and needs more dialogue. If you aren’t Catholic don’t be Catholic, but stop bashing the Church non stop. It’s tiresome.

  17. simon says

    In a more extended form:
    If you are not gay, don’t be gay.
    but stop bashing the gays nonstop.
    I understand Francis said something like that. But Timmy seems hasn’t got the memo.

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