Cardinal Downplays Pope Francis’ Gay Remark: Homosexual Acts Are Still A ‘Sin’


(Credit: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images)

TimDolan laughing

On Monday, Pope Francis responded a question about gay Catholic clergy promising not to “judge” homosexual priests. “Who am I to judge if they’re seeking the Lord in good faith?” he said, adding, “They shouldn’t be marginalized. The tendency [to homosexuality] is not the problem … they’re our brothers.” The unexpectedly inclusive and conciliatory remark surprised Catholics around the world, who saw it as a departure in tone for the Vatican.

By Tuesday, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who is also the archbishop of New York, sought to downplay the Pope’s comments. During an appearance on CBS’ This Morning, Dolan insisted that the Church has long embraced gay people and that Francis’ answer did not represent a new tone or establish a more liberal precedent. “Homosexual acts,” he said, are still a sin.

“Homosexuality is not a sin, right? Homosexual acts are,” Dolan said, “just like heterosexuality is not a sin outside of marriage, that would be sinful.” “While certain acts may be wrong, [the Pope] would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity and not judge them,” Dolan continued. Watch it:

But the Cardinal hasn’t always followed his own advice and has repeatedly condemned the rights of same-sex couples under the guise of love and support for the gay community.

After lobbying against New York’s marriage equality law, Dolan prohibited by decree any Church personnel or property from being utilized for same-sex marriage ceremonies under penalty of “canonical sanctions,” calling the state’s law “irreconcilable with the nature and the definition of marriage as established by Divine law.” He has also compared the “threat” posed to marriage by gays and lesbians to that of polygamy, adultery, forced marriage, communist dictatorships, and incest. Dolan responded to the Supreme Court’s decision striking down a section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act by claiming that the spread of marriage equality will threaten “the common good of all.”

Despite his rhetoric, a majority of New York Catholics supported the marriage equality bill months before it came to a vote and still do.