While speaking with David Gregory on Meet The Press this weekend, a top Catholic official claimed that the church is ‘out-marketed‘ by supporters of marriage equality.
During the news program, which also addressed the Catholic Church’s stance on the Affordable Care Act, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York admitted that Catholic leadership has fallen behind in the same-sex marriage debate, attributing the trend to the Church’s portrayal as “anti-gay.” “I think maybe we’ve been out-marketed, sometimes. We’ve been caricatured as being anti-gay,” Dolan said. “When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it’s a tough battle.”
Although many Catholic leaders maintain an unyielding stance on same-sex marriage, the majority of Catholic laypeople support marriage or civil unions. Only a small minority – 22 percent – of Catholics oppose legally-sanctioned, same-sex partnerships. Several churches have decried anti-gay initiatives, and Pope Francis has also expressed his concern that some in the Church are “obsessed” with same-sex marriage – among other social issues. In July, the Pope also asked, “Who am I to judge?” when discussing homosexual priests with La Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit publication.
This is not the first time Cardinal Dolan has decried the rights of same-sex couples, while affirming his love and devotion to the gay community. He previously forbade personnel from presiding over same-sex ceremonies and using church facilities to do so – intimidating offenders with ‘canonical sanctions.’ Repeatedly calling same-sex marriage a “threat,” he has also equated it with incest, polygamy, and adultery.