On Sunday, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan was interviewed on Meet The Press, and he made two quotes worth noting related to LGBT issues. One quote indicates that Pope Francis seems to be having an influence on the cardinal’s language concerning LGBT issues, but the second one shows that there might be disagreement between these church leaders.
When host David Gregory asked him to respond to Michael Sam, the NFL draft prospect who recently came out, the cardinal had this to say:
“Good for him. I would have no sense of judgment on him. God bless ya. . . . look the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, ‘Bravo.’ “
Gay Star News reported this information. Dolan’s quote seems to echo Pope Francis’ famous “Who am I to judge?” line.
In the same interview, Cardinal Dolan indicated that he believes Pope Francis is interested in exploring the issue of civil unions. According to Religion News Service, Dolan answered a question about pope’s recent interview with an Italian newspaper by saying that he thought
“. . .Francis was telling Catholics that ‘we need to think about that and look into it and see the reasons that have driven’ the public to accept them.”
“ ‘It wasn’t as if he came out and approved them,’ said Dolan, the nation’s most prominent Catholic bishop and the former president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. ‘But Francis was instead saying, “Rather than quickly condemn them … let’s just ask the questions as to why that has appealed to certain people.” ‘ “
But Dolan and Pope Francis might not see eye to eye on this issue:
“When host David Gregory asked Dolan if accepting civil unions would make him ‘uncomfortable,’ Dolan said it would because it could ‘water down’ the traditional religious view of marriage.”
In last week’s blog post about Pope Francis’ interview, we noted that there seemed to be reasons to doubt whether the pope was speaking about same-gender civil unions when he made his remarks. He was, at best, ambiguous. It is significant that as prominent a church leader as Cardinal Dolan has interpreted the pope’s comments as indicating interest in same-gender unions–perhaps a sign that discussions of supporting lesbian and gay relationships are on the agendas of church leaders.
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry
The Telegraph: Pope says Catholic Church should not dismiss gay marriage