Cardinal Dolan joined George Stephanapoulos and ABC News this morning to discuss the new pope and his views on same sex marriage and the out of touchness most American Catholics feel towards the church. From a new poll from the NY Times: U.S. Catholics in Poll See a Church Out of Touch
Roman Catholics in the United States say that their church and bishops are out of touch, and that the next pope should lead the church in a more modern direction on issues like birth control and ordaining women and married men as priests, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
Dolan said in the interview that he sees the biggest challenge for the church is to re-connect itself to Jesus.
Dolan: I think the biggest challenge facing him, George, is to reconnect Jesus and his Church. There's now a growing cleavage between Jesus and his Church. You reported some of the statistics. People will say, "I don't have any problem with Jesus. I got some problems with the Church." And probably, I think his greatest pastoral challenge is going to be – to reconnect Jesus and his church.
That's not going to be as easy as it appears, especially with not a mention of the child sex abuse scandal that has rocked Catholics and the church to its core, but what Cardinal Dolan said shortly afterwards about the gay community figured more prominently and showed no effort to get in line with what most Americans believe. You see, they can have his love and friendship, but gays are not entitled to sex or marriage. Those values are left only for child-bearing opposite-sex couples.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And you know, especially this week – because it's been at the top of the news – for many gay and lesbian Americans –
CARDINAL DOLAN: Uh-huh.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:– gay and lesbian Catholics, they feel unwelcome –
CARDINAL DOLAN: They do.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:– in the Church. And what do you say as a minister, as a pastor – to a gay couple that comes to you and say, "We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we want to raise a family in faith."
What do you say to them?
CARDINAL DOLAN: Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, "I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God's image and likeness. And – and we – we want your happiness. But – and you're entitled to friendship.” But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally.
We gotta be – we gotta do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven't been too good at that. We try our darndest to make sure we're not an anti-anybody. We're in the defense of what God has taught us about – about marriage. And it's one man, one woman, forever, to bring about new life. We gotta do better to try to dis – take that away from being anti-anybody.
So as long as the church and their defenders don't personally attack gays over marriage it's okay to deny them the right to do so. What fun would that be for homophobes? And Nicole mentioned to me that does his definition also rule out sex for opposite sex couples who can't have children? With Catholic leaders like Cardinal Dolan being a major spokesmen, not much change is apt to take place for the church in the years to come except to foster in the Reince Priebus RNC playbook of better branding being needed for their positions.
Dolan has been vocal in his opposition to marriage equality, repeatedly condemning 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.”
(h/t Heather@Video Cafe for the video)