The Archbishop of New York said Tuesday that while some recent comments about homosexuality attributed to Pope Francis are “orthodox teaching,” the pope's reported remarks could require clarification.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan affirmed the pope’s recent affirmation of God’s love for a gay man with whom the pontiff visited in Rome, saying: “Jesus would have said that, and so would I. That’s conservative, traditional, Catholic, orthodox teaching. The ‘Catechism’ insists on that.”
“While any sexual expression outside of a man and woman in marriage is contrary to God's purpose, so is not treating anyone, including a gay person, with anything less than dignity and respect,” Dolan added, speaking May 22 during his weekly radio show on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel.
“What he says is beautiful, don’t you think?” Dolan asked.
The remarks were a response to questions about Juan Carlos Cruz, a Chilean victim of sexual abuser Fr. Fernando Karadima, who told the Spanish newspaper El Pais on Friday that Pope Francis told him that it did not matter that he was gay.
“He told me ‘Juan Carlos, that you are gay does not matter. God made you like that and he loves you like that and I do not care. The Pope loves you as you are, you have to be happy with who you are,’" Cruz recalled.
Asked about the most controversial aspect of the Holy Father’s remarks, regarding whether God wills that someone experience same sex attraction, Dolan was circumspect, citing “ongoing debate” among “professional circles.”
“Is one born that way, or is it - is it nature or nurture?... I don't think the Holy Father would feel competent to speak on that.”
Dolan noted that while he had no reason to doubt Cruz’s account, the pope’s reported remarks were “third hand: what the pope said to him, he said to the press, so one would want to get a clarification.”
He said his remarks were qualified by “a little bit of ‘wait and see’” adding “let’s find out exactly what the Holy Father said.”