- (Photo: Today Show Video)
- (Photo: Reuters/Luca Zennaro)
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the Archdiocese of New York recently clarified that Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church still consider homosexuality wrong.
Dolan, who also serves as president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, told 'CBS This Morning' that the remarks were about accepting homosexuals without accepting homosexual behavior.
"Pope Francis would be the first to say, 'My job isn't to change church teaching. My job is to present it as clearly as possible'," said Dolan on Tuesday. "While certain acts may be wrong...we will always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity."
At the conclusion of the pope's visit to Brazil for World Youth Day, he answered a question regarding the position of gays in the Catholic Church.
"If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" said the Pontiff, adding that gays "shouldn't be marginalized."
Pope Francis' remarks generated many headlines, with secular media outlets in the U.S. highlighting the statement "who am I to judge?" However, many have argued that the mass media's response to Francis' comments took them out of context, as he was answering a question about an LGBT lobby in the Church.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains this very well. It says one must not marginalize these persons, they must be integrated into society," said Pope Francis. "The problem isn't this [homosexual] orientation – we must be like brothers and sisters. The problem is something else, the problem is lobbying either for this orientation or a political lobby or a Masonic lobby."
Others have joined the chorus responding to the interpretation given about Pope Francis' remarks from the informal interview.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, president of the Ruth Institute, said in a statement released Tuesday that the pope "did not say anything new in his off-the-cuff remarks to reporters on the Papal flight home from World Youth Day."
"Everything he said is perfectly consistent with the timeless teaching of the Catholic Church, which holds that there is an important moral distinction between sexual desire and sexual acts," said Morse. "Since the Fall, we are all born with desires to do things that are not good and not consistent with God's laws. This includes those whose pattern of sexual desire is primarily for those of the same sex."
According to a recent Pew Research poll conducted of the American LGBT community, 79 percent of LGBT adults perceive the Catholic Church as unfriendly toward them and 66 percent of LGBT Catholics say the same.