Cardinal Dolan: Catholic Church could do better on gay outreach

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the top U.S. Catholic prelate, says the Roman Catholic Church has to make sure that its defense … Continued

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the top U.S. Catholic prelate, says the Roman Catholic Church has to make sure that its defense of traditional marriage is not reduced to an attack on gays and lesbians.

Dolan is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and last month was reputed to have gathered some votes in the Vatican conclave where Pope Francis was eventually elected.

He made his remarks on two morning talk shows on Easter Sunday (March 31), just days after the Supreme Court heard arguments in two same-sex marriage cases.

Dolan says the church could work on being more welcoming to gays and lesbians, noting it hasn’t “been too good at that.”

Dolan, who is archbishop of New York, was blasted by gay marriage opponents for failed lobbying efforts when the state passed gay marriage legislation in 2011.

On Sunday on the ABC News program “This Week,” he said the church tries its “darnedest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody.”

Dolan says he would tell gay men and lesbians that God loves them and they’re entitled to friendship. But he says marriage is a union between a man and a woman “where children can come about naturally.”

Dolan made similar comments on CBS’ ”Face the Nation.”

Francis DeBernardo, executive director of the gay Catholic group New Ways Ministry, which has often been at odds with the church hierarchy, called Dolan’s remarks “nothing short of an Easter miracle.”

“This is the first time that the cardinal has made such a positive statement about God’s love for lesbian and gay people,” DeBernardo said. “Such a statement is a refreshing change from the usual harsh rhetoric that the church hierarchy uses when discussing LGBT issues.”

(Cathy Lynn Grossman writes for USA Today. Kevin Eckstrom contributed to this report.)

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  • FrenchChef

    In the most notorious anti-gay Hate Vote of all, the 2008 California H8te Vote that actually took away the established right LGBT Californians had to legal marriage, we saw that anti-gays cheated to throw the vote. The federal judge who revoked the H8te Vote had in his possession an email written by Catholic bishops to Mormon leaders in which they both agreed to violate California campaign finance laws to throw the H8te Vote by making secret, illegal cash and in-kind contributions to the H8te Vote. The email serves as proof positive they knew they were breaking the law; the email itself is an act of criminal collusion. We know the Mormons made the Hate Videos shown on TV, but they refused to report these in-kind contributions as required by law. We know Mormons were told by their leaders to make large, secret contributions to the H8te Vote under pain of excommunication, and we know Mormons sent their church members from out of state. Mormon leaders were required by California law to report these contributions, but they refused. We know Mormons operated secret, illegal call centers in Idaho and Utah from which they made deceptive calls, because a million Californians reported these deceptive calls where anti-gays claimed a “yes” vote would support marriage equality.

    If Mr. Dolan really wants better relations with LGBT Americans, he could stop poisoning our political process with criminal activities like that.

  • NeilAllen1

    Catholic priests are 400,000 closet gays fighting the open gays.

  • Jeffsf

    Cardinal Dolan: Thank you for inviting us to sit at the “back of the bus”.