Pope Francis made perhaps his most progressive statement so far on Monday when he said, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge them?"
But then again, the statement was vague because it didn’t fully express the Pope’s support for the LGBT community.
In order to clear all doubts or speculations surrounding The Holy Father’s remarks, a leading American Catholic cleric, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Cardinal Timothy Dolan appeared on television for an interview. He said that while the Pope’s comments suggested that homosexuals were to be treated equally as everyone else in the eyes of God, it didn’t, however, mean that the Church approved of their ‘kind’ of relationships.
“What the pope is saying is, don’t forget there’s another element to God’s teaching, namely that we treat everybody with dignity and respect, that we don’t judge their heart, that we love and respect them,” said Cardinal Dolan.
The cleric reiterated the Church’s stance on homosexuality and said, “This is no way could this be interpreted as a change in church doctrine or the church’s faith and morals. It is a change in tone.”
It was as if Dolan was trying to maintain a balance and connection in his words and struggling not to sound too ironic.
“It’s been a pretty clear teaching of the church based on the words of Jesus that we can’t judge people; we can judge actions,” he said. But, “Homosexual people deserve love respect and dignity, while homosexual acts are immoral,” ended Cardinal Dolan.
“The church’s teaching, which is based on the Bible and God’s revelation, is that sexual love is reserved only between a man and woman in the life-long, life-giving relationship of marriage and any relations outside of that, hetero or homo, would be less than God’s intention,” he concluded. “That hasn’t changed.”
You can watch his interview in the video above.