America’s most high-profile Catholic official, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, says that gays and lesbians are “entitled to friendship” with each other, but that “sexual love” is intended only between a man and a woman.
Appearing Sunday on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” Dolan said that the Catholic Church needs to “do better” to ensure its “defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people,” but also said that the very nature of the Church means it will be — from time to time – out of touch with the concerns of its followers.
Stephanopoulous asked Dolan about how he would respond to a gay Catholic couple that wanted to be active in the Church and raise a family in it:
“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.”
Dolan acknowledged that gays and lesbians feel unwelcome in the Church, but said the Church doesn’t want them to feel that way; he admitted, however, that he is not sure how to change that.
“I don’t know. We’re still trying. We’re trying our best to do it. We gotta listen to people,” he said. “Jesus died on the cross for them as much as He did for me.”
The full interview with Dolan can be viewed here.