Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, on Easter Sunday admitted that the Roman Catholic Church is out of touch on many modern issues, but stopped short of endorsing equality for gay and lesbian Catholics.
During an interview with ABC's George Stephanapoulos for This Week, the nation's leading Catholic official responded to the host's question about gay and lesbian Catholics and their families who feel unwelcome in the church.
“Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, ‘I love you too," said Dolan. "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. … We got to be — we got to do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that. We try our darndest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody.”
Cardinal Dolan has been an outspoken critic of the Obama administration's pro-equality stances, calling the administration's refusal to defend the so-called Defense of Marriage Act an effort to "escalate the threat to marriage and imperil the religious freedom of those who promote and defend marriage."
In his closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention last year, Dolan appeared to pray for the "protection" of marriage, "that we might … resist the temptation ... to remake those institutions [God has] given us for the nurturing of life and community."
Watch the interview below, and jump to the 4:20 marker to hear the cardinal's comments on gay people and the Catholic Church.