News Column

NY Archbishop Softens Tone on Gays

April 1, 2013

The Roman Catholic Church could be more welcoming toward gays and lesbians while still maintaining its opposition to same-sex marriage, New York City Archbishop Timothy M Dolan said in television interviews broadcast Sunday.

"We've got to do better to see that our defence of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people," Dolan said in a prerecorded interview broadcast on ABC. He added that the church tries "to make sure we're not an anti-anybody."

In another interview on CBS, Dolan acknowledged that the church had a problem staying relevant as public opinion shifts on gay marriage.

The church struggles with "how to remain faithful to what we believe are God-given, revealed, settled, unchanging principles without losing our people, who more and more question them," he said.

Cardinal Dolan, one of the leading voices of the Catholic Church in the United States, in the past has come out forcefully against gay marriage. He spoke just days after the US Supreme Court heard arguments in two same-sex marriage cases.

The archbishop recently returned from the Vatican after helping elect Pope Francis. Prior to the election Dolan had been listed as having a chance of becoming the first US pope.

During Easter mass at St Patrick's Cathedral in New York, Cardinal Dolan hailed a rebirth of the church under Pope Francis, the New York Times reported.

The church is "undergoing renewal, repair, resurrection," he said. "I kind of think we're seeing it today in a particularly fresh and new way with our beloved new Holy Father."

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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