Mean girls

The right-wing cardinals like Dolan trail behind this pope, issuing “corrections” and “clarifications” because, well, he’s just a little too Christian for their liking!

On Monday Pope Francis made international headlines for insisting that gays, including gay clergy, should not be ‘marginalized’ because they are our brothers. ‘Who am I to judge?’ asked the pope.

It was a startling admission, because the clear implication is that if the pope himself is in no position to judge gay people’s private morality, then neither is anyone who falls lower in the church’s totem (and that would be literally everyone else).

Sensing a problem, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan was almost first to the microphone with a ‘clarification’ of what the pope’s words really meant.

Had Francis struck a new note of tolerance and equivocation concerning gay Catholics, as many news outlets insisted? No, not at all, Dolan said. Speaking to CBS This Morning Dolan insisted that homosexuality is still a grave sin, despite the new pope’s apparent reluctance to condemn it or to hear it condemned.

Apparently speaking for God, Dolan said, “We’ve got … two points of church teaching,” Dolan said Tuesday. ‘One would be the immorality, in God’s view, of any sexual expression outside of a man and woman in lifelong marriage. …The other point of church teaching is that a person’s identity, respect, the dignity and love that he or she deserves does not depend on anything — sexual orientation, how much money we’ve got, if we’ve got a green card … does not depend on anything other than the fact that we’re a child of God, made in his image.’

Dolan’s cold water to the face clarification reassured disgruntled conservatives, who privately grouse about Francis’ headline grabbing pronouncements. The cardinal’s clarification also recalled an earlier one, where despite what Pope Francis said in a homily in May about the Lord redeeming all of us, a Vatican spokesman insisted that atheists were still not off the hook.

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