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Ex-Milwaukee Archbishop surprised at strong reaction to Pope's gay remarks

Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the U.S. arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall at the Vatican, March 9, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of the U.S. arrives for a meeting at the Synod Hall at the Vatican, March 9, 2013. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

NEW YORK (WTAQ) - Former Milwaukee Catholic Archbishop Tim Dolan says he’s less surprised by what Pope Francis said about gays, than by the public’s strong reaction to the remarks.

On NBC’s “Today” show, Dolan said the remarks signaled a change in tone – but not a change in the church’s policy.

He said the church teaches people to treat everyone with dignity, even if they don’t approve of their personal relationships.

Dolan – who’s now the Archbishop of New York and the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – said there’s no easy way to interpret the pope’s remarks as either a change in church doctrine, or the church’s faith and morals. Dolan said it’s clear teaching that, “We can’t judge people, we can judge actions.”

Pope Francis caused a buzz among Catholics Monday, when he told reporters, “If a person is gay, and looks for the Lord and had goodwill, who am I to judge them.”

Dolan said the church still considers homosexual acts to be immoral.

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