By Michael Trimmer, Christian Today
What does it mean to be "anti-gay"? Archbishop of New York Timothy Dolan recently gave an interview to NBC's 'Meet the Press' programme where he discussed the Catholic Church's position on, amongst other things, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), abortion, and gay rights. The one sentence that many news outlets have chosen to run with from this discussion is where Archbishop Dolan said that the Church had been "caricatured" as being anti-gay, rather than actually having any real hostility towards homosexuals.
The primary reason people had this view, he said, was that opponents had "out marketed" the Catholic Church.
"When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-moulders that are behind it, it's a tough battle," he said.
"We're pro-marriage, we're pro-traditional marriage, we're not anti-anybody," he said, while in the same breath saying that the Church was not going to give up the fight to stop the 'stampede' towards gay marriage being accepted in every US state."
To many minds, this statement seems contradictory. How can the Church claim to not be anti-gay and yet be anti-gay marriage? Archbishop Dolan sees this question emerging within the Church.
"We get backlash from those who think we are too gracious and compassionate and loving and accepting of gays, and then we get backlash from gay people who feel that we are not tolerant enough of them."
So which is it? Is Timothy Dolan being hypocritical, or is there something more complicated going on here. The following are some common questions regarding the Church's position on homosexuality answered, explaining why Archbishop Dolan takes the views he does.