Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, made a surprising admission during an interview this morning on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that the church doesn’t know how to pursue it’s policy of opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples without being anti-gay.

From the ABC News transcript of the interview:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  And you know, especially this week – because it’s been at the top of the news – for many gay and lesbian Americans gay and lesbian Catholics, they feel unwelcome –

CARDINAL DOLAN:  They do.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  – in the Church. And what do you say as a minister, as a pastor – to a gay couple that comes to you and say, “We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we –

CARDINAL DOLAN:  Uh-huh.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  – want to raise a family in faith.”

CARDINAL DOLAN:  Sure.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  What do you say to them?

CARDINAL DOLAN:  Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, “I love you, too. 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 gotta be – we gotta 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. We’re in the defense of what God has taught us about – about marriage. And it’s one man, one woman, forever, to bring about new life. We gotta do better to try to dis – take that away from being anti-anybody. And – and I admit –

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  How do you do that?

CARDINAL DOLAN:  We haven’t been too good –

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS:  Yeah, how do you do that?

CARDINAL DOLAN:  Well, I don’t know. We’re still – we’re – we’re tryin’. We’re tryin’ our best to do it. We gotta listen to people, like the couple that you just described – that say, “We don’t feel comfortable here.”

Jesus died on the cross for them as much as he did for me. But you got a point. Sometimes we’re not as successful or as effective as we can be in translating that warm embrace into also teaching what God has told us about the way He wants us to live.

Clearly, Cardinal Dolan is fully aware that the Church is hurting gay people, yet he continues to facilitate the Vatican’s ugly policy of meddling in U.S. state and federal marriage lawmaking.  But hey, no hard feelings, because “We’re tryin’ our best”, so that apparently makes it all ok?  Unbelievable.