Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Church's "finger-wagging tone is counterproductive"

(CBS News) In his six months as the head of the Catholic Church,Pope Francis has garnered headlines for his bold statements around sensitive issues and shirking some of the traditional trappings of the pontificate. He carries his own bag, tweets, abandoned the Vatican's papal apartment in favor of more modest quarters, and in an interview published Thursday, the pope insisted the church is too focused"small-minded rules" dictating church policy on abortion, gay marriage, and contraception.

Pope Francis told the Jesuit weekly America Magazine, "We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage, and the use of contraceptive methods."

He warned, "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines" and insisted, "we have to find a new balance, otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards."

On "CBS This Morning" Friday, Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said "shock waves is a good word" to describe the pope's recent proselytizing and new approach.

"At times, the church gets listless ... and we need a good shock," Dolan said, "He wants to shake us up. He's daring, he's fresh, he's innovative .... and every day, I think, 'Thank God he was elected.' This man is batting 1.000."

Still, Dolan says it is not just the church wrapped up in divisive issues like abortion and homosexuality.

"It seems to be culture and society ... [Pope Francis] says, instead of talking about these ... issues, why don't we talk about tenderness and love?"

While Dolan insists the issues are still important to the church, he admits the tone guiding the conversation within the Catholic community has contributed to the perception of the church as an institution at odds with the modern world.

"If we keep [a] kind of a negative, finger-wagging tone, it's counterproductive," Dolan explained.

Turning to the issue of the role of women within the Catholic church, Dolan summarized the pope's sentiments. "He warned against the feminine machismo."

"The feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions," Pope Francis told the magazine, explaining that in his view, "the church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. ... We have to work harder to develop a profound theology of the woman."

His comments regarding a woman's place in the church come in the wake of American nuns being accused of insubordination and undermining the church for publicly disagreeing with the bishops and for not promoting the church's positions on same-sex marriage and male-only priesthood.

Dolan called the pope's message to "think about the specific place of women, also in those places where the authority of the church is exercised for various areas of the church," a "beautifully nuanced and balanced" point of view.

Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom