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Cardinal Dolan: Vatican document needs "major reworking"

Cardinal Dolan joins "CBS This Morning" from the Vatican City to answer questions about the church's document on non-traditional families
Cardinal Dolan joins "CBS This Morning" from ... 05:49

Catholic leaders are working to revise a landmark Vatican document addressing gays and non-traditional families, according to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York.

A preliminary report from bishops meeting at ... 01:37

While gay rights groups have praised the document, conservative bishops are calling it unacceptable. The document was written by a committee hand-picked by Pope Francis.

Among the outspoken is Cardinal Leo Raymond Burke who called the language in the 11-page document "confused" and "erroneous" in an interview with the Catholic News Agency.

"I think he's right," Dolan said Wednesday on "CBS This Morning." "He's picked up on the side that a lot of bishops, and I would include myself, feel that it needs some major reworking."

Dolan said the purpose of the Vatican meeting is to make revisions of the preliminary report, and they have been "laboring hard" over the past two days.

"This was a draft document, a first stage, of what's going to be the result of our two good weeks here in Rome," Dolan said. "All of this is almost like antipasto to help the Holy Father arrive in a fresh new way to teach the timeless teachings of the church on marriage and family."

Among the pieces of controversy is a section titled, "Welcoming Homosexual Persons," where it says, "Homosexuals have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. Are we capable of welcoming these people, guaranteeing to them a fraternal space in our communities?"

Dolan argues it's something that the Catholic Church is already doing.

"Look, you're talking to the Archbishop of New York. I find it news that some people would still consider this news," he said.

He said parishes and communities in the New York Archdiocese are welcoming.

"This is a community of people who are trying our best to respond to the teaching of Jesus Christ, to open ourselves up to His grace so that we can live His message fully, and to seek His mercy when we can't," Dolan said. "It's a tribute to Pope Francis that he's affirming this positive embrace of the church and calling for us to make it even more dynamic."

Pope Francis has been known to take more progressive approaches and push for inclusion.

Despite the division over the document, Dolan said there is still a common ground among the leaders.

"I note a remarkable unanimity and enthusiastic backing of the Holy Father's attempt to present the teaching of the church in a fresh, exciting, enchanting new way," he said.

Dolan said one of the major obstacles for the church is the stereotype that the Catholic church is constantly telling people what they can't do.

"They've heard me say often, we've heard Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and now, in an extraordinarily effective way, Pope Francis saying the church isn't about no's," Dolan said. "The church is about a big, resounding yes to everything that is good and noble and beautiful and dignified and genuine and liberating in the human person."

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