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Dolan Reacts To Pope Francis' Comments On Gay Priests

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Timothy Cardinal Dolan spoke out Tuesday on Pope Francis' remark about gay priests, which some have called groundbreaking.

As CBS 2's Andrea Grymes reported, Dolan said while the pope's words may have signaled a change in tone, they do not mean that church doctrine has changed, or will change.

On Monday, the Argentinian-born pontiff was asked what his response would be upon learning that a cleric was gay — but not sexually active.

"If a person is gay, and accepts the Lord, and has good will, who am I to judge them?" the pontiff told reporters on a flight back to the Vatican. "They shouldn't be marginalized."

During an appearance on "CBS This Morning" Tuesday, Dolan said the pontiff's tone is very welcoming, but emphasized that church doctrine is not changing.

"He's articulating well, in a beautifully tender way, the traditional teaching of the church," Dolan said, praising Pope Francis and his comments about gay Catholics, specifically gay priests.

Dolan said the pope's remarks fall in line with church doctrine.

"While certain acts may be wrong, we would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity," Dolan said, stressing that the church's teaching on homosexual acts is not changing.

"Homosexuality is not a sin, right? Homosexual acts are," Dolan said. "Just like heterosexuality is not a sin, although heterosexual acts outside of marriage, life-long, life-giving faithful marriage between a man and a woman, that would be sinful."

Many around the world, including the gay Catholic group Dignity USA, have welcomed Pope Francis' compassionate tone, but say now they'd like to see a larger dialogue with the gay community.

The group also said it welcomes Dolan's words, but said now it would like to see a larger dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the gay community.

Meanwhile, Catholics coming out of St. Patrick's Cathedral on Tuesday morning said the religion is about reaching out to everyone.

"It's about celebrating being good people and looking after people," one parishioner said.

Dolan said while many people are finding the pope's gentle, compassionate tone refreshing, it is not new. He added that he hates to see previous popes caricatured of not sharing the tone.

Pope Benedict XVI signed a document in 2005 that said men with deep-rooted homosexual tendencies should not be priests.

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