That Pope Francis expressed a desire to study gay unions should not be misconstrued that the Roman Catholic supreme pontiff had approved of it, Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, said over the weekend.
In an interview with Italian daily Corriere della Sera published Wednesday, Pope Francis was quoted to have said that the rise of gay unions provoke him to take a "necessary look at the diverse cases and evaluate them in their variety."
Cardinal Dolan, however, implied it really boiled down to how media wants to interpret the religious leader's statement.
"If I saw the reports accurately, he didn't come right out and say he was for them," he said in an interview with David Gregory of NBC's "Meet the Press." "Once again, in an extraordinarily sincere, open, nuanced way, he said, 'I know that some people in some states have chosen this. We need to think about that and look into it and see the reasons that have driven them.'"
Pope Francis, Cardinal Dolan said, wants to know what makes gay unions appealable.
"Rather than quickly condemn" civil unions, Cardinal Dolan believed the pope wants his questions answered "as to why that has appealed to certain people."
"Marriage is the building block of society and culture ... it is between one man and one woman forever leading to life and love, that's not something that's just a religious, sacramental concern...," the Roman Catholic cardinal from New York said.
"If we water down that sacred meaning of marriage in any way, I worry that not only the church would suffer, I worry that culture and society would," he said.