Here is a transcript:[FONT=Courier New]**DAVID GREGORY:
Will there be a point at which there will be an expectation of action, not just debate, not just teaching, but to say he seems to be setting a course for the church that makes the church open to certain changes. Maybe not doctrinal changes, but certain changes, inclusion of women in-- in the hierarchy of the church, changes with regard to the view of divorce and taking communion-- and even gay rights?**
Uh-huh (AFFIRM). There are some who have said that, you are right. There are some, even his admirers, who have said, “Holy father, be careful.” You know, there almost seems to be this huge sense of expectation among Catholics, and we’re a little worried that their hopes might be dashed.
I think, though, we’ve got a Pope, David, that-- that does not think in terms of winning or losing. I think we’ve got a Pope-- that says, “I want to-- ask the right questions. I wanna point people to the place where they can get the answers, mainly not me,” the Pope is saying’, “but the church’s teaching, our tradition, the bible, what god has told us. Let me point them to that. Let me ask the questions. Let me get the interest going. And let’s-- and then let’s try to revive god’s people to passionately reclaim the truth that god has revealed.” I think this is his pastoral strategy.
[/FONT][FONT=Courier New]**[FONT=Georgia][FONT=Courier New]DAVID GREGORY:[/FONT]
Do you imagine the church might open the way to accepting civil unions?**
[/FONT][/FONT][FONT=Courier New][FONT=Georgia][FONT=Courier New]CARDINAL DOLAN:[/FONT]
He mentioned-- I haven’t see-- I’m-- I’m as eager as you are to-- read the-- the full extent of that interview. And if I saw the reports accurately, they-- he didn’t come right out and say he was for them. 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.”
It wasn’t as if he came out and approved them. But he-- he just in-- in a sensitivity that has won the heart of the world, he said, “Rather than quickly condemn them, let’s see if-- let’s-- let’s just ask the questions as to why that has appealed to certain people–”
Would that make you uncomfortable?**
The-- what, the civil unions?
I-- it would. It would, in a way, David. Because I don’t think-- marriage, between-- one man and one woman forever leading to life and love, that’s not something that’s just a religious, sacramental concern. You bet it is that, and-- and we-- that’s how god has elevated it, to making a sacrament.
But it’s also the building block of society and culture. So it belongs to culture. And if-- and 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.[/FONT]
[/FONT]I wish Cardinal Dolan would have, for the MTP audience, have interpreted the Holy Father’s comments in light of the teachings of the Catechism:1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” The Church maintains that a **new union **cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.
Understanding what the catechism says makes the Holy Father’s comments pretty clear. Sadly, His Eminence allowed for American politics to color his response, rather than just relating it back to the teachings of the Church.