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Dolan: Pope’s Comments Not ‘Change in Church Doctrine’

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Newly appointed cardinal  Timothy Michael Dolan archbishop of New York, receives congratulations  as his leaves the Saint Peter's Basilica on February 18, 2012 in Vatican City, Vatican. The 84 year old Pontiff installed 22 new cardinals during the ceremony, who will be responsible for choosing his successor.(Getty/Franco Origlia)

Newly appointed cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan archbishop of New York, receives congratulations as his leaves the Saint Peter’s Basilica on February 18, 2012 in Vatican City, Vatican. The 84 year old Pontiff installed 22 new cardinals during the ceremony, who will be responsible for choosing his successor.(Getty/Franco Origlia)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The day after Pope Francis surprised many with his comments about homosexuality, St. Louisan and New York Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan set out to explain their meaning.

While returning from his first overseas trip as Pope, Francis told reporters Monday, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”

Church doctrine states that homosexuality is a sin, leaving many unsure of what to make of the statement by the world’s highest-ranking Catholic.

However, Dolan says he wasn’t surprised.

“What surprises me is that people are surprised,” the Cardinal said while a guest on CBS This Morning Tuesday. He later told NBC’s TODAY Show that the announcement was “not surprising at all.”

As for larger ramifications on Catholic Church doctrine, Dolan was dismissive.

“He’s articulating well…the traditional teaching of the church,” he told CBS This Morning. “In no way could this be interpreted as a change in church doctrine,” he later said on the TODAY Show.

What the announcement does signify, according to Dolan, is “a change in tone or emphasis.” Still, he says, the Church’s view of homosexual acts as sinful is unchanged.

“Homosexuality is not a sin. Homosexual acts are,” Cardinal Dolan said on CBS.

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