In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday’s edition of This Week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that Pope Francis “has successfully, finally shattered the caricature of the Church.”
“What’s that caricature?” he asked. “That the Church is kind of mean and dour and always saying no and always telling us what we can’t do and always telling us why we should be excluded. He’s saying, ‘No, come on in, the Church is about warmth and tenderness.'”
That caricature of an unloving, unwelcoming Church was created, in part, by Catholic figureheads like Cardinal Dolan himself, who shielded pedophile priests for decades, opposed the Affordable Care Act, and insisted that Pope Francis still condemned homosexuality after he said that he did not judge LGBT people.
But he praised Pope Francis for doing what he himself could not. “[W]hat we were after was a good pastor with a track record of solid administration but fatherly warm, tender care for the sheep, for his people,” Dolan said. “And, boy, we got that on steroids with Pope Francis. He’s the world’s parish priest.”
He did, however, suggest that Pope Francis was more style than substance. “John XXIII said, look, the teaching of the Church is a timeless gift, you can’t change it, it’s ours, we inherited it, we’re given it,” he said.
“But the way we gift wrap it, the way we make it more attractive and more compelling to the world, that could always change and that’s what Francis is saying.”
Watch the complete interview with Cardinal Timothy Dolan below.