The Rev. Gerald Murray, pastor of Holy Family Church in New York and a frequent commentator on EWTN Catholic television, said he expected other bishops and cardinals would weigh in for or against the pope’s statement, exacerbating divisions in the church.
“Pope Francis has overstepped his bounds,” Father Murray said, noting that the pope’s statement that gay people “have a right to a family” could be read as an endorsement of adoption by gay couples, which the church has opposed.
“He is confusing yet again, not only people outside the church but people inside the church, about what church doctrine is,” said Robert Royal, president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington and editor of The Catholic Thing website. “Now anyone can tell a bishop who is trying to put forward Catholic teaching that your own pope disagrees with you.”