Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York praised University of Missouri football star Michael Sam for coming out as gay, saying he would not judge the athlete for his sexual orientation.
"Good for him," Dolan said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" airing Sunday.
"I would have no sense of judgment on him," Dolan continued. "God bless ya. I don't think, look, the same Bible that tells us, that teaches us well about the virtues of chastity and the virtue of fidelity and marriage also tells us not to judge people. So I would say, 'Bravo.'"
Dolan, one of America's highest ranking Catholic leaders, also said he expects Pope Francis to meet with victims of clergy sex abuse, just as his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, did.
Dolan acknowledged that the church "will always have to do more" to address the issue of sexual abuse. But he backed remarks made by Francis this week in which he asserted that the church "has done a lot, perhaps more than anyone" on sexual abuse but "is the only one that is attacked."
"I was glad the pope said that," Dolan said. "I think he's right on target."