Cardinal addresses three pastoral challenges facing Pope Francis

This week, the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, visited Alaska. Dolan spoke to parishioners at Our Lady of Guadeloupe Parish about the three pastoral challenges facing Pope Francis: marriage, restoring the credibility of the Roman Catholic Church, and the relationship between the church and culture.
Dolan explained that marriage was not only the bedrock on which the church was built, and society played a role too. Dolan defined marriage as a life-long and life-giving vocation — not just to the children it produces, but also to the spouses who participate. Marriage is now seen as a burden in much of contemporary society because it is held off until much later in life. Cohabitation is also becoming more commonplace for those who did engage in a marriage-like situations earlier in life. Lastly, he cited that monogamy is becoming less common, and those who marry are more likely than ever to divorce.
On restoring the credibility of the church, Dolan cited the numerous negative stereotypes about the Catholic church. Dolan criticized the stereotypes of the church being an asylum for pedophiles. Furthermore, the Catholic church was often perceived as being sexist in favor as men. Dolan said this was not the case, explaining that men and women are meant for different tasks, like men being husbands and women being wives.
The third pastoral challenge Dolan spoke of was the relationship between the church and mainstream culture. He said the church is becoming part of a world that is becoming less religious but more “spiritual,” stating religion is becoming devalued in culture. Dolan said while religion should not necessarily be the dominant factor in culture, it should nonetheless be recognized for the important role it plays. This role provides a force against the negativity in the world and should provide a healthy, loving message for people to live by.