Cardinal Timothy Dolan has minimized Pope Francis' support for gay priests.

“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?" Francis rhetorically asked reporters aboard the papal aircraft on the journey back to the Vatican from his first foreign trip to Brazil.

But when asked his position on gay marriage, Francis drew a clear line in the sand: “You know perfectly the position of the church.”

Gay groups called the remark a change in tone for the church.

(Related: Christine Quinn, gay groups praise Pope Francis supporting gay priests.)

But appearing Tuesday on CBS This Morning, Dolan, also the archbishop of New York, downplayed the comments, emphasizing that the church still considered “homosexual acts” a sin.

“Homosexuality is not a sin, right? Homosexual acts are,” Dolan said. “Just like heterosexuality is not a sin outside of marriage, that would be sinful.”

“While certain acts may be wrong, [Pope Francis] would always love and respect the person and treat the person with dignity and not judge them.”

Dolan, who was among the Cardinals vying to replace outgoing Pope Benedict XVI, vocally opposed passage of New York's gay marriage law, calling it “Orwellian social engineering.”