Pope Francis remains opposed to same-sex relationships, according to the Archbishop of New York.

In a CBS News interview on Tuesday Cardinal Timothy Dolan said Pope Francis’ recent comments on gay priests did not represent a change in the Catholic Church’s position on same-sex relationships.

“Pope Francis would be the first to say, my job isn’t to change Church teaching – my job is to present it as clearly as possible,” said Cardinal Dolan in response to a question from presenter Gayle King. “But you’re onto something, Gayle, when you say it could be a change in tone or emphasis.”

Cardinal Dolan continued: “So what have we got? You might say two levels or two points of Church teaching. One would be the immorality, in God’s view, of any sexual expression outside of the relationship between a man and a woman in lifelong, life-giving faithful marriage. That’s one point of Church teaching.

“The other point of Church teaching is that a person’s identity, respect, the dignity and love that he or she deserves, does not depend on anything, not sexual orientation, how much money we’ve got, if we’ve got a green card or immigration papers, or a stock portfolio. It does not depend on anything other than that we are a child of God made in his image and likeness.

“Homosexuality is not a sin, homosexual acts are,” Cardinal Dolan added. “Just like heterosexuality is not a sin, although heterosexual acts outside a marriage, lifelong, life-giving marriage between a man and a woman, that would be sinful.”

On Monday, Pope Francis declared gay people should not be judged or marginalised – but he also said homosexual acts remain a sin.

Christine Quinn, the gay Catholic Democratic candidate who’s leading the field to become the next mayor of New York City said the comments represented “enormous progress.”

However, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “Pope Francis has offered a change of tone in Vatican pronouncements on gay people but not a change in substance.”

He added: “The Church’s hardline stance against gay equality and relationships remains intact. It opposes same-sex marriage. The Catechism condemns homosexual love using strident, inflammatory and homophobic language.”