During an interview with Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor last night, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said he believes the Obama administration and its supporters are attempting to divide the Catholic Church.
“ . . . (O)ur opponents are very shrewd because they have chosen an issue that they know we are not very popular on and that is why, Bill, we have to be vigorous in insisting that this is not about contraception — it’s about religion freedom.”
He went on to say: ” . . . I don’t want to judge people, but I think there would be a drift in the administration that this is a good issue and if we can divide the Catholic community (because it’s already divided) and if one can caricature the bishops as being hopelessly out of touch — these bullies who are trying to achieve judicially and legislatively what they’ve been unable to achieve because their moral integrity was compromised recently. There is the force out there trying to caricature us, alright? But we can’t back down from this fight because it’s about religion freedom — it’s close to the heart of the democratic enterprise what we know and love and the United States of America is all about.”
Dolan dismissed the idea of a wall between church and state, saying the Church doesn’t want to be a force in American politics, but that her members do.
“The Catholic Church wants its people to be a player in American politics. Twenty-eight percent of the population of the United States are Catholics, OK? And the Catholic Church, through them, you bet, wants to have a say in the direction of our beloved country,” he said. “To think that there is a Berlin Wall between one’s religious convictions and one’s political activity is crazy. It’s ludicrous. It’s not only non-Catholic, non-Christian, non-biblical, it’s also un-American.”
Efforts to undermine the church are “un-American” as well because there has always been a traditional role for religion in matters of politics.
“You know that every great movement in American history has been driven by people of religious conviction, and if we duct tape the churches — I’m not just talking about the Catholic Church — if we duct tape the role of religion and churches, and morally convince people in the marketplace, that is going to lead to a huge deficit, a huge void, and there are many people who want to fill it up, namely a new religion called secularism, OK, which would be as doctrinaire and would consider itself as infallible as they caricature the other religions doing.”
He concluded: “So, to see that morally-driven, religiously-convinced people want to exercise their political responsibility, I think that is not only the heart of biblical religion — it is at the heart of the American enterprise.”
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