Jansing and Co | May 02, 2012
>>> the new york cardinal being touted as having a shot at being the first american pope, timothy dolan , is taking aim at republicans over immigration policy this morning. never shy about wade sbhoog controversial political waters like the contraception debate, he has a warning for republicans. i spoke with the charismatic cardinal and asked him about the upcoming supreme court decision on immigration.
>> catholics feel -- catholic bishops feel very strongly about that immigration needs reform. we're just upset where the loudest cheers in the campaign trail for whatever candidate can say the most punitive or the most angry things about immigrants. the catholic church is -- we call our mother church , and she's traditionally welcomed the immigrant. we are a church of immigrants, so we're particularly sensitive to the rights of immigrants.
>> but the republicans, you think, have gone too far on the immigration --
>> i would say if any republican asked my opinion, i'd say you need to get your house together when it comes to immigration because right now, fairly or not, you have the reputation of being very tough on immigrants. if a republican answered me, i'd say you better come up with a much saner, more civil, more just immigration policy . but, boy, when you have a policy that splits up families, when you have a policy that drives people underground, when you have a policy where now the government, whether it be in arizona or in alabama, is asking our soup kitchens to skr for documentation before they give people food or housing or clothing or medical care , that's not right. that aegs not catholic. that's not christian. that's not religious. and it's not american. the bishops are adamant on that.
>> you've been very outspoken against the obama administration's health care mandate, requiring employers to pay for birth control .
>> you're right, i have been outspoken in this whole situation. we bishops have tried our best to make sure that we keep the conversation elevated to one of religious freedom . a particular part of that is the mandate to cover contraceptives. and what we find particularly odious, chris, would be what we would say would be an intrusion by a bureau of the federal government into the very definition of religious ministry and the extent of this church's service. so it's really that hhs intrusion that bothers us. it's not -- it's not the contraception per se , although you're right, we are opposed to that. but --
>> do you think catholics will vote on the birth control issue, for example?
>> no, i don't think they'd do that. and i think a good -- you are right, and many people are right, when they say bishops, i don't know if you've got your people with you on the specific issue of contraception. and i'd hate to say they're right. i don't think they do. we better get our act together there. we do have them with us under religious freedom . yes, there are some that think now the church hierarchy has become part of the war on women. i vigorously disagree with that. you'll also find catholic women to say, wait a minute, i'm tired of seeing my church stereotyped as a war on women. it would be tough to think of an organization in the world that is more on the side of women's health and care for women and children than the catholic church .
>> let's talk a little bit about some criticism of american nuns, very specific reprimand by the vatican , in part because of things that they had said about things like birth control . we're talking about the association of american catholic nuns that represents about 80% of nuns in america. vatican said the nuns pushed, quote, radical feminist themes. a lot of the reaction that i've heard has been going after nuns? really? cardinal dolan, going after nuns? really? in this very public way?
>> yeah. this is -- this is an issue that's easily caricatured and that we can be guilty of superficiality. i don't know if i'd use the word repry manhandle. i find the congregation for the doctrine of faith saying, sisters, we relish our dialogue, and that document goes to great pains to praise the brilliant work of sisters.
>> but they put oversight on the nuns, and it's been widely written about, including maureen dowd , whose interpretation after reading the document was that the message to nuns is shut up and sit down.
>> well, i wouldn't interpret that at all. the very nature of the document is, sisters, talk to us, can you help us understand this, help us clarify things? keep in mind, too, chris, that some of the people that were worried about some of the stances of the lcwr were women religious, who have been writing to the vatican , saying we're a little worried about the drift of this organization. so are we going to tell them to sit down and shut up? no. i think the holy see is saying we're trying our best to listen, sisters, we love you, we thank you, we appreciate what you're doing, we cherish our dialogue, we want it to keep going, can you bring your attention to some of the things we're worried about.
>> do you understand why the nuns could feel that way, your eminence?
>> i certainly know in talking to paints that they feel tainted by the pedophile scandal and they will say the vast majority of us faithful to our vows, et cetera .
>> so does -- do you understand how this could feel like a --
>> do i ever. do i ever. and i really appreciate it when sisters share that with me, and they do. however --
>> giving you a hard time about this?
>> i wouldn't say a hard time , but they're so beautifully honest that they would say, archbishop or cardinal, we have to talk to you about this. we're bristling about this. help us work this out. and i appreciate that because i love them. i don't know what we'd do without them.
>> you're the head of the u.s. conference of catholic bishops . you've been called america's pope.
>> you were "time" magazine's among the most 100 influential people in the world. in the world. how to you use that influence for these issues like religious liberty ?
>> well, i mean, i'm flattered by all that and all, but that all passes. i mean, if you count on that stuff tomorrow, that will be diminished. i think what you have to do is try to make sure that you're always on the side of truth.
>> that was cardinal dolan. we will post more of my interview on our facebook page.