Cardinal Dolan: Gov't contraception policy a "radical intrusion"

(CBS News) Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the president's new contraception policy is "intruding into the life of faith."

On CBS News' "Face the Nation," Dolan, who is the Archbishop of New York, told host Bob Schieffer that the president brought on the confrontation with his policy and that the Catholic Church "didn't ask for this fight."

"We didn't ask for the fight, but we're not going to back away from it," Dolan said, referring to the Obama administration's new rule that employees of religious institutions receive contraceptive health coverage.

Dolan maintained that the president's modification - to place the requirement on the insurance company and not the employer - made after the Church's outrage continues to put the Church in "a very tough spot." The Catholic Church's opposition to contraception led to a public campaign lambasting the new rule.

"You've got a dramatic, radical intrusion of a government bureaucracy into the internal life of the Church," Doland told Schieffer. "Our problem is the government is intruding into the life of faith in the church that they shouldn't be doing."

Also on "Face the Nation," Schieffer asked Dolan if the intersection of religion and politics is too close. Dolan said religion does play a role in politics but that it shouldn't be "too involved."

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But, Dolan added, "I also don't think the government and politics should be overly involved in the church."

In an Easter Sunday interview, Schieffer also asked Dolan to comment on Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum's comments that he "almost threw up" after reading a speech presidential candidate John F. Kennedy gave in 1960 about separation of church and state to address concerns about his Catholic religion.

Dolan said he agrees with Santorum and Kennedy, both Catholics.

"I would've cheered what John Kennedy said, he was right," Dolan said. "That having been said, I would also say that Senator Santorum had a good point because unfortunately what John Kennedy said... has been misinterpreted to mean that a separation of Church and State also means a cleavage, a wall, between one's faith and one's political decisions."

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

    Leigh Ann Caldwell is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.

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