Cardinal Dolan: Politics not overrun by religion

(CBS News) On "Face the Nation," Cardinal Timothy Dolan denied that there is too much religion in politics, saying that politics "benefits" when religion plays a role.

In an interview to air in its entirety Sunday, the Catholic leader said he thinks "politics... only benefits when religion, when morals, when faith has a place there. I think the American (people), the public square in the United States is always enriched whenever people approach it, when they're inspired by their deepest held convictions."

The Catholic Church has played an instrumental role in recent political decisions. The Church staged a massive opposition campaign to the Obama administration's decision requiring contraception coverage for employees of religious institutions.

Dolan told host Bob Schieffer that the Catholic Church is "in a very tough spot" with the new rules, but that the Church will stay involved in the issue.

"We're still going to continue to express what we believe is just not a religious point of view, but a constitutional point of view: That America's at her best when the government doesn't force a citizen, or a group of citizens in a religious creed, to violate their deepest held moral convictions," Dolan said.

In an interview which aired on "CBS This Morning: Saturday," journalist Andrew Sullivan (who is Catholic) discussed his new article in Newsweek that says religion has too much of a reach in modern day politics.

Sullivan said young people see religion today "as a bunch of people trying to control their lives through political mechanisms."

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"There's so much bad religion right now in this country that I felt it was important as a Christian to say, 'This is not what I believe," Sullivan said.

However, Dolan disagreed. "I think the public square is impoverished when people might be coerced to put a piece of duct tape over their mouth keeping them from bringing their deepest held convictions to the conversation."

  • Leigh Ann Caldwell On Twitter»

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

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