Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, says the U.S. remains a "strong religious nation" in spite of a decline in the number of people who are religiously affiliated (see Pew report). As Politico reported, Dolan told Bob Schieffer that Americans may be turning away from organized religion because "they have some troubles with the church." His concern, he said Sunday, is that "the essence of religion is coming together, as a family, as a spiritual family" - an experience lost on those who believe in God but don't participate in organized religion.
When asked about the growing disparity between public opinion on social issues and the positions of the Catholic Church, Dolan acknowledged that the church is grappling with the question of how to stay relevant; "how to remain faithful to what we believe are God-given, revealed, settled, unchanging principles without losing our people, who more and more question them." As the New York Times reported, Dolan went on to suggest that part of that challenge centers around messaging. "I think we can't tamper with what God has revealed," Dolan told Schieffer. "But we can try to do better in the way we present them with more credibility and in a more compelling way."
Schieffer also asked Dolan about Pope Francis. Dolan described his election as a "shot in the arm" for Catholics. "People are moved to tears," he said Sunday. "You talk about a sense of excitement. I can't go anywhere in New York City where I've got people from Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Puerto Rico, who are coming up in tears saying, 'we have a Latin American Pope.'".