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Dolan: Church faces isolationist challenge

March 31, 2013 at 3:18 PM

WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York said the rising tide of Americans with no religious affiliation is a "major pastoral challenge" for the Catholic Church.

Dolan, appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation," said religion provides a counterweight to the increased isolation in an increasingly tech savvy world.

"That is a major pastoral challenge, not only for us as Catholics but for the other revealed religions," Dolan said. "I hear my Jewish rabbi neighbors say it's the same challenge. I hear my Anglican friends say the same thing. Our evangelical friends say the same thing, that people have no trouble with faith, they want to believe, but belonging, that's another question."

The Pew Research Center has conducted polling that suggests as much as 30 percent of Americans have no religious affiliation.

Calling the statistic "somber," Dolan said it suggests a problem not with belief but the organization of the church itself.

"[For] those of us who believe that God has revealed that he wants to be approached as members of a community, as members of a church, that's a challenge," he said, "because more and more people are saying you know what I don't have trouble with God, I don't have trouble with Jesus, I don't have trouble with faith, I do have some troubles with the church."

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