When it comes to protecting Christians in the Middle East who are vulnerable to extreme persecution, the U.S. government has its priorities all wrong, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York.
Part of the reason may be that government officials are not well-schooled in the nature of the persecution, but even more so, they seem to be focusing on the promotion of “reproductive rights” and “gay rights” almost to the exclusion of other issues.
Cardinal Dolan is also president of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, which conducts humanitarian work in the Middle East, and past president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He said that bishops in countries where Christians have been under fire, such as Syria and Iraq, express to him a sense of wonder that the U.S. government makes foreign aid and foreign investment contingent on a nation’s willingness to assure the legality of abortion or the redefinition of marriage and not upon the protection of religious minorities.
“They’ll say, ‘We need to see the American government put the same teeth in their investment, in their diplomacy, in their trade negotiations, in their political negotiations, as they do in some of these other issues.’ And I think they’re right,” the cardinal said.