U.S. bishops have been seeking affordable and universal healthcare since 1919, and were early supporters of the Affordable Care Act, said Cardinal Timothy Dolan, but they have been put in a "tough place" because of mandates that go against church teaching.
"We started bristling and saying, 'Uh oh, this isn't comprehensive because it's excluding the undocumented immigrant and its excluding the unborn baby,'" Dolan said in an interview with NBC's David Gregory that aired Sunday on "Meet the Press."
The church backed Obamcare because of religious conviction and dictates of conscience, Dolan told Gregory. "And now we're being asked to violate some of those."
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Turning to the issue of gay marriage, Dolan admitted he would be
Pollyanna to deny there is a strong push to legalize same-sex unions nationwide.
"We've been outmarketed," Dolan said. "We've been caricatured as being anti-gay. When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion molders that are behind it, it's a tought battle."
Dolan noted that people said after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion that the issue would go away in a couple of years.
"To this day it remains probably the most divisive issue in American politics," he said.
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