NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The leader of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York suggested the Ground Zero mosque be moved and as CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports, he is offering to help broker a deal.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan said he supports religious freedom and the right of Muslims to build a mosque but questions whether developers should take a second look at building one so close to Ground Zero.
When Dolan was asked Wednesday about the mosque, he compared it to the Carmelite nuns wanting to put a convent near the Auschwitz concentration camp and the intervention of Pope John Paul II, who had it moved.
“John Paul II said ‘Why don’t we get together civilly and thoughtfully and with dignity and maybe decide a good solution’ and he’s the one who said ‘let’s keep the idea and maybe move the address.’ It worked there. It might work here,” Dolan said.
The leader of New York’s 2.5 million Catholics not only weighed in, he offered to act as a mediator to bring both sides together in compromise.
“If I can be a part, say but the word, in kind of a backdoor way I think we already are,” he said.
The archbishop’s statements came as a new poll showed an increase in the number of people who don’t think the mosque should be built at Ground Zero.
The Sienna Poll found 63-percent of New Yorkers were opposed to the mosque, while only 27-percent approve, an increase in opposition from a poll done two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi added to the controversy when she demanded an investigation of groups opposing the Ground Zero mosque.
“There is no question that there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque is being funded,” she said.
Meanwhile there was no word from albany about when governor paterson plans to meet with mosque leaders to discuss possible site alternatives.