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“America then became a light to the world, and that finally captured the imagination of the rest of the Catholic world, and it was enshrined as part of the [teaching] of the Second Vatican Council in the decree on religious freedom,” he said.

Asked about the new Pope Francis’ stance on religious liberty, Cardinal Dolan replied, “I don’t have any personal sense, but I think I could bet [Sunday’s] collection on the fact that he would be a staunch defender of religious freedom. He’s a man who has given enthusiastic support to the renewal of the Second Vatican Council, a cornerstone of which has been religious liberty. He himself has been a defender of religious freedom in Argentina. He has been particularly close to the evangelicals and the Jewish community, so he certainly extols a world, a culture, where religions exist in amity and where the freedoms of all are protected.”

Mark A. Kellner can be reached at