Upstate NY CTA1 Bartlett Pl.Scotia, NY 12302May 24, 2012Cardinal Timothy DolanArchdiocese of New York1011 First Ave.New York, NY 10022Dear Cardinal Dolan, The prophetic voice of the Catholic Church is never more compellingthan when it speaks of the needs of the poor. It is the selflessnessexhibited by Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day and other great servants thathas attracted so many to the Catholic Church and its ministries. Theeloquent declaration by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of the church'saffirmation of a "seamless garment" of life promoted a message of greatidealism and unity for Catholics.That prophetic voice of affirmation and unity has been lost andsmothered by the divisive message of the church hierarchy. It hasadopted a voice of condemnation against those who disagree on issuesrelated to contraception, celibacy, homosexuality and the role of womenin the church. The latest example of this crusade is the treatment of religious orders of nuns who are dedicated to serving the poor andmarginalized in our society. These have become the new target for"reform." Now, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops(USCCB) has announced its "Fortnight for Freedom" campaign topromote religious liberty during the two weeks leading to July 4th. Thiscampaign seems motivated by political concerns designed to protect theinstitutional church rather than its members and to use its members asa political weapon against its opponents. It will be up to the sisters andthe laity to restore the message of the "seamless garment."