'Preposterous and insulting': Cardinal fires back at Steve Bannon's criticisms of the Catholic Church

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, fired back at Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump's former chief strategist, following Bannon's suggestion that the Catholic Church was economically motivated to oppose Trump's decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

"You might imagine I was rather befuddled to see it," Dolan said on Sirius XM's Catholic Channel on Thursday. "I don't really care to go into what I think is a preposterous and rather insulting statement, that the only reason we Bishops care for immigrants is for the economic because we want to fill our churches and get more money."

"That's insulting and that's just so ridiculous that it doesn't merit a comment," Dolan continued.

Bannon first made the allegation by saying that the church had an "economic interest" in "unlimited illegal immigration."

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White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and White House Director of Strategic Communications Hope Hicks walk along the colonnade ahead of a joint press conference by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 10, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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U.S. President Donald Trump (L-R), joined by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, senior advisor Steve Bannon, Communications Director Sean Spicer and National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, speaks by phone with Russia's President Vladimir Putin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. January 28, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist for US President-elect Donald Trump, talks on the phone outside Trump Tower in New York on December 9, 2016.

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (R) and senior counselor Steve Bannon (L) hold meetings at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S. December 28, 2016.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon is pictured backstage during a campaign event in Eau Claire, Wisconsin U.S. November 1, 2016.

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign CEO Steve Bannon holds a campaign rally the Reno-Sparks Convention Center November 5, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. With less than a week before Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House.

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"To come to grips with the problems in the church, they need illegal aliens — they need illegal aliens to fill the churches," Bannon said in a CBS "60 Minutes" interview. "They have an economic interest in unlimited immigration, unlimited illegal immigration."

"As much as I respect Cardinal Dolan and the bishops on doctrine, this is not doctrine," Bannon continued. "I totally respect the pope, and I totally respect the Catholic bishops and cardinals on doctrine. This is not about doctrine, this is about the sovereignty of a nation and, in that regard, they're just another guy with an opinion."

"Well, as a matter of fact he may be right," Dolan responded.

"This is not an issue of Catholic doctrine because it comes from the Bible itself and we Catholics are people of the book."

"And the Bible is so clear, so clear, that to treat the immigrant with dignity and respect, to make sure that society is just in its treatment of the immigrant is Biblical mandate," Dolan continued. "It's clear from the lips of Jesus when he said, 'Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to me. When I was a stranger,' meaning an immigrant or a refugee, 'you welcomed me.'"

Trump, this week, decided to revoke the Obama-era DACA program that protects from deportation 800,000 immigrants living in the country illegally — many of whom were brought to the US as children. Following the decision, Dolan said that it was "certainly not Christian" and "not American."

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SEE ALSO: 'They need illegal aliens to fill the churches': Steve Bannon slams the Catholic Church

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