I recently sent a letter to Archbishop Dolan expressing my displeasure with the MAS situation, and urging him to stop this deal immediately, instead of inexplicably allowing the issue to linger and fester throughout the summer. I received the following absurd form letter, which defended Fr. Fennessy, whom I never even mentioned in my letter, and criticized me for blaming all Muslims for the World Trade Center attack, an accusation I never made.
Dear Mr. ***********
Thank you most sincerely for your letter of...Your thoughtfulness is deeply appreciated.
Father Keith Fennessey is, in my judgment, a fine priest and pastor of the archdiocese, undeserving of the criticism that he has been receiving.
As to the proposed sale of the convent to the Muslim American Society, the archdiocese consented to it when the pastor wrote in favor of it. Since then, he has decided to withdraw his support for the sale, and the parish is attempting to resolve the matter.
The Muslim American Society is in dialogue and communication with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and as such one must be careful about drawing conclusions. Also, as your bishop, might I suggest that it is very unfair to link all Muslims to the attack on the World Trade Center. It was not that long ago when Catholics in the United States were suspect because of their ties to the Vatican, and such bigotry should not be revisited by Catholics on others.
With prayerful best wishes, I am,
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan Archbishop of New York