(CNSNews.com) -- Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop for the Catholic Archdiocese of New York City, agreed with CNN's Chris Cuomo today that Islamic State jihadists are engaging in "targeted genocide," a "holy war" against the Christian population in the Middle East, with Dolan adding that these extremists are indeed "Muslims" however "perverted" their form of Islam.
On CNN Live this morning, Mar. 3, host Chris Cuomo asked Cardinal Dolan, "Obviously, ISIS is going after everybody who doesn’t agree with them. But do you believe that this is targeted genocide, this is holy war by these ISIS extremists on Christians?"
The cardinal said, "I do. I think it’s time to talk turkey. I think it’s a systematic, well-choreographed, very well-focused attempt to eradicate the ancient Christian population in the Middle East."
"Now I’m quick to add, Chris, and I mean this, I also believe with all my heart and soul that these extremists do not represent genuine Islamic thought," said Cardinal Dolan.
Cuomo then asked, "But do you believe they are Muslims?"
Dolan said, "They are, they are for sure – I would say a particularly perverted form of Islam."
Cuomo interjected, "Because you know this has been a real problem, here, for the White House, in terms of defining who the enemy is? The president doesn’t want to give credibility to them as Muslims because they’re not really good Muslims – many believe it’s more confusing than clarifying."
Dolan, who oversees the Catholic community in New York City, then said, "No, they claim to be Muslims. Even the majority of temperate, peace-loving Muslims would say, ‘I’m afraid they have a particular strand of erroneous Islam.’ But I do think they are [Muslims]."
ISIS is the abbreviation for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria; the Muslim group recently changed that name to the Islamic State.
The archdiocese of New York was established in 1808 and currently serves 2.6 million Catholics in 310 different parishes (churches), as well as dozens of schools, charities, and health care facilities.