NY archbishop worries about tone of mosque debate

NEW YORK (AP) — The intense debate over a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero has jeopardized New Yorkers' sense of tolerance and unity, the leader of the area's Roman Catholics said Tuesday.

"We're just a little bit apprehensive that these noble values may be a bit at risk in this way the conversation and debate about the site of the mosque is taking place," Archbishop Timothy Dolan said after a meeting with Gov. David Paterson about the issue.

Critics say the building is too close to where Islamic extremists destroyed the World Trade Center in 2001 and killed nearly 2,800 people. Supporters say religious freedom should be protected. Dolan said both sides have legitimate stances.

Dolan doesn't have "strong feelings" about where it should be, he said, but he expressed willingness to be part of the dialogue if asked.