Millions of Catholics nationwide who want New York Governor Andrew Cuomo excommunicated from the Catholic Church for signing a bill that legalizes abortions up to birth are going to be sorely disappointed.
Through a spokesman, Cardinal Timothy Dolan said that excommunicating the governor is “not an appropriate response.” He went on to say that excommunication is typically called for by frustrated Catholics who are upset.
As a reported for CNN tweeted: “I asked
@CardinalDolan‘s spokesman about the calls for Gov. Cuomo to be excommunicated over NY’s new abortion bill. While emphasizing that this should not be considered a comment on any specific person, he said excommunication “should not be used as a weapon.”
I asked @CardinalDolan‘s spokesman about the calls for Gov. Cuomo to be excommunicated over NY’s new abortion bill. While emphasizing that this should not be considered a comment on any specific person, he said excommunication “should not be used as a weapon.” Full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ri3p8wRxuv
— Daniel Burke (@BurkeCNN) January 25, 2019
The Democrat governor claims to be a devout Catholic and even quoted Pope Francis to back up his opposition to the death penalty. But he also is a radical abortion activist who threatened to hold up the state budget until the legislature passed a law legalizing abortion for basically any reason up to birth.
On Tuesday, state lawmakers did, and Cuomo celebrated. To mark the expanded killing of the unborn, he ordered that the One World Trade Center and other state landmarks be lit in pink “to celebrate this achievement and shine a bright light forward for the rest of the nation to follow.”
The so-called Reproductive Health Act goes beyond Roe v. Wade, allowing unborn babies to be aborted even when the U.S. Supreme Court has said states may restrict abortions. The law’s broad language will allow late-term abortions on viable, healthy unborn babies for basically any reason up to birth in New York.
Other Catholic leaders are calling for excommunication.
“It’s time to end the charade, even the lie, that Andrew Cuomo and others like him are Catholics in good standing,” Monsignor Charles Pope wrote at the National Catholic Register this week.
He said New York bishops have not done enough to condemn the heinous actions of so-called Catholic politicians like Cuomo.
To date the Catholic bishops of New York have issued a statement expressing dismay and “profound sadness” and rang a Church bell in protest. Respectfully, that is not enough. Canonical penalties are due to the Governor and other Catholics who voted for this legislation. This is necessary both for the common good, to avoid the scandal of tolerance of evil, and as a strong summons to the governor and others to repent before the Day of Judgment. …
This cannot be allowed to stand without canonical penalties. I am not a canon lawyer, but the truth is clear that Governor Andrew Cuomo is not in communion with the Catholic Church. At this point canonical penalties forbidding him to receive Holy Communion — or even, if possible, issuing a formal excommunication — are simply affirming what is already true and what he himself has done. To fail to issue all possible canonical penalties at this point would, to my mind, show the Church to be irrelevant and a laughingstock.
Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Christine Flowers did not mention excommunication specifically in her column about Cuomo, but she did point out just how radical his stance is – both in the eyes of the Catholic Church and the general public.
“The law passed this week makes it impossible for the government to prevent a woman from choosing an abortion during the first six months,” she wrote.
She pointed to Iceland where 100 percent of unborn babies diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted, saying that could happen in New York, too.
“Imagine if women in America could wait up to six months to choose abort their babies for issues even less devastating than Down’s Syndrome. What if a woman chose to abort because she wanted a boy instead of a girl? That’s feasible under Cuomo’s law,” she continued.
But J.D. Flynn, editor in chief of the Catholic News Agency and a canon lawyer, said excommunication probably will not happen.
Writing at the Washington Post, Flynn said Catholic Canon Law has very specific circumstances for excommunication, and Cuomo’s actions do not appear to “fit the bill.”
“Some experts have argued that a long history of advocacy for abortion rights demonstrates Cuomo’s implicit heresy, another canonical crime for which he might be excommunicated,” he continued. “But the path to formally declaring Cuomo a heretic is complicated, and [New York Archbishop Timothy] Dolan probably would not pursue it.”
Pressure is mounting on Dolan to do something to condemn Cuomo’s blatant hypocrisy. Flynn suggested that the archbishop could deem Cuomo’s actions “obstinate perseverance” in grave sin and deny him communion.
Cuomo’s new law flies in the face of the teachings of the Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole. He supports the unrestricted killing of unique, living babies in the womb. Abortion is a grave and despicable evil that must be condemned and swiftly.