The crimes of Cuomo, the calumny of the Church

Like so many others, I am a lapsed Catholic.  For me, it happened in stages.  It started with the banality of the post-Vatican II liturgy and the insipid messages from the modern pulpit designed mainly not to offend. Later came the priestly sins of sodomy and pederasty, which the church self-servingly kept under wraps.  To me, there seemed to be little spiritual value in modern Catholicism. With a sense of sadness, I became estranged from the church.

There was, however, one noble crusade from which the church did not withdraw, namely opposition to the slaughter of innocents taking place because of the proliferation of abortion. This alone seemed to be the one principled stand from which the Church would not waver. In the Catholic Catechism, abortion is considered a “grave offense”, and the church and subject to the “canonical penalty of excommunication” to those who procure or perform an abortion in all but a few circumstances.

On January 22, the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the New York State Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act, which effectively removes the last restrictions on abortion in the state, which already had very liberal laws relative to the procedure. As roughly one-third of pregnancies in NYC are ended by abortion, access did not seem to be a big problem.

Far from the days of “safe legal and rare” the bill allows abortions essentially up to term, allows non-physicians to perform them, and even loosen the requirements regarding when they need to be performed in a hospital.

Any sense that the procedure is at least regrettable was dashed by the rollout, scenes of cheering in legislature when the vote was passed, and a rather gleeful signing ceremony featuring the odious Governor Andrew Cuomo which would have been more appropriate for a more conventionally happy event (like naming the former Tappan Zee Bridge for his father).

Governor Cuomo, it seems, is Catholic, an identity he will often trot out when his actions are in concert with the new “social justice” theories that are now the new catechism for the Vatican.

With the stroke of a pen, Cuomo cheerfully and very publically will have participated in the deaths of thousands of more infants, and reduced the quality and safety, of their former mothers care.

As if this wasn’t enough, he ordered that the Empire State Building be lit up in pink in celebration of the bill. Red would have been more appropriate.

Such a flouting of the teaching of Catholicism by a prominent alleged Catholic might have been expected to elicit a strong response from the New York Catholic Conference. Instead, the issued a weak statement of regret for decision.  Nowhere was there any mention of murder, of evil… or of innocence? The statement deals with the bill’s supporters thusly: “Let us all pray for the conversion of heart for those who celebrate this tragic moment in the history of our state.” Stern words indeed.

Later in the week, Fox and Friends invited New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to discuss the matter.

To be sure, he was fiercely critical of the new law and of the governor’s actions. When asked about excommunication, however, the Cardinal had this to say: "We would give ammo to our enemies who say this is an internal Catholic disciplinary matter, that this is really not civil rights, this is really not biology, that Catholics don't have freedom when it comes to this." The cardinal is right. This is an internal Catholic disciplinary matter. Now, let them commence with the discipline.

Oh well, I suppose any stronger action on the part of the diocese or the Vatican would make things a bit awkward for the conversation at the Al Smith dinner. No point in creating a distraction from the church’s new and more virtuous issues of wealth inequality and climate change.

There was a time when a Catholic politician would have never violated church teachings so flagrantly. Now they do it with impunity and relish.

Saint Thomas Aquinas once wrote: "The respect that one has for the rule flows naturally from the respect that one has for the person who gave it." It seems to me that as Governor Cuomo has little respect for the Catholic faith, then the Church should compel him to spiritually “move on”.

Sadly, they won’t.