NEW YORK, January 28, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Governor Andrew Cuomo dug in his heels today, defending signing a law legalizing abortion up until birth while lashing out at Catholic bishops, some of whom increasingly speak of his future excommunication.
“The Catholic Church doesn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose…I understand their religious view,” said Cuomo in a WAMC radio interview, adding, “I’m not here to represent a religion.”
“I’m here to represent all the people and the constitutional rights and limitations for all the people, not as a Catholic,” asserted the governor.
Last week the governor signed into law a bill enshrining a woman’s absolute right to abortion, and then called for a city and state-wide celebration, going so far as to order the spire topping the One World Trade Center and other landmarks to be lit in pink.
Earlier today, New York City’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan did not mince words, saying that the abortion bill Cuomo signed into law is “ghoulish, grisly, and gruesome.”
“The fact that he’s a Catholic as far as I’m concerned has nothing to do with it,” said Dolan on “Fox & Friends.”
“Any thinking human being that would want a baby, allow a baby, to be aborted right up to the moment of birth…anybody who thinks that a baby who survives a gruesome abortion procedure and that a doctor is no longer required to attempt to save that baby’s life – you don’t have to be a Catholic to abhor those types of things,” continued Dolan.
“This is just awful,” said the cardinal, “and I don’t know why we would brag about this.”
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Dolan pointed out that abortion proponents like Cuomo no longer claim they want to keep abortion “safe, legal, and rare.” It’s now “dangerous, enforced, and frequent.”
“Do you pop champagne corks for that, drink chablis, and eat brie? Do you light up the Empire State Building?” asked Dolan.
Dolan said he receives “wheelbarrows of letters” every day asking for Cuomo to be excommunicated.
“We have a governor that brags” about his differences with the Catholic Church’s teaching, said Dolan.
“We have a governor that uses his dissent from Church teachings as applause lines,” Dolan said. “We have a governor that takes quotes from Pope Francis out of context to draw an artificial cleavage between bishops of New York and the Holy Father himself.”
“He likes this. He likes being the…bad boy when it comes to the Catholic Church.”
Addressing Gov. Cuomo, Cardinal Dolan urged him, “this is hideous. Do not brag about making the state of New York the abortion capital of the world.”
“This is not an enlightened, progressive posture.”
While Cardinal Dolan has said repeatedly that he does not think excommunication is a proper response to Cuomo’s actions, a growing group of his fellow bishops have warmed up to the idea. Dolan has also been cagey about whether the prominent Catholic politician should be denied Holy Communion.
“Excommunication is a last resort, and as the Governor continues to distance himself from our [Catholic] communion, it may, unfortunately, result in that,” said Albany’s Bishop Edward Scharfenberger in a January 26 interview on Fox & Friends.
“My hope is that since his faith is important to him, he will reconsider the importance of maintaining that communion and not continue to distance himself,” said Scharfenberger.
“One can put themselves in the position whereby morally they cannot receive Communion at the altar rail,” he added. “And I think the governor is in that situation right now.”
Knoxville, Tennessee Bishop Richard Stika and Tyler, Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland have both publicly said that if Cuomo lived within their jurisdictions they would take action and possibly excommunicate the politician.
Strickland recently said that the new law amounts to “infanticide.”