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Washington, D.C., January 25, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Two U.S. bishops are calling for the excommunication of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo for his role in enshrining a “fundamental right” to virtually-unlimited abortion in the state.
Knoxville, Tennessee, Bishop Richard Stika and Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland both indicated that if Cuomo lived in their jurisdiction they would take action. Strickland urged Cuomo’s ordinaries to do so.
“Someone asked me today if I would issue an excommunication of a Catholic Governor under my jurisdiction if the Governor did the same as in New York,” Stika tweeted Thursday afternoon. “I think I might do it for any Catholic legislator under my jurisdiction who voted for the bill as well as the Governor.”
“Enough is enough,” said Stika. “Excommunication is to be not a punishment but to bring the person back into the Church. It's like medicine for them. But this vote is so hideous and vile that it warrants the act. But thankfully I am not in that position. Very sad.”
Someone asked me today if I would issue an excommunication of a Catholic Governor under my jurisdiction if the Governor did the same as in New York. I think I might do it for any Catholic legislator under my jurisdiction who voted for the bill as well as the Governor.
— Bishop Rick Stika (@BishopStika) January 24, 2019
Bishop Strickland backed Stika up in the early hours of Friday. Mincing no words, he called the radical abortion law “infanticide.”
“I’m with Bishop Stika,” he said. “I’m not in a position to take action regarding legislation in New York but I implore bishops who are to speak out forcefully. In any sane society this is called INFANTICIDE!!!!!!!!!!”
I’m with Bishop Stika. I’m not in a position to take action regarding legislation in New York but I implore bishops who are to speak out forcefully. In any sane society this is called INFANTICIDE!!!!!!!!!! https://t.co/oO6lDB2rK6
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) January 25, 2019
Catholics and pro-life leaders condemned the law, some calling for the pro-abortion Catholic-identifying governor to be excommunicated based on his flagrant promotion, passage, and celebration of the law.
Archbishop of New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan responded today to calls for Cuomo's excommunication, saying via a spokesperson that excommunication is “not an appropriate response.”
Dolan said via his spokesman that he would “not discuss any individual,” but that “excommunication should not be used as a weapon.”
“Too often, I fear, those who call for someone's excommunication do so out of anger or frustration,” Dolan's spokesman said in the statement.
After years of campaigning by pro-abortion activists, the New York state legislature – now under Democrat super majority since last November’s midterm elections – passed the so-called “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) Tuesday, preserving a supposed “fundamental right” to abortion in state law and eliminating protections for the unborn until birth.
Washington D.C. priest Monsignor Charles Pope also called for Cuomo to face penalties.
“There comes a time when something is so egregious and boldly sinful that it must be met with strong ecclesial and canonical penalties and remedies,” Pope wrote Wednesday at the National Catholic Register.
After detailing of the “terrible bill,” Pope said, “Even worse, the “Catholic” governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, not only signed the bill on the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, but decreed a celebration.”
Pope said further that “All canonical penalties that can apply should be applied here. Omitting such penalties, as has been done in the past, and staying in “dialogue” with such politicians has been of no avail.”
“It must be made clear to all that no Catholic can support such legislation,” he said, continuing on how Cuomo and others celebrated urged other states follow the “bright light” of their example.
“This cannot be allowed to stand without canonical penalties,” said Pope.
The pastor, author, blogger and retreat master qualified his criticism by saying he was not a canon lawyer, “but the truth is clear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not in communion with the Catholic Church.”
Canonical penalties are “simply affirming what is already true and what he himself has done,” he said.
“To fail to issue all possible canonical penalties at this point would, to my mind,” Pope wrote, “show the Church to be irrelevant and a laughingstock.”
One discipline Cuomo faces is that he could be barred from receiving Holy Communion according to rules set down in Canon Law (915).
Bishop Strickland lauded Pope’s assessment, again calling for Cuomo and others to face sanctions.
“Msgr Pope speaks the truth with clarity,” said Strickland. “May Catholic leaders throughout New York take action. Infanticide is a crime against LIFE that will reap God’s Wrath. Catholic Abortion Supporters Like Cuomo Must Face Penalties.”