Skip to comments.An appropriate response to Gov. Cuomo’s latest abortion push
Posted on 01/25/2013 3:04:30 PM PST by NYer
Two years ago I engaged in an extensive public discussion about whether New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic, could, in light of his living arrangements, participate in holy Communion. I argued that he could not. As far as I know, those living arrangements remain unchanged, but, it appears that Cuomo has, since that discussion, respectfully refrained from approaching for holy Communion. In this regard, at least, the governor is not aggravating his conflicts with Catholic belief and discipline. But I also warned then that the ecclesiastical consequences of Cuomos pro-abortion activism must eventually be faced. That day seems rapidly to be approaching.
New York is the abortion capital of America. Sadly, that seems not enough for Gov. Cuomo who is now pushing an abortion bill that, according to the New York Catholic Conference, defies not only public opinion but common sense itself. Cuomos legislation, it seems, would sweep away virtually every remaining restriction on the slaughter of pre-born babiesas thin as those restrictions areand further erode the crumbling ability of parents, health care institutions, and taxpayers to curb the killing or at least to avoid complicity in the carnage. I am, frankly, dumbfounded at what seems little less than a lust for babies blood here, but, whatever demons drive so many prominent political figures to embrace anything advancing abortion, this post deals with a different issue.
By sacramental initiation and by canon law, Andrew Cuomo isunquestionablya Catholic. Precisely as Catholics, then, we need to think about what that means.
Our brother Andrew deserves from us something beyond what we extend to fellow Christians, to believers at large, and to the human family as a whole. As a Catholic subject to the same spiritual authorities who lead us, Cuomo has a right to, and sorely needs, the pastoral care of those placed over him, including that care offered through the application of Catholic canon law, a religious discipline fundamentally oriented to the salvation of souls which must always be the supreme law of the Church (c. 1752). We owe Andrew Cuomo every opportunity to turn away from the evil policies he promotes, and if we do not accord him every opportunity, we will be held to account for our failings by Someone considerably more fearsome than some guy sitting in Detroit.
And what canonical discipline might be applied in a case like Cuomos?
Well, certainly not, for reasons I have explained many, many times, excommunicationnot on these facts, and not on these laws. But the clamor for excommunications, raised mainly (not entirely, but mainly) by people quicker to invoke canons than to read them, while wrongly offered, is not entirely wrongly motivated. Catholics are wrong to pressure bishops for the application of certain canons that, in justice, cannot be applied against Cuomo and his like, but such calls nevertheless spring, I suggest, from a sense of the faithful that something more formal than official expressions of disagreement by ecclesiastical leadership is needed here.
Now, under most circumstances, as I have said many times, the application of Canon 915 is appropriate for egregious cases such as Cuomos; but Cuomo has apparently already elected to refrain from Communion as noted above. So, short of a papal reform of Book VI of the 1983 Code or local legislation aimed at politicians (both of which actions could be considered, but could not happen anytime soon, and might not be advisable for other reasons), whats left?
Canon 1339 § 2 is left, whereby an ordinary can rebuke (corripere) a person whose behavior causes scandal or a grave disturbance of order, in a manner accommodated to the special conditions of the person and the deed (emphasis added).
Canonical rebuke is not a sanction, so it awaits the commission of no qualifying crime for imposition. Rebuke is already in the 1983 Code, so it needs no reform of universal law or enablement by particular law for its invocation, and the process to be followed in administering canonical rebuke is largely left to the discretion of the ordinary in question. Rebuke can be tailored to address the special conditions of the personand Cuomo occupies a very special place in political leadershipand it would respond to the deed, which as proposed above is horrific. In a case like this, a canonical rebuke could underscore not simply the Churchs condemnation of abortion (c. 1398), of course, but it could recall her teaching on, for example, the grave duties of civil leaders to seek the common good of the group concerned and employ morally licit means to attain it (CCC 1903), and could stress the obligation of political authorities to respect the fundamental rights of the human person (CCC 2237).
Here is not the place for analysis of other important aspects of a canonical rebuke, and to be sure, they are rarely issued. Indeed, nothing about canonical rebuke mandates their application in a given case, and bishops have many ways to reach out to recalcitrant members of the faithful, ways that the rest of us will know nothing about till Judgment Day. Public agitation for a canonical rebuke is likely to be counter-productive; unless accompanied by serious prayers and penances for its object, I would even call it hypocritical. Canonical rebukes are not to be exercises in triumphalism.
That said, resting as canonical rebuke does on the legitimate right of the community to protect itself against serious violations of its integrity and mission and damage to its most vulnerable members such as minors (Green, CLSA New Comm at 1557), a rebuke in this case might well state in unequivocal terms what the Church expects of Catholics entrusted with high civil office in regard to their duty toward the common good, and address as well the concerns of the faithful for a suitable ecclesiastical response to the scandal and grave disturbance of order being given by a prominent Catholic politician in regard to the weakest and most persecuted group in our societyunborn babies.
A lot of talk saying that Catholic heirarchy will do nothing.
A waste of time reading it.
We already know they will do nothing, for they HAVE done nothing.
Losing catholics every day because there is no longer a threat of having a punishment meted out if you are a powerful enough politician.
GOD DENIERS AND CONGENITAL LIARS
What does Mr. Cuomo gain from pushing the limits on abortion promotion? Surely the Democrat voters are his. Is it just death for death’s sake, the Death Eaters who desire nothing else?
WHY aren’t the Bishops standing up and condemning, not him as a soul, but his actions, categorically? Do they think God isn’t paying attention?
At best if they were "honest" they'd be neutral. But they aren't.
They LEAD the abortion caucus.
Every institution has been infiltrated with Leftist ideology. The Catholic church is no different....there is a war inside the Church— since its inception.
My favorite short video -—after reading Pope Pius X encyclical Pascendi—in 1907 warning of the “modernists” ideology designed to destroy the Church from within.
Same for his old man too ~ who was sent on his evil course the day he suffered a grievous head injury which sent him to the hospital for 2 weeks.
Mario is one of those guys a rational sharp eyed licensed, or even unlicensed gun dealer would have never sold a weapon. Yet the people of New York have voted to hand over their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to these two demons from hell.
Is there a procedure for de-commissioning Christianity in a large part of the world? If there is, New York would be the place to try it out before they begin reinstituting all the elements of the cannibalistic pathway that seems to be their lot. Andrew's cooking show girlfriend would seem to have her place in this eh!
Mr. Cuomo’s sidestepping his catholic religion is of no importance compared to his ignoring Jesus Christ!
That is an excellent question! One, I had not yet considered. Like other catholic politicians, my guess is that with this bill, he hopes to distance himself from the stance of the Catholic Church; to demonstrate to his constituents that he is not a servant to the teachings of his church.
“...New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Catholic...”
Sheesh, don’t make it sound like he is a rarity. Castro, Chavez and Hitler were all Catholics. And let’s not overlook the Kennedys.
If it weren’t for the Catholics Obama would have never gotten to first base.
Its pretty bad when thousands of people contribute to the slaughter of infants unborn.
But when these people claim to be Christians and Catholics that is beyond the limit of Humanity.
They cry about Newtown and the slaughter of children, but they assist in the murder of thousands every day when they pay for abortions, and expect me to pay for these killings.
There is a saying , if a tree falles in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make noise?
I say if a child is never seen outside the womb, does that mean it never existed? We cry about the Chinese and their one child policy, is ours any better when we allow a woman to kill 7 babies as Whoopi Goldberg admits to doing?
To me she is worse than filth, and yet hundreds of women listen to her every day, they respect her opinions. I don’t respect anything about that baby killing scumbag.
What the Bishops do, or do not do, is ultimately irrelevant. It’s what justice GOD metes out that counts. If Andrew Cuomo doesn’t care about that, it’s on HIS soul.
I usually assume that politicians are doing grotesquely wrong things based on rational calculations of political advantage. However, maybe it’s just personal: men in sinful relationships have a “need” for abortion.
They want 95% of the single female vote, instead of the 75% they now have.
‘Public agitation for a canonical rebuke is likely to be counter-productive; unless accompanied by serious prayers and penances for its object, I would even call it hypocritical. Canonical rebukes are not to be exercises in triumphalism.’
Any sane first grade teacher knows that you can’t teach without public discipline. It’s so all the other kids watching realize that the issue at hand is a big deal, just like the teacher says. If all the teacher ever does is yell and scold, the student’s will come to realize that being bad isn’t really a big deal, what’s a little scolding?
Seems to me public discipline hasn’t been tried yet in the case of abortion, so many have been conditioned to think that despite the bishops scolding it must really not be too big a deal when you get right down to it.
Freegards, thanks for all the pings on FR
Update on Cuomo’s radical abortion agenda, in case you missed it: