Catholic lay leaders demanded that Cardinal Timothy Dolan excommunicate New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for signing legislation that codified abortion as a woman’s right.
The lay leaders made their demand in response to an open letter in which New York’s Catholic bishops decried the new law, called the Reproductive Health Act, rejecting Cuomo’s claim that the law is “progress.” Prominent Catholic laymen like author John Zmirak and editor of First Things magazine Matthew Schmitz argued the letter didn’t go far enough and that Cuomo should be denied Holy Communion.
“This is not progress. Progress will be achieved when our laws and our culture once again value and respect each unrepeatable gift of human life, from the first moment of creation to natural death,” the bishops’ letter said, according to Life Site News.
If we Catholics really believe what we say when we talk about heaven, hell, and the dignity of the unborn, @CardinalDolan should, after exhausting all other means of correction, excommunicate @andrewcuomo.https://t.co/5wRgaEHbYY
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) January 23, 2019
A chorus of agreement with Schmitz arose from other prominent Catholics on Twitter, including journalists, academics, and activists, in light of Cuomo’s history of overt support for expanding abortion access.
I agree wholeheartedly. Now is the time for our shepherds to be bold in the faith. https://t.co/PxWDyNp6Mb
— Daniel Mattson (@DanielCMattson) January 23, 2019
Gov.@Cuomo has, I understand, refrained from Communion since the concubinage controversy of 2011; now, his blatant promotion of New York’s murderous abortion law would, by itself, suffice to conclude he must not be admitted to the Sacrament per Canon 915. https://t.co/SRL1QmyGYI
— Edward Peters (@canonlaw) January 23, 2019
If Andrew Cuomo remains a "Catholic in good standing" after signing this abortion bill then the Church's institutional witness to life simply has zero teeth and the US bishops have completely abdicated their responsibilities as shepherd of souls. No other way to square it, folks.
— Thomas Peters (@AmericanPapist) January 23, 2019
The law expands New York women’s access to abortion up to the point of fetal viability — a point that is vaguely defined and contested among medical experts. The law also stipulates that women may abort babies after 24 weeks of development in cases where “there is an absence of fetal viability, or at any time when necessary to protect a patient’s life or health.”
“We mourn the unborn infants who will lose their lives, and the many mothers and fathers who will suffer remorse and heartbreak as a result,” the bishops’ letter added.
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