Cuomo and the Marian Blue Wave

Blessed Mother

Cuomo and the Marian Blue Wave

By Judie Brown

New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s celebrated signing of New York’s deadliest abortion law has drawn a wide variety of responses. While Cuomo claims to be Catholic, there are many Catholic bishops who have made it clear that he is surely not a Catholic who abides by the teachings of the Church.

In fact, his bishop—the diocese of Albany’s bishop, Edward B. Scharfenberger—wrote an open letter to Cuomo on January 19, telling Cuomo:

“Although in your recent State of the State address you cited your Catholic faith and said we should ‘stand with Pope Francis,’ your advocacy of extreme abortion legislation is completely contrary to the teachings of our pope and our Church. Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core.”

The bishop made it clear to Cuomo that his support for such a “profoundly destructive” law was unimaginable.

Indeed, but Cuomo signed the law anyway.

Cuomo’s arrogance has inspired many bishops to speak out and let it be known that, as far as they are concerned, Cuomo should be excommunicated forthwith!

On January 24, Knoxville, Tennessee’s bishop, Richard Stika, tweeted:

Bishop Stika also tweeted:

Tyler, Texas’s bishop, Joseph Strickland, tweeted:

But not every bishop is as courageous. In fact, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the leader of the bishops in the state of New York, does not favor excommunicating Governor Cuomo, saying that he thinks excommunication is “not an appropriate response.” Dolan told CNN’s Dan Burke that he has his reasons, including the fact that excommunication should not, in his words, be used as a weapon.

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Bishop Stika defined excommunication as “medicine,” not the punishment Dolan is defining to hide from his obligation to do what is right.

Examining the Cuomo situation, Phil Lawler, the ever wise Catholic analyst and commentator, wrote:

Governor Cuomo would no doubt find ways to turn any disciplinary action to his political advantage. Cuomo is a powerful and skillful politician; Cardinal Dolan is neither. If this conflict plays out in the political arena, Cuomo will win. Then again—have you noticed?—he’s winning now.

And what of it? From the cardinal’s perspective this is not—at least it should not be—a political contest. This is a battle for souls. The cardinal’s responsibility is not to devise political strategy, but to protect the integrity of the Catholic faith. If he would do his job, and take some public action to acknowledge that Cuomo has broken his ties with the Church, then professional politicians who are believing Catholics would find it much easier to advance the pro-life cause.

And that is our point! As we have thought about this and prayed about it, we have come to the conclusion that Bishop Joseph Strickland has hit on the perfect response for every Catholic bishop, not to mention every one of us—the faithful—when he tweets:

Amen, Your Excellency. Now is the time for us to join forces and get down on our knees and pray the rosary to end abortion. As our own Jim Sedlak so eloquently wrote:

We ask you, in particular, to pray the rosary, the spiritual weapon that has been used by Christians since 1208 to defeat the forces of the prince of darkness and save the lives of the innocent.

May the entire pro-life movement understand that we are in a spiritual battle and seek to know the will of God and to act according to His will.

The Marian Blue Wave begins with each of us.

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image: Fr. Lawrence Lew, O.P. via Flickr | CC-2.0