Although the liberal media love to praise New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), a Catholic, for his handling of the coronavirus, the governor's commitment to abortion on demand (and gay marriage) has led to calls for his public excommunication from the church.
Yet as Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has explained, Cuomo already is excommunicated from the church because of his anti-life actions and should not present himself for Communion at Mass.
Last week, commenting on positive indications that COVID-19 may have plateaued in New York, Cuomo declared, "we brought the number down. God did not do that, fate did not do that, destiny did not do that...." Last year, Cuomo signed a bill into law that essentially allows unrestricted abortion, up to the moment of birth. New York state has the highest abortion rate in the country.
In response to Cuomo's action, Bishop Joseph Strickland, head of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, said, “Andrew Cuomo makes it clear that he doesn’t believe Catholic teaching and therefore he’s ex-communioned. He’s out of communion,” reported LifeSiteNews.
“I think to make it clear, and thankfully some of the bishops in other places have taken steps to basically say that, that a politician or anyone who says, ‘I don’t agree with the Catholic Church on basic critical issues,’ they’re choosing to be out of communion," said the bishop.
"I think we need to be clear that people like Andrew Cuomo are not in communion with the Catholic Church," he added, "and therefore should not be receiving the Body of Christ.”
When New York lawmakers passed the extreme abortion bill, they cheered and applauded, an event that Strickland described on Twitter as "a scene from Hell."
In addition to Bishop Strickland, Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tenn., tweeted in January 2019, "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."
Strickland also tweeted, “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!!!!!!!!!!”
When New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan was asked about formally and publicly excommunicating Cuomo, Dolan said, "I think that [excommunication] would be counterproductive myself.... I think we’d be giving our enemies ammo.”
In his 1995 encyclical letter, Evangelium Vitae, Pope St. John Paul II wrote, "Disregard for the right to life, precisely because it leads to the killing of the person whom society exists to serve, is what most directly conflicts with the possibility of achieving the common good. Consequently, a civil law authorizing abortion or euthanasia ceases by that very fact to be a true, morally binding civil law.
"Abortion and euthanasia are thus crimes which no human law can claim to legitimize. There is no obligation in conscience to obey such laws; instead there is a grave and clear obligation to oppose them by conscientious objection. (Emphasis added.)
"In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to 'take part in a propaganda campaign in favour of such a law, or vote for it.'"