In a recent New York Post front-page article, Timothy Cardinal Dolan asks “why” Gov. Cuomo signed a permissive abortion law. Virginia, Rhode Island, and other states are now also discussing doing the same. What would be the reason for asking a question which neither he nor anybody else may ever be able to answer? That’s another conundrum that begs the same question. We can only guess.
It appears that the well-heeled abortion lobby is in a panic as a result of rumors that Roe v. Wade’s days may be numbered.
One thing that Cardinal Dolan’s ruminations certainly enable, however, is further inaction on his part, whose brief from the Lord is not to act the part of public philosopher or psychoanalyst, but to lead souls to Heaven. Beginning with his own.
So Cardinal Dolan doesn’t answer the question he poses in his article because he cannot possibly do so. Is this a case of self-enabling moral paralysis? The article leads us on but never takes us to a final decision.
In “Why Are Cuomo, Democrats Alienating Catholics?” the cardinal is fairly effective in describing the results of the evil legislation signed by Cuomo:
“I’m thinking first of the ghoulish radical abortion-expansion law, which allows for an abortion right up to the moment of birth; drops all charges against an abortionist who allows an aborted baby, who somehow survives the scissors, scalpel, saline and dismemberment, to die before his eyes; mandates that, to make an abortion more convenient and easy, a physician need not perform it; and might even be used to suppress the conscience rights of health-care professionals not to assist in the grisly procedures. All this in a state that already had the most permissive abortion laws in the country.”
But in recounting the ways that Cuomo and other baptized Catholic governors and other legislators attack the Church, he asks only questions:
“Why, then, would he use his address to blame the church, and only the church, for blocking this bill? Why would he publicly brag in a political address about his dissent from timeless and substantive church belief? Why would he quote Pope Francis out of context as an applause line to misrepresent us bishops here as being opposed to our Holy Father? Why did he reduce the sexual abuse of minors, a broad societal and cultural curse that afflicts every family, public school, religion and government program, to a ‘Catholic problem’?”
Yes, Cardinal Dolan is a pastor and not a politician. But he, like all pastors today, lives in a world where politicians no longer respect the same separation of Church and state which they demand of others. Pastors must now speak out in clear terms when pols cross the line into promotion of moral evil. Murder of the unborn is one of these areas.
Cardinal Dolan also in other comments made the excuse against use of the penalty of excommunication because he claims that people might think he and other bishops who do so are “angry or frustrated.” This also is irrelevant. The canons make clear the bishop is to act to protect the unity of the flock and the clarity of moral teaching regardless of his personal feelings about the matter. Cardinal Dolan says he is a pastor: that’s what pastors do.
Canon 915 gives direction to our bishops to act regardless of their own inner state, whether of serenity or perturbation. It says the objective criteria for imposing a sentence of excommunication has nothing to do with a bishop’s personal mood or reaction:
“Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”
The criteria include “those persevering in manifest grave sin.” Cuomo certainly fits within this parameter. He has very likely already been privately warned or counseled by Cardinal Dolan or others, as Dolan alluded to in other comments. At this point lack of correction, despite previous warnings, calls for protection of the flock through public notice of such correction. Excommunication serves that purpose. It’s about the pastoral concern for souls regardless of the effect such might have on the pastor.
Read the rest at The Wanderer