New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came under fire from the state’s Catholics after he signed a new law legalizing late-term abortions.
Catholic leaders in New York lamented the new “sad chapter” in the state after passage of the Reproductive Health Act this week, and blasted Cuomo for celebrating a law that runs counter to his faith, according to the Catholic News Agency.
“This is ‘progressive’?” Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote in a blog post the night before the bill was passed as the head of Cuomo’s diocese in Albany pointed out the conflicts of the governor’s decision and his professed religion.
“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,” Bishop of Albany Edward B. Scharfenberger wrote in an open letter to the Democratic governor before the bill was signed into law.
“Once truth is separated from fiction and people come to realize the impact of the bill, they will be shocked to their core. By that time, however, it may be too late to save the countless lives that will be lost or spare countless women lifelong regret,” he added.
Scharfenberger warned Cuomo that “this legislation threatens to rupture the communion between the Catholic faith and those who support the RHA even while professing to follow the Church, something that troubles me greatly as a pastor.”
“It is very difficult to understand how you can align yourself with Pope Francis and so vehemently advocate such profoundly destructive legislation,” he wrote, asking Cuomo if being pro-life will “one day be a hate crime in the State of New York.”
The new law, which allows abortion at “any time” to protect “a patient’s life or health,” allows non-doctors to perform abortions, and removes criminal penalties for abortion, paved the way for babies more than 24 weeks in the womb to be killed and became law on the anniversary of the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion.
The law shocked many and professionals refuted claims that pregnant women could face life-threatening issues that would require late term abortions to save their lives.
I want to clear something up so that there is absolutely no doubt.
I’m a Board Certified OB/GYN who has delivered over 2,500 babies.
There’s not a single fetal or maternal condition that requires third trimester abortion. Not one. Delivery, yes. Abortion, no.
— Omar L. Hamada, MD, MBA (@OmarHamada) January 23, 2019
Its passage on Tuesday was met with cheers and applause by state lawmakers and Cuomo used the sacred Ground Zero location to score political points by ordering that One World Trade Center in New York City be lit up in pink. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which is next to the Executive Mansion in Albany, tolled its bells in mourning however, and a sign by a Syracuse bookstore owner that he closed his doors for the day in mourning for “the thousands of babies that will die in the years to come” went viral.
“Our beloved state has become a more dangerous one for women and their unborn babies,” the state’s bishops said in a statement from the New York State Catholic Conference, according to CNA.
Monsignor Charles Pope slammed Cuomo in a blog post for the National Catholic Register, calling for an end to “the charade, even the lie, that Andrew Cuomo and others like him are Catholics in good standing.”
“There comes a time when something is so egregious and boldly sinful that it must be met with strong ecclesial and canonical penalties and remedies,” he wrote Wednesday, urging action against abortion supporters, and abortion-promoters like Cuomo.
Pope denounced the governor’s celebratory actions and comments that he hoped other states would follow New York’s example.
“This cannot be allowed to stand without canonical penalties,” Pope argued.
“I am not a canon lawyer, but the truth is clear that Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not in communion with the Catholic Church,” he wrote. “At this point, canonical penalties forbidding him to receive Holy Communion — or even, if possible, issuing a formal excommunication — are simply affirming what is already true and what he himself has done.”
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