Cardinal Dolan takes issue with Gov. Cuomo's move to protect abortion

Well, I don’t know what to say here … is your implication that the Cardinal walked back his own words?

No, I think Zwilling clarified what the Cardinal meant. I think the question he was answering was two-folded and he was responding to the abortion part. I tend to believe that Cardinal Dolan was not referring to Cuomo’s standing as a Catholic. I don’t think he would come out and say he was not a Catholic in good standing even if he believed it.


I have a few thoughts on this. The issue, as you say, is black and white. But I am not so sure the solution is black and white. A couple of thoughts occur to me.

One is, which would obtain the greater number of souls? – excommunication, thereby making the Church’s position crystal clear-- or a change of heart and reversal on the part of Gov. Cuomo? The latter would stand as an example to other leaders in high places, and an example of the patience and gentleness of the Church in dealing with sinners. Excommunication would likely harden a person in his resolve and he would take with him a number of souls both now and in the future who look to him for guidance. Also, Catholics are not unaware of the Church’s position, although many may be hopeful for a change. So there are a number of souls potentially being lost who place their hope in Cuomo. It’s a delicate balancing act to decide which strategy will save the larger number of souls in the long run, not to mention the Governor’s soul, although the greater number who are influenced by him are of greater concern.

The way to bring about a change of mind is through first becoming friends, then reasoning it out together, revisiting the bases for our differing beliefs. Just demanding a change of mind will not effect a change of mind-- more likely it will strengthen a person’s resolve not to give in. Even if excommunicated, the person will lead a following of souls with him and continue to be a force for evil in the country.

We have to remember that Cuomo is not the Church’s enemy, Satan is, with all the lies he has spread on this abortion issue. Cuomo is Satan’s dupe on this issue. Nothing would help the cause of pro-life so much as high profile leaders of pro-choice seeing the light. It is my fervent prayer that Cuomo can be brought to see the light through his friendship with the Cardinal, since this could be the break we’ve longed for in the pro-life movement.

But there is the other side. Like a Father reluctant to put his son out of his house for his misbehavior, too much delay can possibly aggravate the situation and things only get worse, until in the end, the son must be put out to make his own way anyway. I believe Cardinal Dolan is that caring father. I have no doubt that he holds firm to the Church’s teaching on abortion, but also that his hopes run high on bringing his spiritual charge, Governor Cuomo, around to the Church’s way of thinking. I hope it does not have to come to excommunication, but I realize that at some point, Cardinal Dolan may be compelled for the sake of souls to make that grave decision.

My only advice is that we stop, not you Abon, but all of us, criticizing Cardinal Dolan for his handling of the situation, and instead give him our full prayer support. I believe he is well meaning, if not right, in his approach to Governor Cuomo, but only time will tell. Meanwhile our prayer support can perhaps do more to lead things in the right direction, which only God knows for sure, than the good Cardinal’s eloquent speech and reasoning. I would not like to be in Cardinal Dolan’s shoes, trying to always do the right thing, knowing that whatever I do affects the lives of thousands of souls, and knowing that I must answer to Almighty God for my errors in judgment. Peace. James

You seem to be focusing on full excommunication or nothing as the only possible solutions. Why not deny communion to public officials with these views while we’re “making friends” and furthering dialogue? Why not refuse to allow sacrilege and scandal to continue in the mean time?

Sorry, can’t get on board with your line of thinking.

Excuse me for thinking the board was thinking along those lines, which they were not. It is less dramatic to deny communion, I do agree, but I think the same thought process I put forth may still apply. For one thing, there is this persistent notion among Catholics of letting their conscience be their guide even in the face of Church clarity with respect to its teaching. I can understand Cardinal Dolan spending a very long time with the governor for the reasons stated before, that is, the hardening of him in his position if denied communion, and the hardening of thousands of other Catholics in their erroneous positions who follow his lead. It is still souls in the balance, although not as catastrophic as with excommunication, perhaps. I believe the shepherd (CD) is trying to bring the false shepherd (GC) back into the flock and his sheep with him. Does that resonate any better. I appreciate your comments. Thank you. Peace.

PS-- I have no doubt that denied communion, that GC, if he treasured Holy Eucharist, would seek it from some priest who would secretly (or openly) defy the Cardinal’s order. Als, there is the possibility that GC would leave the Church citing its intolerance of its views, a popular secular construct. But frankly I have no idea of the sincerity of GC’s Catholic profession of faith. I do trust that Cardinal Dolan knows what he is doing, until proven otherwise.

I guess it comes down to which is worse: sacrilege and public scandal or Cuomo’s and other’s potential hardening. I will always choose the former. And apparently there are a number of bishops who think the former as well. One has to wonder why bishops differ so greatly on something of such high importance.

Is it sacrilege if Cuomo is following his conscience? I don’t have the answer-- I’m asking.

I am not scandalized by Cardinal Dolan not yet denying him communion. Denial of communion will likely be the final step, if Cuomo does not change his view.

The only thing we can argue with is the length of time it is taking to arrive at that final step, and I do not have the same knowledge that Cardinal Dolan has, to make that judgment.

The fact that other Bishops disagree with their boss is not a persuasive argument, do you think? It is evidence of how much these issues matter, which is good. The Catholic Church still seems to be run by 12 fishermen, so to speak, and I am not surprised to see the human element of the Church rise again and again, whether it be questionable judgment being exercised or possibly impatient dissent.

Can we both agree to pray for Cardinal Dolan and all our Bishops and priests who are faced with these leadership decisions?

Of course we can agree on that.

If this is about a matter of time, I have yet to see time working in their favor. If anything, the politicians are getting more entrenched/more emboldened in their views with each passing day.

Which is part of the problem. When Catholic politicians can openly support the horror of abortion with virtually no response, and a Prince of the Church doesn’t come out and say what he actually means on such a situation, it is no wonder that the Church in America is in the state that it is in.

The should not even be a question. The idea that one can be a Catholic in good standing while supporting the status quo, or even worse, the expansion, of murdering innocent babies is ridiculous. The idea that one can actively work for such expansion and be a Catholic in good standing is even worse.

As Cardinal Arinze correctly notes, any child going up for first communion knows this is wrong.

The US Bishops have been given guidance on this issue from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, they simply do not appear to like it according to this article on the matter.

I agree. When judgment does come, as it must if there is no change, it will be bad for those who remain recalcitrant. I can’t think of anything worse happening to me. I would not like to die with such a position and face Jesus as my Judge citing conscience as my defense.

In the end, it may be Pope Francis that makes the final call. Believe me, Cardinal Dolan will obey.

I hear you. But how much time does he need to think over whether or not he should support the murdering of babies? Every 24 seconds a child is murdered. 55 million and counting.
Yes he is a child of God, but he is a very confused child God. And it seems the Cardinal can’t get thru to him. He has been trying, and i applaud him for that, but if the Gov isn’t going to change, enough is enough. I mean come on!
If the Cardinal was to lay down the hammer and excommunicate him, he would be taking a real stand, and showing to all Catholics that it is unacceptable to support abortion!
Yes, the Cardinal tried to help him see the light, but the Gov is not hearing it, and action needs to take place. Enough dilly dally.
If the Gov is clearly revoking his advice, and freely choosing to support abortion, the Cardinal needs to show to us that this is unacceptable as a Catholic, and excommunicate him pronto.

It never ceases to amaze me in America how many people view their freedom of speech as a license to sit in judgment over Bishop Dolan and other leaders of the Church. I am not totally surprised at the lack of reading comprehension and the reading into the statement. That is what the media thrives on. But judgment is not a matter of democracy. Consider:

  1. Bishop Dolan spoke against the expansion of abortion.
  2. He said the the Cuomo’s action in relationship with his faith was something he would have to talk to him about (turkey).
  3. A spokesman clarified that this did not mean that Bishop Dolan said Cuomo was not a Catholic in good standing (excommunicated). This spokesman made a factual true statement.

This is all that really happened. Anything else is either the media leading people around or rash judgment.

how Is it rash to think that people who support abortion should still be Catholics in good standing? It is totally against the faith…

Yes it is (totally against the faith). So is adultery, gossip, lying, theft, and many other things. Yet somehow sinners are still allowed to be Catholics. The problem is with the phrase “good standing.” I take this to mean that they are still in communion with the Church, as in not excommunicated.

But a civic authority has influence over so many people. Shouldnt they be treated differently since their views affect so many? Like the person who commented before me said more souls are at stake.

That is an excellent point and would hope that it would be part of Cardinal Dolan’s “turkey talk.” Also, a civic authority may take actual action, which is worse than a politcal opinion. In either case, the spokesman would still be right though. If you read the article, you not that this law has mentioned as something that is going to happen, or may happen, not an action that has happened. Also, if a bishop intends to have a pastoral discussion with a politician, any action before that discussion would be premature. I do not envy Cardinal Dolan’s job in this matter, but then he is more learned than I. I do not know if I could stomach speaking with Mr. Cuomo.

OK. well if I were Cardinal Dolan, and i was speaking with Mr. Cuomo, i would quote Jesus, Mark 9:38-42 “‘Teacher,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he wasn’t one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.’”

Little ones can pertain to aborted babies right?

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