First Things Editorial: Excommunicate Gov. Cuomo

Calls for Governor Andrew Cuomo’s excommunication have echoed across Catholic social media ever since he signed into law one of the most expansive abortion bills ever enacted. Bishops Richard Stika of Knoxville and Joseph Strickland of Tyler have joined the chorus. While noting that Cuomo is under the jurisdiction of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Bishop Edward Scharfenberger of Albany has said, “Excommunication is a last resort, and as the governor continues to distance himself from our communion, it may unfortunately result in that.”

Cardinal Dolan has responded by saying that excommunication “should not be used as a weapon.”

“Too often, I fear, those who call for someone’s excommunication do so out of anger or frustration,” Dolan wrote. “Notable canon lawyers have said that, under canon law, excommunication is not an appropriate response to a politician who supports or votes for legislation advancing abortion.”

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