The Dolan-Cuomo affair
Recently, many faithful Catholics publicly asked Cardinal Dolan to excommunicate Gov. Cuomo for the abortion bill he signed into law, which is an open and defiant declaration of war on human life, made in the image and likeness of God Himself. Well, wasn’t His Eminence upset!
The Most Eminent Sir went on Sirius XM and defended his inaction by saying: “I’m a pastor, not a politician.” He feels that “the Far Right” (a.k.a. faithful Catholics) unjustly criticizes him for being “too conciliatory,” and that they expect too much from him who is simply “some fat balding Irish bishop” with not “much clout.”
He then encouraged the faithful to “do something about it.” In fact, he did more than that: he blamed THEM for being inactive, for not speaking up! According to him, “our folks” (a.k.a. faithful Catholics) unlike those in the Jewish, Muslim, and gay communities, do not speak up! And pointed the finger at the faithful who do not do anything to show that their votes count and that they should make it clear to Gov. Cuomo that they won’t vote for him if he doesn’t keep the “essentials of the faith.” (We’re not so sure that His Eminence actually knows --or cares about-- what the essentials of the faith are, but let's move on).
Well, color us stupid, but His Eminence’s responsibility does not depend on whether the faithful do their job or not – he must do his job as the Ordinary of the Archdiocese of NY and as a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church, regardless of whether others do theirs or not. Besides, the faithful would not be the legitimate authority to issue an official declaration that Gov. Cuomo has incurred a penalty for his notorious and scandalous delicts.
His Eminence then went on to say that he feels it would be “completely counterproductive” to excommunicate the governor because Cuomo wants to be seen as being persecuted by the Church, to make himself a martyr in the eyes of the public by being officially excommunicated, and His Eminence does not want to give him that! Well, at the rate at which he has been doing things, Cardinal Dolan is also depriving himself of the palm and crown of martyrdom!
The Christian Religion, established by Our Lord Jesus Christ as a perfect society for the salvation of souls, from the very beginning, has exercised the right and the authority to excommunicate scandalously delinquent and contumacious members, of which Gov. Cuomo has definitely been one for a very long time, and a very public one at that! Excommunication is “a penalty by which a baptized person, delinquent and contumacious, is deprived of some spiritual goods, or goods annexed to spiritual things, until he ceases to be contumacious and is absolved” by the legitimate authority. This used to be employed not only as a corrective (for the benefit of the sinner in question), but also as a protective (for the benefit of all the faithful) measure, so that other Catholics would not follow the evil example, as well as avoid the company, of the openly contumacious sinner. It was not only for the purpose of punishing the delinquent member, but also to DETER others from following the bad example of the excommunicate by placing before the faithful in a public and official manner the gravity of the punishment (as well as the gravity of the sin).
Obviously, since Vatican II, bishops in the badly wounded Catholic Church have been reluctant to teach and correct evil members of the Church. We might think that a possible reason could be that they themselves have been doing and allowing so many horrible things for which they themselves should be punished with excommunication, so they do not want to call attention to that weapon of the Church and have the faithful clamor for it to be used against them (the bishops themselves). And to be fair, these days, the Bishop of Rome would be the first one to be kept in mind for such corrective measures! And that is why Gov. Cuomo thinks he can quote Pope Francis to support his sinful behavior and say that he is “with the pope” on certain issues. But that specific Bishop will be judged by a much Higher Authority when Divine Providence decides it is the best time. For now, we’ll focus on the Episcopal Shepherd here in New York.
It is also possible that the lack of incentive to excommunicate public, contumacious members could be due to the fact that such members would also have to be avoided by the faithful and they would also not be allowed to receive the Sacraments. And in such case, Gov. Cuomo could, in all sincerity, point the finger at so many priests and bishops who should not only not be in church, but shouldn’t be celebrating Mass or conferring any of the other Sacraments due to their egregiously and embarrassingly uselessness as shepherds of souls, with many of them behaving more like wolves than shepherds!
And, again, the current Ordinary of the Diocese of Rome would be the first one at whom the finger would be pointed. And given that, as can be safely assumed and asserted, none of these people in question have any remorse of conscience about what they do (that they should not do) and what they do not do (that they should do) – in this context, the whole matter of dishing out excommunications simply does not even enter the realm of possibilities. It does not enter their minds and hearts that the virtue of religion demands that a sacred thing not be exposed to profanations, and that they should not let public, shameless sinners such as Gov. Cuomo anywhere near any of the Sacraments (save for the Sacrament of Confession, but we can bet that that’s the one Sacrament he does not care for at all).
St. Jerome and St. Augustine used to compare excommunication to the expulsion of Adam from Paradise, given that it would be an “exile from the Church of God,” the city of God on earth. They also (as the Church always did up until Vatican II) thought it imperative that an organization/society whose principal aim is the sanctification of its members should have the right and the duty to expel from its communion obstinate members who persistently scandalize others and bring religion itself into disrepute by their disgraceful manner of living – even the pagan religions of old employed such measures! Yet Cardinal Dolan wants the faithful to do what is the responsibility of the Bishops to do. He seems to forget that when the hour of his judgment arrives, he’ll have to give an account of his own actions, not those of the faithful (unless what the faithful do wrong is due to his eminent failure as a shepherd).
Don’t get us wrong, Cardinal Dolan seems to be “very upset” with Gov. Cuomo and his recent ghoulish actions! But, of men like that, who are afraid to say the simple governor of New York should be excommunicated, who forget that in the old days the Church excommunicated princes, kings, and emperors (!), not much can be expected. In fact, it is our belief that when Gov. Cuomo passes to the next life, Cardinal Dolan, if he is still in this world and still driving the Archdiocese of NY to the ground, after the fashion of the Schismatic Orthodox with their leaders, will give him the most solemn of funeral services – whatever that means in the New Order – with the most inspiring byzantine panegyric in which the faithful Catholics (a.k.a. “the Far Right”) will be publicly told how Gov. Cuomo was the wisest, holiest, and most persecuted and misunderstood of men!