New York’s Timothy Cardinal Dolan made it clear this morning that if Gov. Cuomo proceeds with his plans to strengthen state abortion laws, he will face the wrath of the Catholic Bishops.
“I am going to hope that the better natures prevail here, but boy if you come out you can expect us to be as vociferous and rigorous as possible in our opposition to this,” Dolan said during an interview with an Albany radio station Tuesday. “I hope we don’t go there.”
Dolan went so far as to suggest that Cuomo might not be considered a Catholic in good standing if goes forward.
“I don’t mind telling you that’s one of the things the governor and I talk about,” Dolan said.
“Look, he and I have very grave differences, and this is one of them… That’s something that we talk about and that’s something that I talk turkey with him about.”
This story was later updated:
UPDATED – Dolan spokesman Joe Zwilling just emailed a note clarifying Dolan’s comments on the radio, saying “Cardinal Dolan would not and did not suggest the governor might not be a Catholic in good standing going forward. The subject he ‘talks turkey’ about was abortion.”
Dolan’s comment’s came in a response to a question that asked how Cuomo “could be a leader on an issue that the church so fundamentally feels strongly about, opposes, abortion, and still be considered a Catholic in good standing.” (source)
One thing I have wondered about just exactly what does the term “Catholic in good standing” mean anyway? If Pelosi, Biden, and Cuomo can use those terms concerning themselves it doesn’t mean very much. Does the term have any actual definition from the Church? I’ve heard the term bandied about and while the definition of it seems common sensical. The Knights of Columbus use this term in regards to membership. The practical application of the term seems to mean someone not formally excommunicated and so ends up not meaning very much at all. Somehow I feel that after I die, telling Jesus “I was a Catholic in good standing” won’t be very helpful.
“Cardinal Dolan would not and did not suggest the governor might not be a Catholic in good standing going forward.”
If Gov. Cuomo who supports multiple intrinsic evils in his political life and commits adultery with his live-in girlfriend can be considered a “Catholic in good standing” then talk about mixed-messages.
Now I can understand pastoral sensitivities, but I don’t understand the sensitivity about this term which I believe has no canonical weight. Certainly I am frustrated by my internal feeling that “Catholic in good standing” actually means “Bishop unwilling to act.” I know that is more hyperbole than truth, but I keep waiting for a Bishop/Politician interaction where the dialogue and the dissent does not just keep going on and on. But as usual whining about Bishops is much easier than praying for them and for those “Catholics in good standing.”