Cuomo the Catholic

The faith of New York’s governor is in the spotlight these days, and the New York Times shines even more light on it:

He goes to Mass, though not every Sunday. He considers himself a practicing Roman Catholic, yet avoids calling himself devout. He opposes the death penalty, as church leaders do. But he is divorced. And he supports same-sex marriage and abortion rights, stances sharply at odds with church teaching.

In other words, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York shares the churchgoing habits and social views of a sizable number of the 68 million Americans who have identified themselves as Catholic in recent surveys. His brand of faith is so commonplace — at least in New York — that it was barely mentioned during his campaign last year for governor.

But now that he is the governor, the everyday complications of Mr. Cuomo’s religious identity have become a lightning rod in a decades-old culture war between conservative Catholics and those, like Mr. Cuomo, who disagree with the church’s positions on various issues, including abortion and divorce.

Just how fierce that struggle remains became evident last week, when online criticism from a Catholic canon lawyer led to an awkward impasse that threatened to derail the governor’s first official meeting with the state’s Catholic bishops.

Mr. Cuomo understands the order of battle as well as anyone: His father, Mario M. Cuomo, the New York governor from 1983 to 1994, delivered a seminal speech at the University of Notre Dame in 1984 that laid out the moral argument that Catholic politicians have used ever since to justify being personally opposed to abortion while supporting a woman’s right to choose.

Still, it is an uncomfortable position for a son steeped in Catholicism. Andrew Cuomo was raised in a Queens household where priests and the occasional bishop were guests at dinner. Education meant the neighborhood parochial school, then Archbishop Molloy High School followed by Fordham University. His father’s favorite books were by Catholic theologians.

“This is a very traditional Catholic family,” said the Rev. Edward Beck, a family friend who led the extended family in saying grace on Christmas Eve before the traditional Italian “feast of the seven fishes” at the home of the governor’s sister Maria Cuomo Cole.

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18 responses to “Cuomo the Catholic”

  1. Frankly include me with those who think he’s a phony. He found the perfect position that sits well with the bulk of the voters who are open to vete Democrat. How convenient. Maybe I would believe his Catholic faith if he hadn’t divorced, lived prior to marriage with another woman, and then want a Catholic wedding. And of course the New York Times softens whatever blow such criticism would have. Phony. He’s no real Catholic. And shame on the Church for allowing him to take communion.

  2. Has Mr. Cuomo been able to obtain an annulment of his marriage to Kerry Kennedy? If he has not been able to do so, that may help explain his situation.

    I do not want to start a digressive discussion, but I always disclose when I comment on Roman Catholic blogs that I have left the Roman Catholic Church for the Episcopal Church

  3. Since Andrew Cuomo’s former wife was having an affair, no wonder they parted company. Why is everyone so upset that he has a girlfriend, who apparently his 3 girls like too. Just because he is Catholic doesn’t mean staying married while your wife is messing about with someone else. I’m glad he is still allowed to receive communion when he wants to. Isn’t the decision to receive communion supposed to be decided by the person not the church? I would think with his status he might be able to get that annulment without any problem and can marry his girlfriend. I’m sure the church doesn’t like to have a difference of opinion from it’s members, regarding abortion, or same gender marriages etc. However there are many folks that aren’t in the spotlight who also have disagree with the church on those and other topics.

  4. “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York shares the churchgoing habits and social views of a sizable number of the 68 million Americans who have identified themselves as Catholic in recent surveys. His brand of faith is so commonplace — at least in New York — that it was barely mentioned during his campaign last year for governor.”

    He is a politiian. Plain and simple.

  5. Call me crazy, but I am wondering if we might not be well advised to show the some shred of the charity that many have for Fr. Corapi to Andrew Cuomo… and pretty much anyone else they dislike.

    Are we not called as followers of Christ to love our enemies? Just wondering about that today. How do we put that into our lives?

    And if we do not like Cuomo and if we are upset by his behavior, are we not called to pray for him rather than condemn him?

    I often come off like I am defending Cuomo, but I think if we as Catholics spent some time with mercy and compassion, among those who we might not think “deserve” it rather than deriding… well, that is all I will say about that.

  6. His Bishop needs to give him a copy of the “CATECHISM of the CATHOLIC CHURCH, Second Edition” along with a copy of the BIBLE. Cuomo

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York who supports:
    baby killing for convenience (abortion);
    gay marriage (sodomy, the homosexual lifestyle);
    and is living with his girl-friend.
    He is in the state of mortal sin including his mortal sin of SCANDAL.
    When he goes to Communion, he commits the additional mortal sin of SACRILEGE.

    The Church is not a salad bar, where we can pick and choose what we want to believe.
    Cuomo and the rest of us must adhere to the “CCC 2nd Ed” in its entirety.

    The following are Mortal sins and can be found in the CCC:
    homosexual acts including supporting, encouraging, or being complaisant about such acts;
    adultary and fornication;

  7. Fran is asking many of us to view Cuomo’s actions with the same charity that we view the allegations against Corapi. We know that Cuomo received Holy Communion at a televised Mass with his live-in girl friend. We know that Bishop Hubbard was complicit in this and defends his actions. We know Cuomo is pro-choice. We know nothing factual so far about Corapi and the allegations against him. We suspect he dies his beard, alas. At this point, there is no comparison between the facts against Cuomo and Hubbard and the allegations against Corapi. Many of us wish that Cuomo and Hubbard would disappear from the Catholic scene. In time we may feel the same way about Corapi. But not so if he is innocent. Corapi, if guilty, unlike Cuomo and Hubbard, would be unlikely to remain in the public eye of Catholicism and further stoke the stench. Cuomo and Hubbard, on the other hand, we will have with us for a long time to remind us of what Catholicism has become in the U.S. in 2011.

  8. Interesting that no one is spying on Cuomo’s former wife, one of Robert Kennedy’s daughters. (Kerry?). She is the one, if I understand correctly, who had an affair while married to Andrew Cuomo. Has anyone condemned her actions and checked to see if she is still receiving communion? No, just picking on Andrew as the bad guy. Am I supporting him? I just know what I read, and I feel it is really on one’s business what he does in his private life, as long as he serves the people of NY properly as governor. Receiving or not receiving communion has nothing to do with being governor, nor does having a girlfriend.

  9. Just wonder if Andrew Cuomo announced he was gay and had a male lover (NO I’m not suggesting he is or has said he is ) would folks still be upset that he was receiving comminion, or is it just because he hasn’t received an annulment from his marriage and has a girlfriend and is receiving that sacrament?

  10. Actually, Cuomo is not a practicing catholic. He only calls himself that. In reality, he has excommunicated himself from the church. The priest who gives him communion is committing a grave sin. Pray for them. Wake up bishops !!

  11. Pagan, the Governor is a public figure and he has made a public display of receiving communion. No one knows what his former wife is doing as she has obviously not been in the public eye. How can her actions be condemned if they are not known? His are. What he does in his private life is no one’s business, what he does in his public life is. If nothing else he is also giving poor example to his daughters on what marriage is all about.
    I don’t think you quite get the concept of a sacramental marriage, the permanence of same and the whole matter of annulments.
    He also said while he considers himself a practicing Catholic he does not attend Mass every Sunday. That being the case he should not be receiving Communion in the first place.

  12. Things are different now, now that he is a public person, (as his father was so publicly so in his “seminal speech”).

    And that’s a major difference from 68 million other American Catholics.

  13. As far as Governor Cuomo and anyone whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord, one must thoroughly examine himself and only when he has done this, should he eat of bread and drink of the cup.
    Many so called ” practicing Catholics ” and i’m sure many “evangelicals ” eat and drink in a way that is unworthy of Him.
    The ” Gov ” is guilty of profaning and sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.
    He , the ” Gov ” , must recognize his own condition ( repent and be ” born again ” ) before he becomes ” weak & sickly ”
    and falls into the sleep of death.

  14. pagansister each of your posts reveal a level of ignorance of the Catholic Church and her teachings. Try spending less time on blogs posting uninformed opinion and perhaps a little more time studying that which you so readily mock.

    The answers are there if you really want them. Might take a little courage, though.

  15. Fran, we need bishops who are orthodox and strong enough to confront public sinners who seek the sacraments for political reasons. And we need laity who will nip at their heels till they practice what they preach. Cuomo isn’t the problem as much as Hubbard, his enabler, is. Wake up!

  16. He lives a double-life. He serves two masters. The first is the devil; the second is himself.

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