From my bishop, Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn:
Recently, some in the Catholic community have called for the excommunication of Governor Andrew Cuomo and those Catholic members of the legislature who supported the change in the law to allow for the termination of a pregnancy up until the moment of birth.
Such calls are very understandable. The gravity of evil merits such a call. Excommunication is meant to have a medicinal effect. It is intended to be so severe a penalty that the subject of the excommunication repents of evil, reforms his/her life and turns back to the Lord. In this case, the governor is, in fact, taunting the Catholic community and would wear the excommunication as a badge of honor.The culture we live in is poisonous to faith. New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who is a Democrat and Catholic, is now being targeted by pro-choice groups for his opposition to this legislation. Indeed, perhaps justified, the excommunication of the governor would be presented to the broader culture as the Church victimizing the governor. In the end, it would be a distraction from the horror of the crime and evil that cries out to Almighty God for vengeance.
I propose that we do not excommunicate the governor, but rather that we pray for him every single day; perhaps it would be good to include him by name in the Prayer of the Faithful. Specifically, that his eyes be opened to the sacredness of all human life. While excommunication may not have a favorable effect, as a person of faith, I am convinced that by prayer we will move mountains and even turn the stone-cold heart to flesh.