Andrew Cuomo, will officially leave office on Aug. 25…. Raymond J. de Souza, a priest and editor of Convivium magazine, noted the following in The Catholic Register after Cuomo resigned on Aug. 11:
“Mario Cuomo practiced his faith and took the public consequences of that faith seriously. Thus, when he found himself at odds with the clear teaching of the Church on the right to life, he made a public argument to explain his ‘personally opposed, publicly pro-choice’ position. It was an argument more of political convenience than philosophical coherence, but it was an argument.
“Andrew was neither his father’s intellectual nor rhetorical equal, and would not, even if he had tried, been capable of coherent argument in political philosophy, let alone moral philosophy. He didn’t even try. He was grasping — in the metaphorical sense, not only in the groping sense — and only did what was politically necessary.
“His Catholic significance is that he no longer judged it necessary to make arguments about how to reconcile his Catholic faith with his embrace of the extreme abortion license. He simply sacrificed his faith to his politics and got on with the pursuit of power.”
It was just one of the many comments over the past week regarding Cuomo’s legacy in the broader context of being a Catholic politician. Kathryn Jean Lopez, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, went a step further in a recent column:
“His behavior with women is totally in keeping with the politics of expanding abortion, in which he has been a leader — in a place already described by some as the abortion capital of the world, no less. But while he unapologetically claims that the accusations of sexual harassment are just generational misunderstandings, the problem is really the sexual revolution and its accompanying disrespect for women. Just about every time I pray outside an abortion clinic, I see it — in the form of boyfriends who often won’t even bother to open the car door for their supposed partners — but as the #MeToo movement hinted, it’s everywhere.”
In 2019, Cuomo signed into law legislation that codified Roe v. Wade into New York state law. The legislation came during the presidency of Donald Trump, where many political progressives feared Republicans would roll back abortion rights. Political conservatives and many Catholics recoiled at what Cuomo, a former altar server, did at the time, some even calling on his excommunication from the Church.
Even among Catholic progressives, the Cuomo scandal has been a tragic end for a man many had once admired. Jim McDermott, writing in the Jesuit publication America, noted the similarities between Cuomo’s downfall and the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the church in recent decades. McDermott, a priest, observed the following:
“The more I sit with what we have learned, the more disgusted I become with myself, as well. Our recent history is filled with stories of celebrated men who have secretly perpetrated horrific acts of one form or another, often with the assistance or tacit acceptance of many others. My entire work life as a priest has included one wave after another of revelations of violence and cover-up in the church, some of them including acts perpetrated by men I have lived with or deeply admired, and institutional leadership often continuing to lean into secrecy despite it all. The sexual abuse of children is a different situation than Andrew Cuomo’s, but underlying it is the same issue of power, abuse and cover-up….”
The above comes from an Aug. 16 story in Religion Unplugged.