Some Catholic leaders in the country are calling for Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be excommunicated after he signed and publicly celebrated a new law last week expanding and strengthening abortion rights in New York, according to an article in the New York Daily News.
The Reproductive Health Act that moves abortion from the state criminal statute to the health code, allows health professionals who aren’t doctors to perform the procedure, and permits abortions in the third trimester if the life or health of a mother is at risk or a baby is not viable.
According to the article, Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville, Tn., tweeted on Thursday that if it were up to him, he’d excommunicate Cuomo.
“This vote is so hideous and vile that it warrants the act,” Stika wrote.
Other Catholics, including bishops, agreed on social media.
7 Eyewitness News has reached out to Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone for comment. We will update the story once we get his response.
According to Canon Law, excommunication is the most severe penalty in the Catholic Church. It says an excommunicated person is forbidden to participate in a ministerial capacity (celebrant, lector, etc.) in the Sacrifice of the Mass or in any other form of public worship; to celebrate or to receive the sacraments; to celebrate the sacramentals; to exercise any ecclesiastical office or ministry; and to issue any act of governance (#1331.1). An excommunicated person also cannot be received into a public association of the Christian faithful (#316.1).