Pope Francis has a new ally in Governor Andrew Cuomo, who announced his solidarity with the Pope’s decree that the death penalty is “inadmissible” under all circumstances and that the Catholic Church must work to abolish it. This position changes official Church teaching to reflect Francis’ view that there is no justification for state-sponsored executions.
Gov. Cuomo seized upon the Pope’s pronouncement saying, “the death penalty is an ugly stain on our history, is morally indefensible and has no place in the 21st century.” Cuomo promised to advance legislation that would remove the death penalty and honor his late father, Gov. Mario Cuomo’s, legacy. The current governor invoked the elder Cuomo’s “principled stand” in opposing the death penalty, saying it “demeans those who strive to preserve human life and dignity.”
In a State Conservative Party release, Conservative Party State Chairman Michael R. Long blasted Governor Andrew Cuomo for picking and choosing some politically-preferred Church teachings over others. Long said:
“Governor Andrew Cuomo, your comments on the death penalty would be considered sincere—not a political statement—if you stood with Pope Francis when he also denounces abortion. If you, like your father, truly strive to preserve human life and dignity, you would take every means possible to protect the innocent life of an unborn child. Anything less is empty words uttered for political expediency.”
The Livingston County Conservative Party couldn’t agree with Chairman Long more. Andrew Cuomo’s election-year rhetoric would mean far more if he would also stumble upon Church teaching regarding his late-term, abortion-expanding agenda. Until then, Cuomo is merely practicing cafeteria-style Catholicism, picking and choosing what his politically-sensitive palate will tolerate.