Catholics who are calling for Governor Andrew Cuomo to be excommunicated from the church over his support for the state's extreme pro-abortion bill got a response from the Catholic church on Friday.
On Wednesday New York lawmakers voted legislation into force that would allow an unborn baby to be aborted at any time in the pregnancy that the child would not be viable outside the womb, among other extreme provisions.
Cardinal Dolan of New York said through a statement from his spokesperson that he would not weaponize the power of the church over politics.
"I will not discuss any individual," the statement read. "Anything that follows is a statement of some general principles, and should not be considered to be a comment on any specific person."
Dolan then gave four reasons why excommunicating a politician over their pro-abortion policies would be a mistake.
"First, excommunication should not be used as a weapon," the statement said. "Too often, I fear, those who call for someone's excommunication do so our of anger or frustration."
"Second," he continued, "notable canon lawyers have said that, under canon law, excommunication is not an appropriate response to a politician who supports or votes for legislation advancing abortion."
"Third, from a pastoral perspective," the statement added, "if a pastor — and a bishop is certainly a pastor of a diocese — knows of a grave situation involving a parishioner, it is his duty to address that issue personally and directly with the parishioner. That was the approach of Cardinal O'Connor and Cardinal Egan (both of whom I served), and it is Cardinal Dolan's approach as well."
"Fourth, and finally," the statement concluded, "from a strategic perspective, I do not believe that excommunication would be effective as many politicians would welcome it as a sign of their refusal to be 'bullied by the Church,' thinking it would therefore give them political advantage."
New York City has a higher abortion rate than any state in the union.