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Conscience Magazine

Cardinal Dolan Refuses to Excommunicate Governor Cuomo for Supporting NY Abortion Law

By Conscience April 1, 2019

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act, a bill strengthening abortion rights in the state, despite strong opposition from Catholic leadership. His support of the new law, which he attributed to his principle of separating his personal religious affiliation from his work as a public servant, prompted calls for his excommunication from bishops around the country. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, however, rejected the calls, saying, “[N]otable 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.” In a statement released to CNN, Dolan warned that “[E]xcommunication should not be used as a weapon” to be wielded in “anger or frustration.”


Offers in-depth, cutting-edge coverage of vital contemporary issues, including reproductive rights, sexuality and gender, feminism, the religious right, church and state and US politics. Our readership includes national and international opinion leaders and policymakers, members of the press and leaders in the fields of theology, ethics and women's studies.