New York’s budget-cutting Gov. Andrew Cuomo may have found himself in hot water with the Catholic Church.
Dr. Edward Peters, a consultant to the Vatican’s highest court of canon law, told CNS News that Cuomo committed an “objectively sacrilegious” act that “produces grave scandal” when he received communion on New Year’s Day. Cuomo, a Democrat, is pro-choice and supports gay marriage, two positions the church vocally opposes. Of serious concern to Peters, however, is that Cuomo, who divorced Robert Kennedy’s daughter Kerry eight years ago, is currently living with Food Network host Sandra Lee.
“Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, and Sandra Lee, a television celebrity, live in what is known technically as public concubinage,” Peters wrote on his blog after Cuomo’s inauguration last month. “The fact that both Cuomo and Lee are divorced renders the concubinage adulterous on both sides as well.”
Peters says that Cuomo should be denied Communion under a rule known as Canon 915 from the church’s Code of Canon Law. According to the code, persons “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.” He also criticized the pastor who celebrated the mass, Bishop Howard Hubbard, for not challenging “the governor to begin his reform of the state with a reform of his person.”
A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday showed Cuomo with a 56 percent approval rating among New Yorkers.