One Catholic bishop in Texas was appalled to see Democratic politicians in New York cheering the passage of a new, expanded abortion law in the state, and he’s not staying silent about it.
In a fiery tweet issued Friday morning, Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler, Texas, described the lawmakers’ celebration as a “scene from hell.”
The video of the “celebration” of New York legislators as they condemned even full term unborn children to Death by Choice is a scene from Hell. Woe to those who ignore the sanctity of life, they reap the whirlwind of Hell. Stand against this holocaust in every way you can.
— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) January 25, 2019
Strickland also shared a tweet from Fr. Rick Stika, a bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Knoxville, Tennessee. Stika said he would “issue an excommunication” of a Catholic governor in his jurisdiction who signed into law the same pro-abortion legislation as Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), who is a self-professed Catholic.
“Excommunication,” he explained, “is to be not a punishment but to bring the person back into the church. It’s like medicine for them. But this vote is so hideous and vile that it warrants the act. But thankfully I am not in that position. Very sad.”
Enough is enough. Excommunication is to be not a punishment but to bring the person back into the Church. It's like medicine for them. But this vote is so hideous and vile that it warrants the act. But thankfully I am not in that positon. Very sad.
— Bishop Rick Stika (@BishopStika) January 24, 2019
Following the 38-24 vote in the New York state Senate to approve the Reproductive Health Act, the bill’s supporters erupted in thunderous applause, celebrating legislation that legalizes abortion up to 24 weeks and “at any time when necessary to protect a woman’s life or health.”
— 📢 PPNYC Action Fund (@PPNYCAction) January 22, 2019
In a statement earlier this week, the governor described the passage of the new law as “a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion.”
And after signing the radical bill into law, Cuomo ordered the spire atop the One World Trade Center in New York City to be lit up in pink lights, a sign of solidarity with abortion advocates and Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider.
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) January 23, 2019
As for the possibility of Cuomo’s excommunication by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Catholic News Agency editor-in-chief J.D. Flynn suggested in The Washington Post that it seems unlikely the governor would face such a consequence for signing into law the Reproductive Health Act.
While there is one excommunicable offense that deals with abortion, Flynn noted, it applies only to an unrepentant Catholic directly involved, in some way, with an abortion.
“It is not clear that Cuomo’s action, offensive as it is to Catholic teaching and sensibilities, fits the bill for excommunication,” he wrote. “[T]he path to formally declaring Cuomo a heretic is complicated, and Dolan probably would not pursue it.”