Catholic Church Bans 'Pro-Abortion' Democrat from St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Democrat Sen. James Gaughran loses invite to celebrations
Democrat Sen. James Gaughran has been disinvited to the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade by the Catholic Church in Huntington, New York, for voting in favor of his state's 'progressive' pro-abortion bill.
Chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Monsignor Steven R. Camp, announced Gaughran's backing of the abortion laws in a letter, declaring it brings Catholics "great dismay."
"The membership is dismayed that a member of their order could vote for such a law," Monsignor Camp wrote.
"This law violates all the principles the AOH has ascribed to since its founding, adherence to our Roman Catholic faith, and the security of the Irish race."
"For his pro-abortion vote, state Sen. James Gaughran no longer is invited to the Irish-American Catholic St. Patrick’s Day parade in Huntington, New York," LifeNews reports.
"The local Catholic organization also asked Gaughran to resign from its membership"
But Gaughran fired back saying he didn't believe his backing of abortion should not reflect his religious stance.
"Respectfully, I find this troubling and contrary to the principle that our elected officials must represent all their constituents, not just those with whom they share their religious beliefs," he said.
"I maintain my belief that a woman should have the right to make her own personal reproductive health care decisions."
"To be honest, I do not see how any elected public official could faithfully uphold their fidelity to their constitutional oath while participating in an organization that requires specific votes based explicitly upon religious views or litmus tests."
The senator's comments echoed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's response to criticism surrounding the abortion law, according to the Catholic News Agency.
"While Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and the Catholic Church are anti-choice, most Americans, including most Catholics, are pro-choice," Cuomo said.
"While governments may very well enact laws that are consistent with religious teaching, governments do not pass laws to be consistent with what any particular religion dictates."
"The decisions I choose to make in my life, or in counseling my daughters, are based on my personal moral and religious beliefs," Cuomo continued.
"Oath of office is to the Constitutions of the United States and of the State of New York – not to the Catholic Church. My religion cannot demand favoritism as I execute my public duties."
But Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York decided against ousting Cuomo from the Catholic Church
According to his statement:
First, excommunication should not be used as a weapon. Too often, I fear, those who call for someone's excommunication do so out of anger or frustration.
Second, 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, 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, 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 a political advantage. (See, for example, the case of Bishop Leo Maher and Lucy Killea).
In January, Democratic lawmakers signed a new bill legalizing abortions being performed up until birth in New York.
The Reproductive Health Act passed in a 38-24 vote.
NY Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) signed the bill into law.
As the senator's vote was confirmed, a witness shouted, "May almighty God have mercy on this state!"