ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - Governor Andrew Cuomo is in a little hot water with the Vatican - and so is Albany's bishop. The problem stems from Cuomo's live-in girlfriend, Sandra Lee.
So far, the governor has been quiet on the pastoral debate about whether he should be denied Holy Communion. A Vatican advisor said this week that Cuomo should not because of his unmarried lifestyle. Local Catholics had a lot to say on the issue.
Some see it as no problem, but Heather Wolcott and her fiancé, Rob Hoffman, are totally against living together before marriage. They adhere to the Catholic church's teachings.
Wolcott said, "There's temptations, always, but we're given so many graces from God to do what is right."
An advisor to the Vatican told a conservative website this week that Governor Andrew Cuomo should not receive Holy Communion so long as he lives with his girlfriend, Sandra Lee. He stated that Cuomo's taking communion in wake of his unmarried lifestyle is, "objectively sacrilegious...produces grave scandal." Wolcott backed him up.
"Hopefully Governor Cuomo will look to the Pope as leader of the church and follow his lead and do what he needs to to to be a good leader," said Wolcott.
Catholic politicians who have gone against the church's teachings have come under fire in the past for taking communion. Cuomo was also criticized for his support of abortion rights and backing a gay marriage law. The Vatican expert further stated that "if he approaches for Holy Communion, he should be denied the sacrament."
Michael Borowski said, "I don't think what happens in the bedroom is a reflection of someone's religious beliefs or conviction."
"Steve Trynosky said, "This is kind of very different, so I almost err on the side of the church on this one, more in the right."
The Vatican was questioned after the governor recently received communion at a mass in Albany. Bishop Howard Hubbard never challenged him to reform. He issued a statement, saying it's unfair and imprudent "to make a pastoral judgment about a particular situation without knowing all the facts." However, local Catholics see both sides.
Earl Newman said, "I think Catholics around the world listen to the pope. He carries a lot of weight. And if the governor is living in sin, he should be condemned."
Late Wednesday afternoon on Long Island, Cuomo was asked about the debate. He told reporters that this was a private matter, that he wouldn't discuss in the political arena.
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