Andrew Cuomo and the “Extremes”

shutterstock_79951921Kengor_Catholic_Andrew Cuomo_012014

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has denounced pro-life and anti-gay-marriage Republicans as “extreme conservatives.” As for those who dare to run for office, he said these extremists have “no place in the state of New York.”

What makes this statement especially offensive is that Cuomo is Roman Catholic. He has just described not only certain Republicans as extremist but, by extension, the thinking of his Church. Would Cuomo judge New York’s Cardinal Dolan, who is pro-life and anti-gay marriage, an extremist?

For that matter, how about Pope Francis? When he was a cardinal in Argentina, Jorge Mario Bergoglio described gay marriage as a product of Satan and gay adoption as a form of child abuse.

More recently, in his new apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis affirmed traditional marriage. In one passage, he objected that marriage now tends to be viewed as a form of “mere emotional satisfaction” to be reconstructed or “modified at will.” Indeed.

The pope’s exhortation also included several superb pro-life passages.

So, would Andrew Cuomo consider Pope Francis an extremist? Do Francis’ views on the unborn and marriage make him an “extremist Republican?” If and when he comes to America, will the pontiff have no place in the state of New York?

That said, Andrew Cuomo’s comments are so perfectly fitting, given his roots. He is, after all, his father’s son, and his father was New York Governor Mario Cuomo.

Recall that in 1984, Mario Cuomo gave a very influential speech at Notre Dame. It was an interminable lecture, a marathon in self-oration and self-indulgence. Cuomo’s dissertation was an exhortation to answer to oneself rather than to one’s Church. It became the gold standard for so-called “pro-choice Catholic” politicians.

Well, Mario’s son, Andrew, is taking positions that are a natural extension of what the father birthed at Notre Dame three decades ago.

In the Big Apple, the apple apparently doesn’t fall far from the tree. The seeds planted by the father are thriving in the son. Hey, you reap what you sow.

image: lev radin /

Avatar photo


Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political science at Grove City College and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values. His books include “The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism” and “Dupes: How America’s Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century.”

Subscribe to CE
(It's free)

Go to Catholic Exchange homepage