The Father’s Son: Andrew Cuomo

Kengor_Catholic_Cuomo_022613 (1)

On September 13, 1984, Governor Mario Cuomo gave his historic speech at the University of Notre Dame. Formally titled, “Religious Belief and Public Morality: A Catholic Governor’s Perspective,” it was an interminable speech, an astounding 7,582 words in length, a marathon in self-oration, self-importance, and self-indulgence—a stunning exhortation to answer to oneself rather than one’s Church.

It was an awfully destructive speech, the gold standard, the standard-bearer that paved the way for an entire generation of liberal Catholics to banish their faith from their public life on crucial moral issues like abortion. If you want to see the poster-children for Mario Cuomo’s vision that day, picture Ted Kennedy and John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and Kathleen Sebelius. All merrily check their faith at the door when it comes to unborn children but not when it comes to Obama-care, or climate change, or solar energy, or the minimum wage, or food stamps, or welfare, or funding Planned Parenthood or contraception, or gay marriage; no, the latter are deemed matters of Catholic “social justice,” where faith and public life must be fully integrated. But that integration always, Cuomo-like, stops with the unborn child.

And now, too, picture another child of Cuomo, his son, Andrew Cuomo, who takes the vision to altogether new levels that the father could not have conceived.

Andrew, the latest Cuomo to govern New York, is on a kind of progressive rampage, pushing everything from same-sex marriage to unlimited abortion on demand as no less than a “fundamental right,” a sacred woman’s “choice,” under New York state law. One source calls it Cuomo’s “abortion blitz.”

The blitz comes without God. As noted by Bishop William Murphy, Cuomo is “espousing a position that excludes God.”

Well, that’s no surprise. That’s what his father preached at Notre Dame three decades ago.

Look, ideas have consequences. And the ideas expressed way back in September 1984 by Mario Cuomo in a uniquely damaging speech at Notre Dame now bear bitter fruit in the form and work of the son. Hey, you reap what you sow.


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