Vatican Advisor: Deny Gov. Cuomo Communion

Says By Living With Girlfriend Sandra Lee He's Not Eligible

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — According to church canon, is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo eligible to receive communion?

Dr. Edward Peters, American lay canon lawyer and advisor for the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican’s highest court, says no.

In an email interview with Monday,  Dr. Peters argued the Roman Catholic governor should refrain from receiving communion, and he should be denied the sacrament, given that he lives with his girlfriend, Food Network hostess Sandra Lee.

RELATED: Sandra Lee’s Tips On Cooking, Cocktails & Convenience

Dr. Peters cites canon 915 from the Church’s Code of Canon Law, which says people “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion,” and contends that Cuomo’s living with Lee, despite not being married, meets the requirements of this law.

Should Cuomo be denied communion? Is he living in sin? Leave a comment below

“The governor, with complete freedom, is publicly acting in violation of a fundamental moral expectation of the Church. On these facts alone, his taking holy communion is objectively sacrilegious and produces grave scandal within the faith community,” Dr. Peters wrote.

The governor refused to address the issue Wednesday, reports CBS 2’s Don Dahler. During an appearance regarding the budget proposal at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, Cuomo said, “I choose to keep my religion and my religious practices private, and not discuss it in the political arena.”

Aside from cohabitation with his girlfriend, Dr. Peters argued that another of Cuomo’s actions should disqualify him from eligibility: support of abortion.

“Does Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s public policy of supporting abortion and passage of the Reproductive Rights Act constitute — in the objective order – ‘persevering in manifest grave sin’ and should Cuomo therefore not ‘not be admitted to holy communion’?” asked Dr. Peters.

“I would want experts on New York law and politics to verify a few facts here, but based on what is widely reported about the governor’s consistent support for abortionism in New York, I see no other way to interpret his abortion-related conduct except as sufficient to warrant withholding of holy communion from him under Canon 915,” Dr. Peters said.

The diocese in Albany, where Cuomo recently received communion, released the following statement:  “There are norms of the church governing the sacraments which Catholics are expected to observe. However, it is unfair and imprudent to make a pastoral judgment about a particular situation without knowing all the facts. As a matter of pastoral practice we would not comment publicly on anything which should be addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a private citizen.”

Many of the faithful at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday said it was a non-issue.

“I think he should be allowed to take communion, absolutely,” Mary Jean O’Brien of the Upper West Side told CBS 2’s Dahler.

“I just think the Catholic Church needs a lot of changes. A little of our beliefs are outdated and I just think we have to move with the times,” another woman said.

The website which posted the comments has also been critical of abortion rights and same-sex marriage. The professor might have found the message of Wednesday’s mass ironic.

“And so Jesus was easily ready to embrace the people that the scribes and the pharisees condemned,” Reverend Msgr. Robert Richie said.

What do you think? Tell us your opinion in the comments section below.

  • Lionel S

    Enough of the Roman Catholic Church…
    They have mislead the world for a long time…
    Their doctrines are purely man made…not all from the bible.
    The whole world should revolt against the Roman Catholic Church…And their oppressing ways…dictating and judging…Please go and research the history of the Roman Catholic Church online…People are leaving at the tune of over 150 millions people in the past 30 years and for good reasons.
    The whole world and many of the oppressed countries where the Roman Catholic Church have a strong hold would be better if the cease to exist and stop spreading the false doctrines…
    Gov Cuomo…if you have been save and believe in The lord Jesus…You do not need the Roman Catholic Church…they are hypocrites anyway.

    • Bernie

      If one wants to be called a Catholic, one must obey the precepts of the Church. Canon Law is based on Natural Law, the Bible and has withhood the test of time. Doesn’t all law work best if it’s based in truth?

      • fern

        Canon law is based on Roman law which was based on Greek law which is probably derived from the Hamourabi code.

      • Rodin

        “Canon Law is based on Natural Law.”


        “Doesn’t all law work best if it’s based in truth?”


  • Michael

    I think the teaching of the church is quite clear. Politicians like the Cuomos and John Kerry need to stop trying to have it both ways. If they can’t accept the church’s teaching on abortion, especially, they ought to leave the Catholic church and become Unitarians.

    • Rodin

      You can’t have it both ways? You mean like child abuse and then covering it up?

  • Emilio

    According to his politics, if he were gay, the answer would be clear, but when it comes to being pro-choice, he plays politics. Why would some who is gay or pro-choice affirmatively profess to be Catholic? I stopped when I came out and became pro-choice.

  • Jaypee

    Andrew, just marry Sandra. Think of the publicity. Make her an honest woman.

    • Rodin

      Marry for publicity is “honest”?

  • John A.

    Thr governor’s religious beliefs and practices are his business.The Catholic Church is living in a 1939 Emerald City-they are not living in the real world.The Church needs to wash its own dirty laundry before judging other people. The governor has not committed any wrongdoing ;give it a rest.

  • GAy is a 3$bill

    Serve Ritz® Crackers and a good Shiraz, instead of plastic wafers with Manischewitz.

  • karen s

    well said randall mcmurphy! the church relocated cardinal law (boston) to a church in rome, now they have his replacement in ireland trying to essentially do damage control and hold healing services. cardinal o’malley (a franciscan) inherited the church’s equivalent of a superfund cleanup site. it’s funny & sad the stuff the church tries to put in the spotlight. i was raised a catholic, but distance myself from all organized religion. remember your eminences, it was the women, including an ex-prostitute that were first at the tomb on easter sunday.

    • thomas

      She wasnt a prostitute the lovely pope created that story because Mary was getting too popular. Most likely she was the wife or at the least the girlfriend of Jesus. You know jewish mothers, if their son isnt married by 30 they really beat the bushes to find a wife for him, so in my mind Jesus via family pressure and hebrew tradition must have been married

      • fern

        A Christian marriage is not accepted by the Hebrew and Micheob he brew beer.

  • Randall McMurphy

    Funny how the Catholic church feels it necessary to judge whether or not a “sinner” should receive communion. I wonder if the scores of pedophiles emloyed by the church received the sacrement? Why is this even a story?

  • Dolores

    Since the Church is not abiding by the Separation of Church and State, it’s time for all churches of every denomination to start paying taxes. It would be a huge help to the economy, especially now. The gospel states the greatest commandment, given by Jesus Himself, to be to love your neighbor as yourself. Why not look into our own lives and let our neighbors do the same, whether they be governors, senators of presidents.

    • gAy is a 3$bill

      Totally agree!! +10,000


    leave the man alone , at least he is not like spitzer or patterson.

    • Rodin

      Even if he were.

  • Jeanne

    GET LIVES!!!

  • Rich L

    All religions have their crazy rules. If he were a Moslem, his girlfriend would probably suffer dire consequences. Not receiving Communion, not a big deal. Unfortunately, the Catholic Church is on its last legs. It cannot financially support its schools and churches. Not enough young people seeking the priesthood. It took the Church quite a while to accept that the Earth is not flat — excommunicating poor Galileo and forcing him to recant his theories. What is the Bible? A book of fiction written by men.

  • Erik Wassenich

    Why should the governor want to receive communion? He’d better cut the apron strings now and really grow up. Confession and communion are church tactics to control people, know everything about them.

    • Carol

      Tell the governor to go to any of the churches with an open communion and be sure to put his money there also.

    • Christopher Braun

      This is a naive (Hollywood) view of the Catholic Church. The grace of God is liberating. Maybe you will understand that one day. I hope you will.

      • Rodin

        What I understand is that I lost god I also lost fear of death and found peace of mind, self reliance and self respect.

        Who’s naïve? Religion is controlling, repressive and unnatural. Nothing liberating about any of it except for those who live through excuses.


  • Greenberg v shiffman

    this is a private matter, and this why you will never see another catholic elected to the High 0ffice.

  • Shelly

    This church lawyer should worry more about denying communion to pediphyle Catholic clergy and those within the church who shield them, rathar than people who choose to live together. My guess is that this lawyer’s motives are political and in my opinion, any church that gets involved in politics or makes a practics of publicly going after political figures should lose it’s tax-free status.

  • Cecil

    Perhaps the Pope needs to restore marriage to their clergy, like it was in the beginning.

  • BrooklynLady

    Wait a minute!! Isn’t this the same crowd that doesn’t give a dam if one of their prevert priests molest children and go out of their way to make certain they get away with it and keep it quiet????

  • MBBobby

    Gee, if he was a RC priest living with an altar boy, I guess that would be OK.

  • J. Christ

    I think it’s amazing that anyone would ever consider entering a catholic church what with the vatican-sanctioned pedophilia and all. Even I have turned my back on them.

  • ana

    because Bloomberg is not Catholic you moron, and if you don’t even what the Catholic teaching is you shouldn’t even give your opinion. and he SHOULD NOT receive Communion sick and tire of so called Catholic and all they do is bring scandal to the Church. and i am not denying all the errors and sins of the human person or the Church after all we’re only humans only God is Perfect.

    • fern

      Ana I love it when you talk about me, and to show my appreciation I’ll take you on the highway to heaven myself – God.

    • Rodin

      God is NOT perfect. Proof is he created the disaster, MAN.

  • sharon wolff

    Gov Cuomo is divorced from a Kennedy. Is his ex wife receiving communion?
    Gov Cuomo’s girlfriend, Sandra Lee, is single. As The Gov said in the above article; his religion and life are private matters! What is Mayor Bloomberg doing?
    Why doesn’t the media go snooping in the Mayor’s private life.

    • Rodin

      Keep it to yourself. This has nothing to do with Bloomberg, who is Jewish. This is about Catholic Church intrmission into personal affairs.

      Start at home and clean out perv priests, starting with the cherubic, perp cuddling, financially devious Dolan.

      • Gay is a 3$bill

        PLEASE!! Sprewer of much hate!!

  • Kevin the former Catholic

    Priests, Pedophilia, and Hippocrasy

    No wonder the Catholic Church is losing membership by the droves and they have this “Canon” person who says Mariom cannot receive. Where’s this “Canon” expert when Priests abuse little boys?

  • Anthony Bryla

    So in other words, priests can have sex with little boys, but Andrew Cuomo can’t receive Communion. This is one insane world.

  • Yoely Teitelbaum

    everyone here is antisemitic

    • Rodin

      Why do Jews think every story is about them. Occasionally it’s about someone else although, personally, I’d damn all of you religious bigotts together, if I believed in hell.

  • Tom O'Connor

    it”s 2011 he’s a good Christian doing everything to help others in his lifetime. He’s living w his best friend…The Church that I grew up in needs to change. Gay people and people living together love God – pray and do good and someone who is HUMAN is going to tell them what GOD thinks? Makes me sick, these guys put on a robe and they are better or closer to GOD. Get going…It’s about time we question them in a open forum and see the who is so Perfect that they can judge others.

    • Rodin

      “…put on a robe”? It wasn’t for nothing that defunct Cardinal O’Connor was referred to as “a bigot in a dress”.

  • oldschoolcatholic

    The Church is always making comments regarding “Communion” how about the hand that gives it to the Catholic. The hands of many priests are dirty and they still touch the “Body of Christ”. When the Catholic Church is without sin then they can judge someone else.

    • Rodin

      “After coming into contact with a religious man I always feel I must wash my hands.” ~ FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE

  • John

    If they stop people that live together, people who are gay, people who engage in sex outside marriage, who support abortion and those who use birth control; from taking communion, there will be nobody left. The Catholic church spens all it’s time condeming people when they are the worst humans of all. The Catholic church should just close up shop now. It’s dying out anyway.

  • The Truth

    I don’t trust a religion where the men don’t bang chicks. Simple. Now keep those
    peddies away from our kids.

  • Double-R

    This almost makes me ashamed of being a catholic, to be honest. Whatever happened to “judge not, let ye be judged?” Does anyone see the “do as I say, not as I do” pattern here?

  • dp

    Must be a slow new day. Who really cares?

  • Tony Morales

    The Jewish Canon demanded stoning to death.
    The New Testament (the Testament of Grace) declares that those who practice fornication or adultery will not enter the kingdom of God. Such a declaration has infinite quality.

    • Gay is a 3$bill

      Yes, says it right there in the Buy-Bull!

  • Rodin

    Maybe Governor Cuomo should boycott communion until the Catholic Church cleans out its perv priests.

    I say it’s preferable to have a loving couple living “in sin” than priests abusing children.


  • LifeIsABeach

    I guess if he/they really cared, they would get married. The church should be cleaning up their own house before they start looking into others.

  • John the Baptist

    A few dollars for an annulment and “Presto” everything is ok again !

  • Lord Kinbote

    The devil does not show himself with horns on his head or cloven hooves for feet.

    He wears a smile. He wears a dark suit and a light blue tie. He comes as your friend and says he wishes to help you.

    He is the master of lies and deception. His name is Andrew.

    • Gay is a 3$bill

      I think you talking about your holy deity! And the one you pray with that wears the $2000 Prada slippers, paid for by you and yours!

    • Rodin

      You’re one sick puppy, Lord Bimbote. Any good hallucinations lately?

  • Dave C

    Does Dr. Peters have some first hand information about whether Governor Cuomo is having sex with his girlfriend? Living with someone is not grave sin and to my knowledge the Governor hasn’t discussed his sex life in public. You have no right to make assumptions of that sort Dr. Peters…in fact, it’s a little creepy.

    Might you also suggest, Dr. Peters, that we reveal the sex lives of all priests who have confessed to such. You can bet they’re all receiving communion.

    • lahood

      take a look at his ho’. tell me he is not taking advantage of the front door, back door, and skylight!

      • Gay is a 3$bill

        Jealous a bit? Huh?

      • lahood

        Actually, now that you mention it … no, not at all.

  • Frank Martini

    To Heck what the chuch says!

  • Dave C

    It’s interesting that after the Resurrection, Jesus go so picky about who He has supper with.

  • Ellen

    I’m Catholic and a conservative one at that, but in all honesty how do these priests know what’s in a person soul or how they connect to God to begin with. Yes, Cuomo should obey cannon law, but then again coming from Boston, the Mecca of the sex abuse scandal , it comes across rather hypocritical of the Vatican to address this issue when they completely ignored what was going on with their own priests.

    • grant

      But cannon law must be questioned due to the motives of the men who are dictating it.

  • John

    Funny how people react here in the comments to this story. Cuomo has chosen to be, many times publicly, a Catholic. If Canon Law says he should not be receiving communion so be it. Cuomo does not have to remain a Catholic, much like any one of us don’t have to remain American. However, if he chooses to do so, he ‘should’ follow the ‘rules’. Why do people in this nation have such a had time dealing with consequences of their actions? Man up and don’t receive communion otherwise talk to a priest about ‘resolving’ the issue.

  • Jesus

    why would you give the holy sacriment to Satin?

    • John

      that’s satin, like the fabric … Satan :)

    • woody3691

      What’s wrong with Satin? You prefer wool or linen? Should have stayed in school, Jesus. Can’t go around proselytizing if you can’t spell.

      BTW, you never mentioned a Church, Pope or Priests in your ramblings. Where did they all come from?

    • GAy is a 3$bill

      And don’t mix up your fabric fibers, because that’s in your holey Buy-Bull too~
      I guess you forgot about that verse! Let me remind you!

      Ye shall keep my statutes. Thou shalt not let thy cattle gender with a diverse kind: thou shalt not sow thy field with mingled seed: neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.

  • lou

    That is between him and his god.With the world coming apart at the seems don t we have bigger things to worry about……..

    • Michael H.

      Yes we do have bigger things to worry about, but the headlines aren’t nearly as juicy.

  • grant

    The motives and actions of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church must be presently questioned. Shortly before he was murdered, Father Malachi Martin told of the satanic infiltration of the church. This is what may have cost him his life.

    Call Christ into your heart and follow your instincts based on that. Love the Lord God with all your heart, and love your fellow man (help your fellow man) as you would love God or yourself. These were the most important teachings of Christ.

  • Barb (ex-NUN)

    Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Who are we to judge what is in a person’s heart?

  • Mikhail Jacobus

    typical catholic church hypocrisy! deny the Pope communion for shielding sex offenders! deny Dolan communion for his fiscal games! and given the mindset of the current pompous self righteous clergy – the Blessed Mother herself, were she to appear in church today incognito – would be denied communion for being pregnant before wedlock! Oh the drippy hypocrisy from Rome, from St. Patrick’s, from the chancery!!!

    • Grandma Mary Anne

      My thoughts, exactly.

  • Paco

    Jesus said: “you cannot serve to masters you are with me or against me”.

    • Stella245

      I thought that was George Bush ;-P

    • Rodin

      I think you meant “t ‘W’ o” masters. And, if he said anything at all, I’m sure he didn’t add the ” you are with me or against me” part. That you got from somewhere else. It dates to the French Revolution, 1789.

  • Chris

    If everyone followed the rules of the church to a tee, no one would receive communion. As I recall, let he who has not sinned throw the first stone.

  • Mary

    Hello Governor,

    Best for you not to receive communion to avoid spritual sickness as well physical sickness

    • Cecil

      Mary! AMEN to that!! Why tempt GOD!

  • Jimmy

    What would Jesus do?

    • Trish

      Jesus would give the communion. Remember that one of his diciples was a tax collector.

    • GAy is a 3$bill

      Serve Ritz® crackers and a good shiraz!

  • Gloria Guerriera

    The Cuomos are not like ordinary people. Much like the Kennedys. When you have money or political power you can call the shots. The Church is wasting its time trying to hold them to measures everybody else have to adhere to.

1 2
blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live