Whoopi Goldberg Rebukes Canon Law Adviser for Saying Gov. Cuomo Shouldn't Receive Communion

Those learned theologians on "The View" are at it again.

Discussing how Catholic canon law advisor Dr. Edward Peters has declared that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) committed an "objectively sacrilegious" act that "produces grave scandal" by receiving Communion on January 2, almost every panelist on ABC gabfest "The View" today rebuked the scholar for his pronouncement.

"Peters specifically cited Cuomo's cohabiting with Food Network hostess Sandra Lee as 'publicly acting in violation of a fundamental moral expectation of the Church,' and that 'as long as he persists in such conduct, he should refrain from taking Holy Communion,'" CNSNews.com's Michael Chapman noted on Monday.

[For full disclosure, CNSNews.com is owned by the parent company of NewsBusters, the Media Research Center.]

"What would Jesus do?" View moderator Whoopi Goldberg asked, answering her own question by misapplying Jesus's admonition that he who is without sin may cast the first stone.

Co-host Sherri Shepherd also echoed the "cast the first stone" argument, wondering "how many people in that church that take that wine and eat those crackers are doing something at home that we don't know about?"

Of course, every church pew is filled with sinners, but at issue in Peters's complaint is Canon 915, which states (emphasis mine):

Can. 915 Those upon whom the penalty of excommunication or interdict has been imposed or declared, and others who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin, are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Since Gov. Cuomo is a recognizable public figure who obstinately persists in a romantic and sexual relationship with a woman who is not his wife, Peters argues, Catholic clergy should not admit him to communion:

CNSNews.com asked Peters by e-mail, “Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo living in a ‘free union’ (Catechism 2390) with Sandra Lee -- in the objective order – ‘contrary to the moral law’ and does this behavior ‘always constitutes a grave sin and excludes one from sacramental communion’? (2390)”


Peters answered, “Yes. There is no dispute about this one, whatsoever. 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.”


“As long as he persists in such conduct, he should refrain from taking holy Communion in accord with Canon 916. If he approaches for holy Communion, he should be denied the august sacrament in accord with Canon 915.”

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.