Christ among the Doctors of the Law



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A note on Gov. Cuomo's devotion to St. Thomas More

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo, per this interview with Maureen Dowd, keeps a portrait of St. Thomas More (which had once belonged to his father Mario) in his Albany office. I am glad to hear it, for St. Thomas, I am sure, intercedes especially for Catholics in high political office. Any Catholic in political life today needs St. Thomas More’s prayers.

Cuomo, we read, has shrugged off the shrill complaint of Vatican adviser Edward Peters that he’s living in ‘public concubinage’ with his girlfriend in their Westchester home,” adding that “[Peters] was a blogger, not from my state. I didn’t want to give it too much credibility.’ As for whether Lee was hurt by the crude, archaic term, [Cuomo] conceded, ‘It was not a pleasant conversation for anyone.’”

No, I don't imagine it was.

As a devotee of St. Thomas More, doubtless Cuomo has seen the great film, A Man for All Seasons (1966). It’s required viewing around here every June 22. I and some friends have most of the dialogue memorized. There is a famous exchange in Man for All Seasons between Sir Thomas More and his would-be son-in-law William Roper. More plainly calls Roper a heretic.

“That’s not a word I like, Sir Thomas!” retorts Roper.

“It’s not a likeable word,” replies More, “It’s not a likeable thing.”

Seems to me, the same observation would apply to the dislikable word “concubinage”, no?

The real problem was then, and is now, not the correct use of an accurate word, but one’s participation in the identified activity. And the real solution is not to stop calling things by their names, but to correct the behavior. No?

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Update: American Papist has an excellent movie analogy, too, and some other good comments on Cuomo and Dowd.