ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo says church
leaders should be cautious about pressuring Catholic politicians over issues such as abortion.
Cuomo says voters might turn against such lawmakers if they believe they are guided by religion.
Cuomo was reacting to the public dispute between Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy and a bishop over Kennedy's public stance on moral issues including abortion. Kennedy said Bishop Thomas Tobin has asked him not to receive communion.
Cuomo tells the AP that it's dangerous for the church to pressure politicians because of the potential for unintended consequences of voters not supporting Catholic lawmakers over concern their decisions would be based on religion.
Cuomo says he accepted church teachings personally but refused to carry them into the public arena where they would affect people of every faith.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)