Recent articles continue to report that Mario Cuomo, matching himself against some Catholic schoolchildren in a real fit of rhetorical bravery, expressed surprise that some of them did not follow "the church's teaching" on capital punishment. This is a long-established Cuomo trick, the purpose of which is to distract audiences away from the governor's own rejection of Catholic teaching on abortion.
The Catholic Church has never opposed capital punishment. In recent years, the U.S. Catholic bishops have opposed the practice of the act for prudential reasons, but such opposition does not constitute a teaching of the universal church, and no Catholic is obligated to follow such opposition.
Deceiving the electorate is one thing, Gov. Cuomo -- but deceiving little children? Really, are there no depths to which you will not sink?
JoANN M. WAGNER