Gov. Cuomo recalls father's differences with the Catholic church

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says his late father's relationship with the Catholic church was "complicated."

Former Gov. Mario Cuomo's son spoke at his father's funeral Tuesday at a Catholic church in Manhattan.

Mario Cuomo's support for abortion rights was condemned in the 1980s by New York Cardinal John Joseph O'Connor, who considered excommunicating the governor.

At Tuesday's funeral, Andrew Cuomo recalled that his father "separated his personal views from his professional responsibilities" in a way that he believed was "consistent with laymen following Christ's teachings."

The Reverend Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, disagrees.

He says Mario Cuomo "added to the confusion that still persists today about the responsibilities of Catholics in public office."

Pavone says officials should oppose abortion, not because of church teachings, but because it destroys innocent human life.


Ex-Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell gets 2 years for corruption

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who's been sentenced to two years in prison for corruption, says he's trusting Jesus Christ for his "ultimate vindication."

After the sentence was handed down in Richmond Tuesday, McDonnell apologized for his mistakes but said he didn't violate his oath of office and will continue to fight to prove his innocence.

At his sentencing hearing, McDonnell told the judge he was a heartbroken and humbled man who let his life get way out of balance.

The judge's punishment was far below the 10 years prosecutors initially wanted, but more than the community service the former governor and his supporters asked for.

McDonnell is to report to prison by Feb. 9. His wife, who was convicted on eight counts of corruption, will be sentenced Feb. 20.


Religious leaders hold minimum wage vigil at NY Capitol

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Nuns, ministers and other religious leaders have held a prayer vigil at the New York state Capitol in support of a wage increase for tipped workers.

The group gathered Monday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration to eliminate the so-called "tip wage" of about $5 an hour paid to servers, busboys and hotel housekeepers.

State law allows restaurants and hotels to pay less than the state's $8.75 minimum wage, as long as tips make up the difference. A state panel is studying whether to eliminate the tip wage and make all workers subject to the same minimum wage.

A decision by the state's labor commissioner is due next month.

Clergy at Monday's vigil say they also support raising the overall minimum wage.


New Congress to be overwhelmingly Christian

WASHINGTON (AP) — A survey of members of the new Congress finds that more than 90 percent say they're Christians.

The Pew Research Center analysis of data collected by CQ Roll Call finds that of the 535 members of the House and Senate, 491 belong to Christian churches, with 164 Catholics and 79 Baptists forming the largest contingents.

Of the 44 lawmakers who don't claim Christian affiliation, 28 are Jewish. There also are two Muslims, two Buddhists and one Hindu.

Nine members of the incoming Congress have their religious affiliation listed as "don't know" or refused to say.

Only one lawmaker, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., describes herself as unaffiliated.


Grand Haven cross that drew criticism to become an anchor

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (AP) — Officials in Grand Haven, Michigan, have approved plans to convert a 48-foot-tall cross on city-owned property into an anchor.

The Muskegon Chronicle reports the Grand Haven City Council approved a resolution Monday on a 3-2 vote to limit access to the site overlooking the Grand River and to make changes to the cross, which has faced criticism from local residents and a religious organization.

The cross has been displayed periodically since 1964. City leaders recommended a policy to "preserve the dune from adverse impacts."

Mayor Pro-tem Michael Fritz called Grand Haven a "diverse community" with many different religions and said that it's time City Council took that into consideration.

Fritz says, "The anchor is more acceptable in everybody's eyes. We have to move forward."