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Ryan defends compatibility of House budget with Catholic teaching

April 27, 2012

Speaking at Georgetown University, Rep. Paul Ryan again defended the compatibility of the House budget plan with Catholic social teaching.

Ryan’s remarks followed the publication of a letter in which nearly 90 Georgetown faculty members criticized the Wisconsin congressman’s “continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend [the House] budget plan.”

“I suppose there are some Catholics who for a long time have thought they had a monopoly of sorts, not exactly on heaven, but on the social teaching of our Church,” Ryan said. “Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this.”

“The work I do as a Catholic holding office conforms to the social doctrine as best I can make of it,” he continued. “What I have to say about the social doctrine of the Church is from the viewpoint of a Catholic in politics applying my understanding to the problems of the day. Serious problems like those we face today require charitable conversation. Civil public dialogue goes to the heart of solidarity, the virtue that does not divide society into classes and groups but builds up the common good of all.”

Ryan continued:

The overarching threat to our whole society today is the exploding federal debt. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has charged that governments, communities, and individuals running up high debt levels are “living at the expense of future generations” and “living in untruth.”

We in this country still have a window of time before a debt-fueled economic crisis becomes inevitable. We can still take control before our own needy suffer the fate of Greece. How we do this is a question for prudential judgment, about which people of good will can differ.


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  • Posted by: chasann113163 - Apr. 28, 2012 3:24 PM ET USA

    I know that the congressmans plan is not perfect but it is something , what does the opposition sugest, we kick the can down the road "AGAIN". I say Good work Con. Ryan, I'm behind you 100%.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 28, 2012 6:48 AM ET USA

    Rep. Ryan is correct. A bloated overspending government got us into this problem and now there is not any money left. Georgetown and the Bishops answer to this deficit problem is to sanction additional government deficit spending. This is insane and as Pope Benedict rightly points out, it is morally wrong as it is living today at the expense of future generations. Perhaps the larger issue here is that the Church has abrogated its charitable moral duties to the government. Maybe it is time for the Church to get out of politics and back to running their own charities. The government is not in the morality business. Just the opposite, all that they really care about is power and control. Whose responsibility is it to take care of the flock? A secular anti religious and domineering central government, or the Church?

  • Posted by: unum - Apr. 27, 2012 9:26 PM ET USA

    Paul Ryan is correct that how we prevent "a debt-fueled economic crisis ... is a question for prudential judgment, about which people of good will can differ. But, whether we prevent that crisis and the subsequent damage to government safety nets for the poor is not negotiable. On that, the Church and Representative Ryan agree and the "Georgetown 90" are dead wrong.

  • Posted by: benniep5 - Apr. 27, 2012 7:54 PM ET USA

    Ryan's budget is more responsible then what the people on the other side of aisle has proposed, oh that's right they haven't proposed a budget with a plan to save programs which will help the elderly, widows and orphans. Again we have Catholics which kneel to Ceasar instead of Christ, either that or they are waiting for the entitlement fairy to come in middle of night. We are blessed that God put a Catholic like Ryan in Congress, so many other Catholic politicians have disgraced the Church.....