Why is Cardinal Dolan Gushing over Paul Ryans Catholicism?

With the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate, the 2012 presidential election will be the first in U.S. history with a Roman Catholic on both sides of the ballot. The contrast between the Catholicism of Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Ryan perfectly represents the ongoing debate about the Catholic vote going back to the Reagan years.

The Rainbow Sash Movement believes the appointment of Mitt Romey’s Vice President running mate is a political plot to attack those who fundamentally oppose poverty in the country. The Catholic Faith is opposed to Capitalism because it favors the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity. That Faith is in favor of Community. Echoing this view are the Catholic Bishops, and the “Nuns on the Bus” tour.

Therefore we distrust big business and tax breaks for only the wealthiest in this country Paul Ryan appears to be distancing himself from both the Catholic Bishops and the “Nuns On The Bus”. While we respect Paul Ryans internal forum on this matter we would argue that his Catholic Faith represents the view that poverty is to be maintained, not done away with. His attack on the Affordable Care act will affect the most vulnerable in our society.

Rep. Ryan, who is chair of the House Budget committee, has proposed a budget that has elicited objections from prominent Catholic theologians, women religious leaders, and the chairs of the U.S. bishops’ Justice, Peace, and Human Development committee as harmful to poor individuals and families who rely on the social safety net. I would add this also applies to LGBT poor, families, seniors, and the homeless of our community.
Ryan promotes his budget telling people and fellow Catholics that the teaching of the Church guides him in explaining his positions on government spending, deficit reduction and entitlements — the issues that have catapulted his rapid rise.

Such statements have raised the ire of some Roman Catholics who argue the Wisconsin Republican is twisting church teachings on caring for the poor and shielding the vulnerable to justify cutting the social safety net.

But it is the Ryan budget — with its steep cuts to food stamps, healthcare for children and the disabled, and social programs, while sparing the Pentagon — that has put him at odds with many Catholic Bishops.
Catholic nuns made a multistate bus tour this summer to bring attention to the harm they say the Ryan budget would cause the poor communities they serve and the “enormous moral choices facing our country.” In an unusually pointed correspondence, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops urged lawmakers to consider the moral implications of their actions as they prepared to vote on the Ryan budget.

“We join with other Christian leaders in calling for a ‘circle of protection’ around our brothers and sisters at home and abroad who are poor and vulnerable,” the bishops wrote in the spring. They said the “moral measure” of the debate “is not which party wins or which powerful interests prevail, but rather how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated.”

Ryan’s response to this was “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 in a speech at Georgetown University. “Of course there can be differences among faithful Catholics on this.”
Ryan is known to have a close relationship with Cardinal O’Connor and this weekend the Cardinal’s pet poodle Fr. Jonathan Morris (unlike other clergy who occasionally appear on Fox, he has a weekly Sunday gig) to frame the Fox message that Paul Ryan is a very good and true Catholic whose critics have it all wrong. There are priests who have concerns about Ryan but you won’t see them on Fox where Fr. Morris who is never adverse to bending over backwards (or forward – metaphorically speaking) in pushing GOP propaganda.

Sue Carlson
Rainbow Sash Movement

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