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Only on Brody File: Paul Ryan Says His Catholic Faith Helped Shape Budget Plan


In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan says his faith helped him shape his federal budget plan, saying the Catholic principle of "subsidiarity" guided his thought process and is consistent with Catholic social teaching.

This interview was conducted last Tuesday near Milwaukee, Wis., but The Brody File is making some clips available now. A full report will air this Thursday on "The 700 Club."

Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File


David Brody: Tell me a little bit about the morality and the debt. Where does your Catholic faith play into the way this budget is crafted?

Paul Ryan: A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private. So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?

To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society of the principal of solidarity where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good. By not having big government crowd out civic society, but by having enough space in our communities so that we can interact with each other, and take care of people who are down and out in our communities.

Those principles are very very important, and the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life. Help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence.

Here's a response to what Paul Ryan had to say by Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin:

For Paul Ryan to claim that the Catholic social teaching that emphasizes participation, solidarity, and care for the least is the backbone of his divisive and exclusionary budget is an act of political cynicism. The American bishops have, since the end of World War I, called for government to provide a safety net to the orphan, the widow, the disabled, the poorest among us.

Paul Ryan would shred that net while giving tax cuts to the richest and shredding a juridical system to oversee the market and protect other human beings. There are more than a few Catholics like me who are opposed to the Ryan budget precisely because of our faith, not in spite of it.

It was Blessed John Paul, after all, who wrote, 'It is right to struggle against an unjust economic system that does not uphold the priority of the human being over capital and land.'

Print     Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 11:06 AM



Comments on this post

# RE: Only on Brody File: Paul Ryan Says His Catholic Faith Helped Shape Budget Plan

Mr. Zielinski is incorrect is his assestment. Mr Ryan is is expressing the teachings of the Catholic Church in its proper context. The Catholic Church teaches that we must oppose institutions of sin, that reduces the person to numbers, statistics, or a means to a political end. "it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and ditrubance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association (centralized government) what a lesser and subordinate organizations can do.(local governments)For every social activity ought of its very nature to funish help to members of the body social, and never destroy them or absorb them." Pope Pius XI Quadragesium Annus On this principle, all societies of a superior order must adopt attitudes of help(subsidium)therefore of support,... with respect to lower-order societies. Local entities can properly perform the functions that fall to them WITHOUT being required to hand them over unjustly to higher levels, by which they end being absorbed.
Left by Tom on Apr 10, 2012 10:48 PM

# RE: Only on Brody File: Paul Ryan Says His Catholic Faith Helped Shape Budget Plan

Mr. Ryan's comments here do not reflect the truth about his budget.

And the principle of subsidiarity can't be understood without the requirement that higher order entities, like a federal government, perform those duties that lower order entities, like local government, can't.

It is an assumption that lower order entities can effectively address poverty and vulnerability, one that has thus far been disproven by history. NEVER in the 600+ year history of capitalism has poverty been adequately addressed by the private sector alone. It has only been addressed by higher order entities, like central governments, that don't substantially interfere in the creation of wealth, but which redirect some of that wealth to the poor and vulnerable.

The GOP and Ryan's budget have no effective means to address poverty. Cuts to the budget aren't accompanied by efforts to boost the capacity of local entities to actually address poverty and vulnerability.

Ryan's Catholicism is a lie.
Left by FuzzyR on Aug 13, 2012 6:21 AM