Paul Ryan’s former priest worries about Ryan’s role as prospective VP

This isn’t a surprise, considering I’ve long maintained Paul Ryan’s budget plan isn’t in keeping with the social justice teachings of the Catholic Church.

The entrance to St. Mary Elementary School in Janesville, Wisconsin has two identical archways with contrasting inscriptions. One entrance says, “For God.” The other says, “For Country.” That is where Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, first merged his studies of government and religion as a young student.

And the priest who presides over the archways and the towering steeple of the Nativity of Mary says that Ryan’s interpretation of Catholic teaching in national budgetary matters and his prospective vice presidential role have him “worried.” Father Stephen Umhoefer told the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that he supports a role for religion in the public square, but that Ryan’s austerity budget and proposed steep cuts in social programs are inconsistent with the Catholic teachings that Ryan cites to justify the policies. “If he is following his conscience, he is doing the morally correct thing. But he shouldn’t wrap himself in Catholic teaching because he is not using that [teaching] in what I would say is a balanced way,” said Umhoefer.


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5 thoughts on “Paul Ryan’s former priest worries about Ryan’s role as prospective VP

  1. To repeat from the NYT editorial of 8/11/12 “Mr. Ryan’s Cramped Vision” which highlighted a caution from Catholic Bishops’ letter last April:

    “Mr. Romney’s budget ‘will hurt children, poor families, vulnerable seniors and workers who cannot find employment’…” And “‘These cuts are unjustified and wrong.'”

    It appears that Mr. Ryan also has a Cramped Conscience. Either that or Ryan has forgotten everything he learned about the beatitudes at St. Mary’s Elementary school as well as from Miami U about Economics.

    Isn’t Mr. Ryan robbing from the poor to give to the rich?

  2. That statement reminds me of what the first Bishop of our new diocese in West Tennessee used to say: “It’s a delicate balance.” Juggling spiritual, political and material matters can’t be easy when some people don’t believe in the spiritual, some people don’t believe in the political and many people think material matters are too often bad or immoral.

  3. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of Republican priests who’ve found a way to justify any policy and proposal. Just say the charity should come from each of us instead. Don’t bother to forecast or plan how your parish would actually take on that burden. That’s for someone else to worry about. Work on a plan to get tax dollars for your church school, instead.

    1. That line of thinking will only force you to realize that conformity is not the goal, not all Republicans are the same, not all Democrats are the same, and not all Catholics are the same.

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