Candidate Paul Ryan: Is he a bad Catholic?
The reaction I am most awaiting to Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate hasn’t come in yet: What say you, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops?
I know that the bishops aren’t exactly in the candidate-endorsing business. But Romney’s selection of Ryan puts the national body in an interesting and difficult position. Ryan is a guy who has specifically tried to link his major policy initiatives to his understanding of his Catholic faith. And in some serious detail.
In some narrow cases, like Ryan’s unwavering opposition to abortion, there’s zero space between his position and the unambiguous official Catholic stance. But on his broadest policy idea — a dramatic restructuring of the federal budget — there’s already been a powerful set of broadsides. Leaving Ryan taking on water.
And if Romney wants to describe Ryan on the campaign trail as a “faithful Catholic,” the bishops might feel theologically obligated to disagree.
If you’ve forgotten the exchange from the distant political past of about five months ago, here’s the recap:
Ryan released his ideas for how the federal budget should be transformed, including major shifts in social services spending and the way that Medicare operates. He went on with David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network to explain in some detail how his ideas comport with Catholic teachings:
“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?” [more]