Catholics find fault and blessing with Ryan’s politics
And for months, leaders within his own denomination have ripped him.
A committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops blasted his federal budget approach for “unjustified and wrong” cuts to the poor. A busload of nuns motored through nine states, including Wisconsin, contending his fiscal priorities are “immoral” and would “devastate the soul of our nation.”
But in Ryan’s own Catholic diocese, the reception has been much more nuanced, even flattering at times. Ryan attends St. John Vianney Parish in Janesville, a church of about 1,400 households in the Madison Catholic Diocese.
While never commenting on specific budget proposals, Madison Catholic Bishop Robert Morlino has described Ryan as a Catholic in good standing and vigorously defended Ryan’s right — and the right of any prayerful Catholic layperson — to form conclusions about the best ways to help the poor.
“The fact that we’re friends does not cloud my judgment when I say he is an excellent Catholic layman of the very highest integrity,” Morlino said of Ryan on a Catholic radio show last month.
In a column Aug. 16 in the Catholic Herald, the newspaper of the diocese, Morlino wrote that Ryan “is aware of Catholic social teaching and is very careful to fashion and form his conclusions in accord with (Catholic principles). Of that I have no doubt.” Morlino said he felt compelled to mention the matter “in obedience to church law regarding one’s right to a good reputation.”
In the same column, Morlino said it is not for bishops or priests to endorse particular candidates or political parties. [More]