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Will Biden-Ryan debate be a ‘Catholic smackdown’?


When Joe Biden and Paul Ryan face off in the vice-presidential debate on Thursday night (Oct. 11), it will mark the first showdown of its kind between the first Catholics ever to oppose each other on the major party tickets.

A “Catholic Thrilla in Manila” as a Washington Post headline put it, recalling the famous 1975 Ali-Frazier heavyweight bout in the Philippines. Store window signs in the host city of Danville, Ky., prefer the “Thrill in the Ville.”

Whatever it is called, expectations among Catholics are as high as the stakes for both campaigns.

Joseph Cella, who leads Catholic outreach for the Romney-Ryan campaign in Michigan, where the GOP ticket has nearly closed a 10-point gap, said the campaign is organizing debate-watching parties nationwide.

“I don¹t see how Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan could avoid discussing principles of importance to Catholics,” said Cella, a veteran conservative activist.

“I don¹t think their faith will dominate the debate, but it will be an important component, and will offer sharp illustrations of the differences between the Obama administration and Gov. Romney.”

Still, while both Ryan and Biden speak proudly and often about their Catholic faith, and are quick to explain how it informs their policy positions, it’s not clear either will try to use those religious bona fides to gain an advantage. [more]





  1. catholic and voting says:

    Both men are Catholics, but being a Catholic does not give us a menu to pick and choose what we will follow in our faith.
    Our Faith is laid out with certain principles of morality, religion and following the way of Jesus. It does not and never will give us the opportunity to pick and choose which of these principles is appealing to us. We are Catholic, or we are not Catholic

  2. Tony says:

    I think it was Thomas Aquinas who said that he would rather be fooled by someone who he gave money to who didn’t need it, than not give to someone who needed it.

    • Catholic Lady says:

      Everything I have has been given to me through the Grace of God. Although I think that my house is mine, that I have gained an education, that I have a little money in the bank, have loving children and good health. These are gifts to me from a loving God. They were given to me so that I might somehow be able to help my fellow man – to share – They can be taken away from me in a moments notice, through no fault of mine. Perhaps through a car accident, a serious health problem, a fire or theft, or the present world economics. Jesus teaches us not to hold on to the things of this world too firmly.

  3. Abortion and gay marriage is a matter that I hold against Joe Biden. I find that wrong for him as a Catholic to adhere to for party benefit. As far as Paul Ryan and his beliefs along the lines of social help, I think that people who REALLY need it should receive help, but I have seen too many people say that they need help when it is apparent that they don’t. An example: Money for vacations, weekends away, smoking, Alcoholic drinks, social drug use. These individuals often say they can’t afford health care or other things. I say they have there priorities mixed up and they do not deserve help. That is where I believe Paul Ryan’s convictions are. Something has to be done or this country will go bankrupt.

    • Elinor Melley says:

      Right on, Emily!!!

    • Catholic Lady says:

      A problem in mainly Muslim countries is that they want Christians and non-believers to live by the laws of their Muslim religion..Does this sound familiar? Remember Canada and the United States are democatic countries when you go off to vote.


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