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Friday, April 20, 2012

Ryan Shrugs Off Bishops Consensus, Questions Their Authority

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a series of letters they sent to Congressional committees outlining their opposition to the House GOP budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan.

When Rep. Ryan got his own chance to respond to the USCCB position, he tried to downplay the severity of the critique, dismissing the letters as not representing the consensus position of U.S. bishops. “These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we respectfully disagree,” Ryan said.

The bishops fired back.

Faith In Public Life Excerpt:
The authors of the letters, Bishops Blaire and Pates, weren’t speaking as individuals. They wrote in their official capacity as chairmen of the USCCB’s Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development and International Justice and Peace, respectively. Their views are rooted in a long history of Catholic social teaching on these issues and do represent the official position of the Church.

One Catholic bishop who was speaking for himself, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, of an archdiocese in Illinois went completely off the rails during a sermon this past weekend in his criticism of President Obama on birth control coverage, but nevertheless held "Catholics” like devout Randers Paul Ryan and John Boehner in even greater contempt for actions that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of the Catholic Church.

"May God have mercy especially on the souls of those politicians who pretend to be Catholic in church, but in their public lives, rather like Judas Iscariot, betray Jesus Christ by how they vote and how they willingly cooperate with intrinsic evil. -- Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Catholic diocese of Peoria, Illinois 4/14/12

In this latest confrontation with the Catholic clergy, Ryan continues to show his inability to take constructive criticism or get along with others. You'll recall, he pulled the same stunt with military generals when he suggested they were not being completely honest with their advice about his budget plans for the Pentagon.

TPM Excerpt:
“We don’t think the generals are giving us their true advice,” he said. “We don’t think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget.”

Just for the record, I don't believe government officials should be forming public policy around their religious faith and that any similarities would present themselves as mere coincidence. It was Rep. Paul Ryan however, who publicly insisted that the draconian cuts presented in his obviously Rand-based dystopian budget were a product of this Catholic faith.

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