Catholic Bishops Did Not Condemn the Ryan Budget: See Canon Law and John Paul II Letter

There is  a very serious untruth being repeated that the “Ryan Budget” has been condemned as immoral, etc. by the Catholic Bishops aka the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), or even the Catholic Church itself.  It was not.

Where did this supposed condemnation come from?  It came from a USCCB committee that has no authority (see why below) to carry out authentic acts in the Catholic Church and has been exaggerated by entities outside of the USCCB.  This USCCB committee is called the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

Why does this committee have no authority?  Because the Catholic Church purposefully denies it authority as stated in the Catholic Code of Canon Law’s chapter on Bishops’ Conferences and especially poignant in Pope John Paul II’s apostolic letter issued “motu propio” known as Apostolos Suos (On the Theological and Juridical Nature of Bishops’ Conferences) which clarified and adjusted that law.  See Code of Canon Law 455 §4:

Can. 455  §4: “… neither the Conference nor its president can act in the name of all the Bishops unless each and every Bishop has given his consent.”

and see Pope John Paul II’s Apostolos Suos (On… Bishops’ Conferences) paragraph 23:  Smaller bodies —the permanent council, a commission or other offices—do not have the authority to carry out acts of authentic magisterium either in their own name or in the name of the Conference, and not even as a task assigned to them by the Conference.”

That couldn’t be any clearer.

Where is this false condemnation being repeated?

There are many examples. I’ll mention a few for brevity.

Publications like the Huffington Post’s  articles Catholic Bishops Say Ryan Budget Fails Moral Test (click here for story) and Religious Leaders Condemn Ryan-Romney Budget (click here for story)

Letters from academia like the Georgetown Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan (click here)

Websites for groups like Faith in Public Life, who publish blog posts like Georgetown Professors to Ryan:  Stop Distorting Catholic Teaching on Budget (click here) and Catholic Bishops Defend Pro-Family Tax Credits in Face of GOP Cuts (click here) and Hudson and Ryan vs. the U.S. Catholic Bishops (click here).  Also, the group known as NETWORK and its “Nuns on the Bus” tour that has published the following graphics:

TV networks like MSNBC.  Former Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy (left side of screen) states the false condemnation twice in this interview from August 14, 2012.  Go to minutes 3:00 to 3:10 and 6:40 to 6:50 of the video clip below:

Why is this false condemnation being repeated?  It is being repeated by entities outside of the USCCB (like those listed above) who want to influence Catholics to vote for Barack Obama for president.  If you can make Catholics believe falsely that their Church and their Bishops believe something is immoral, you can fool Catholics into voting contrary to a true Catholic conscience.  That’s why this repeated untruth is so egregious on the part of these entities.  Some repeat this falsehood out of ignorance but, others do it deliberately and they owe it to us to be truthful on this subject as the Catechism of the Catholic Church states in section 2469:

CCC 2469     “Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another.”  The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, “as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth.”

What are some facts about the Ryan Budget?  The Ryan Budget actually increased the budget 3% and Obama wanted it increased to 4.5%.  The difference is not a cut.  The video below is from EWTN’s The World Over Live with Raymond Arroyo.  You’ll notice in this video that even a good knowledgeable Catholic like Raymond Arroyo (surely by accident) repeats the committee statement and attributes it to the U.S. Bishops.

•Paul Ryan explains the 3% vs. 4.5% budget increase.  Go to minutes 1:20 to 1:30 of the video below.

•Raymond Arroyo points out that there are no real cuts.  Go to minutes 6:33 to 7:55 of the video below.

Protect and defend your Bishops.  This is not an easy time for them to shepherd us.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

7 responses to “Catholic Bishops Did Not Condemn the Ryan Budget: See Canon Law and John Paul II Letter

  1. This article makes me ashamed of the Church. I’m a life long Catholic, and I wonder at times how the Vatican can call itself Christian as they continue to discriminate against so many. That’s not what Jesus would do. If it feels bad in my heart, I’m against it and vise versa. I use the brain my God gave me.

  2. jackie bellendir

    thank you for explaining and clearing this up. I am a faithful Catholic who recently repeated this to my husband as I had read it somewhere, on FB probably.

  3. Thank you Peter for posting this. It is important for people to refer to the Church documents for the teachings of the Church and not just rely on the opinions or interpretations of others. VP Candidate Ryan does an excellent job of articulating what the Ryan budget is and is not. He clearly understands the Church’s teaching on the dignity of the human person in regards to the poor and how they need to be treated and taken care of. From the expressions on Raymond’s face I don’t think he was convinced but I certainly was. I have an even greater admiration for him now.

  4. George R. Kadlec

    Anybody who believes what they read or hear from the mainline press in this country is either a democrat and/or has fecal material for brains.

  5. USCCB is a respected group of men, and I would respect their opinion nihil obstat or not. I don’t give a rat’s about authentic magesterium or any of that mumbo jumbo. Hey, being willfully ignorant is a two way street! And I certainly don’t need anyone’s seal of approval to realize that the Ryan budget IS, in fact, immoral because it violates the most basic moral code I was taught as a child. (IT WILL CAUSE MORE ABORTIONS!!!!). Like the first commenter, I use the brain that God gave me. I can see it for myself. I will vote my conscience, and it is absolutely clear.

  6. So just because this group doesn’t represent all the Bishops I am supposed to ignore the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development??? Is that really what Jesus would do? Cmon man.