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.