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The Good Servant:  Catholic Economic Teaching

on Government and the Private Sector*

Thomas John Paprocki

Bishop of Springfield in Illinois

September 20, 2012

I am very grateful to have been invited to speak with you today. The topic I have chosen is a subject that is important to all of us as Catholics and as participants in the American democratic experiment, namely, the Church’s teaching regarding the work of the private sector and the role of the government in the management of the economy.

Sir Thomas More was a devoted husband, a loving father, a generous friend, a gifted writer, a renowned scholar, and a skilled lawyer and judge.  He is also remembered as a devoted servant in the court of King Henry VIII in which he held a number of important posts, rising to become Lord Chancellor of the Realm, a position that would be roughly equivalent in our political system to being White House chief-of-staff, Secretary of State, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court all at once, a position second in power only to the King himself.

Of course most of all, and in a way that captures all the best qualities that he exhibited in life, Thomas More is remembered today as a saint – a man who was devoted to Christ and his Church, and who willingly sacrificed his power, his wealth and security, and ultimately his life out of love for God.  Because he would not accede to the Act of Supremacy declaring Henry to be the supreme head of the church in England or take the Oath of Supremacy, renouncing Rome’s authority in ecclesial matters, More was beheaded on Tower Hill, July 6, 1535.  As he stood on the scaffold before his execution, he briefly addressed the crowd gathered, telling them that he died “the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”[1]

        In this simple phrase – “the King’s good servant, but God’s first” – St. Thomas More summarizes the call of Christian discipleship and the proper perspective we must all bring to our daily work – to be God’s servant first!  As such, in his life and in his death, St. Thomas More is a model for Christian engagement in the world.  And this is precisely the vocation that most of us receive from God – to be in the world as the followers of Jesus Christ proclaiming the Good News – to be the leaven that makes the bread rise.  There are, of course, people who have vocations that are not active in the world – monastic men and women in contemplative communities who “pray without ceasing.”[2]  While not active in the world in the temporal order, they are engaged with the world in the order of grace as they pray for the salvation of all humanity – men and women, living and dead.  That is a special vocation for which we should all be grateful, one that bears witness to and reminds us of the last things – death, judgment, heaven and hell.

        Most of us, however, are called to be in the world – to address present things, even as we keep our eyes fixed on heaven.  Specifically, as Christians and as citizens, we are obliged to work for justice and promote the common good – an obligation that is especially meaningful in a democratic society like ours, where a government by, of, and for the people possesses limited constitutional authority to care for the common good, and where the balance is entrusted to the care of non-governmental institutions, including churches and other religious groups.  To aid us in the exercise of this responsibility, the Church offers the faithful and all the peoples of the world her social magisterium – a body of papal, episcopal and conciliar texts that offer critical reflection on the economic, political, and cultural problems of the day.  

The documents that make up Catholic social teaching address a wide array of topics including the rights of workers and the plight of the poor and working classes; the nature of property and the responsibility of capital and the need to regulate markets; the nature of family as the first and vital cell of society[3]  and the need to protect the family in law; the challenges posed by globalization, the role of international bodies, and the need to work for peaceful solutions to conflicts between nation-states; the injustice of abortion – the legal slaughter of the innocent – and other threats to human life posed by euthanasia and capital punishment; and the immorality of racial and ethnic discrimination and the proper treatment of immigrants and refugees.

        In speaking of “Catholic social teaching,” it is important to distinguish between those aspects of the teaching that are binding principles and those that are prudential judgments. Principles are binding insofar as they must be held by the faithful for the sake of salvation. Prudential judgments involve the reasoned application of these principles that allow for considerable latitude and discretion. Statements of Popes and bishops on policy, legislation, and other situational applications of principles provide guidance to the faithful, but they are not binding. Note, however, that the distinctions between binding principles and prudential judgments are not always clear and absolute.[4] Different legal and policy proposals are often compatible with a particular binding moral principle.  But it is not always so.  For example, there is no circumstance or context in which it could be just to deprive any class of persons of the legal protection for their lives which other classes of persons enjoy.  Because support for what many today call “pro-choice” laws about abortion necessarily involves willing this departure from legal equality which justice requires, the “pro-choice” position is always gravely wrong.

        This distinction between binding principles and prudential judgments is well recognized in the Church’s social magisterium, including the 1986 pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops of the United States, Economic Justice for All;[5] the Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life, issued in 2002 by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith;[6] the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, published in 2005 by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace;[7] and  the 2007 document, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States.[8] In practice, however, the distinction is not always readily apparent to the reader of such statements.

This can be seen, for example, in the recent letters of Bishops Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, and Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairmen of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development and the Committee on International Justice and Peace, respectively, urging Congress to resist proposed cuts in hunger and nutrition programs. In their April 16, 2012 letter to the Chairmen of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee for Agriculture, Rural Development Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Bishops Blaire and Pates wrote, “A central moral measure of any budget proposal is how it affects ‘the least of these’ (Matthew 25).” Here, quoting the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 25, the Bishops were stating a binding principle of the divine moral law as taught by Christ himself, that is, whether or not we fed the hungry during our lifetime will be one of the criteria by which we are judged at the Last Judgment. Later in the letter they say, “The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), received a $2 billion cut made to the reserve fund in the 2010 child nutrition bill. Restoration of funding is necessary as families continue to struggle with joblessness and poverty.” Here, they are not speaking of necessity in the sense that voting for this program would be necessary for salvation. They are simply making a prudential judgment that this program is a necessary practical means to feed the hungry. However, reasonable minds can come to different conclusions about more effective ways to alleviate hunger.[9]

Because this body of Catholic social teaching stretches well over a hundred years – from the Industrial Revolution to the Information Age, from Leo XIII to Benedict XVI – it has sought to help the world confront new problems that have arisen as history unfolds.  Thus, over the decades, different documents in different times have emphasized one or another aspect of this teaching – a teaching that has developed in light of “the signs of the times.”[10]  However, the principles that underlie the social magisterium have not changed, in that these principles are derived from both the natural moral law and the Gospel which reveals the Eternal Word of God, Jesus Christ, who is “the same yesterday, today, and forever.”[11]  Thus, the development that has occurred is genuinely that – a development and not a contradiction – the organic process of growth that takes place in nature in the life of any organism without the loss of identity (e.g. from acorn, to sapling, to oak tree), and not the mechanical process of annihilation and substitution in which one identity is abandoned for another (e.g. replacing one’s old car with a new automobile).  Accordingly, it is appropriate to understand the Church’s social magisterium as constituting “a single teaching, consistent and at the same time ever new”; not a “closed system” but a “dynamic faithfulness to a light received.”[12]

        The principles set forth in Catholic social teaching are principles that the Church believes must be embodied in the laws, structures, and policies that govern social life, including the economic dimension of that life.  But Catholic social teaching does not specify how these principles are to be embodied.  That is, it does not mandate the means – the specific laws, structures, and policies – through which justice and the common good are to be brought about.

For example, the Church over her two thousand year history has worked with various forms of government – democracies, aristocracies, and monarchies.  The Church recognizes that the choice of a regime will depend upon the “circumstances which vary in different times and in different places”[13] and so insists that “the choice of government and the method of selecting leaders [be] left to the free will of citizens.”[14]  Regardless of the specific form of government adopted, however, the Church teaches that what is essential as a matter of principle is that the institutions of the State are conformed to “right reason and the natural law,”[15] that the State recognizes “the basic rights of person and family”[16] and works to advance the common good and not be to “the advantage of a certain faction or the rulers themselves.”[17]  Nevertheless, as a matter of prudential judgment, Catholic social teaching favors democratic forms of government that afford all citizens “the chance to participate freely and actively” in choosing their leaders,[18] since democracy tends to reflect “a keener awareness of human dignity.”[19]  Still, democracy is by no means a guarantee of a political order that satisfies the demands of justice, and in fact some democratic governments – like our own – sometimes seek to legitimize that which is inherently unjust and immoral, as in the case of laws that create and subsidize a “right” to abortion.[20]

        Catholic social teaching, then, is not a blueprint for the organization of society or a detailed platform for social reform.  Indeed, in her social doctrine the Church announces that she “has no models to present”[21]; she “does not have technical solutions to offer.”[22]  Instead, within the principles of morality that Catholic social teaching makes clear, it belongs to the laity “to take the initiative freely and to infuse a Christian spirit into the mentality, customs, laws, and structures of the community in which they live.”[23]

        The same is true with respect to Catholic teaching on the economy.  The precise role of the State in the economy – the manner in which both economic activity is to be regulated and those who are unemployed or unable to provide for themselves are to be cared for – is a question of prudential judgment that different societies will answer in different ways at different times, depending upon the culture and the circumstances of the day.  What is not a matter of prudential judgment is the principle at the heart of Catholic social teaching on the economy – that the human person is the source, center and purpose of all economic life[24] such that the economy is not an end in itself but has only an instrumental value – to uphold the dignity of the human person and aid in human flourishing, that is, in his or her integral development.[25]  Recognition of and respect for the dignity of the human person requires a system of law that upholds the principles of justice and a political system that is oriented toward the common good.

        This idea is given greater clarity in the form of principles that derive from the dignity of the human person and are found in Church’s social magisterium: in the right to private property and the universal destination of goods; in the dignity of work and the rights of workers; in the principle of solidarity – “a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good,”[26] a “sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone” [27] from which we derive the preferential option for the poor;[28] and in the principle of subsidiarity – a principle that “fosters freedom and participation through the assumption of responsibility,”[29] a principle that restricts transferring to higher levels of authority those “functions which can be performed and provided for by lesser and subordinate bodies.”[30]  Still, the idea that animates the entire body of Catholic teaching on economic life, the idea that every economic and political order must strive to possess, is the dignity of the human person as a creature made in the image and likeness of God.  Because every human being is a person – a being in relation who is radically connected to every other human being with whom he or she shares the same earth – the political-economic order must be organized in a way that respects human freedom and preserves human dignity.  This sometimes calls for enhancing the market and competition, and at other times intervening in the market either to answer a need that the market cannot meet or to prohibit a certain kind of transaction that should never occur.  It sometimes calls for various forms of social assistance to help those in need and at other times for policies that push individuals to take responsibility for their lives and to seek a measure of economic independence.  

Seen in its totality the Church’s social teaching is both/and, not either/or. So it is not a question of choosing either the private sector or governmental involvement, but of both the private sector and the government working together in their appropriate spheres. The word “catholic” means “universal,” and as such the Catholic approach to matters is to seek inclusion rather than exclusion of views, options, methods and persons.

        This way of looking at things is helpful to keep in mind in the context of our current election campaigns. Paul Ryan is a native son of Wisconsin and a Catholic who is seeking national office as Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate.  Ryan is only the ninth Catholic to be on the presidential ticket of either major party – a rare distinction that he shares with his counterpart, Joe Biden. [31]  Mr. Ryan rose to prominence in national politics representing Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District since being elected in 1998, and serving as chairman of the House Budget Committee.  Ryan also served as a member of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform – the so-called Simpson-Bowles Commission – that was charged with examining the nation’s ability to meet its growing debt obligations across the budget (defense spending, discretionary spending, and entitlements such as Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security) and to make recommendations to achieve fiscal sustainability over the long run.[32]

        Suffice it to say that Mr. Ryan has thoroughly studied the nation’s budget and is as knowledgeable about the now looming fiscal crisis as any elected official from either party – a point conceded by some leading Democrats.[33]  In light of our discussion it is also worth noting that Mr. Ryan has expressly defended the budget he has put forth as an attempt to apply the “enduring principles [of Catholic social teaching] to the urgent social problems of our time.”[34]

        The budget proposal that Mr. Ryan put forth, the so-called “Ryan Budget” is a lengthy document, and my purpose here is not to get into the details of that document or to debate its pros and cons.  To be clear, there may be many sound policy reasons to reject the budget Mr. Ryan has proposed, or certain aspects of it, but I leave that to the judgment of others.  It is, however, incorrect to reject the Ryan budget out of hand as not in keeping with the Church’s teaching on the economy and the role of government.  While not all-encompassing, Catholic social teaching is broad enough to include a variety of approaches to these complex issues, most of which are, as I have said, a matter of prudential judgment, about which reasonable people – including reasonable Catholics – can disagree.

        Put another way, with respect to the role of the government in the regulation of the economy and care for the disadvantaged, Catholic social teaching does not propose a moral binary: either a centralized, administrative welfare-state or a laissez faire economy; either, on the one hand a government that occupies a dominant role in the provision of healthcare, the regulation of manufacturing, finance and agriculture, and the enjoyment of a dignified life by those left behind by the market or, on the other hand, a government that has no role to play in the management of these affairs.  In responding to the challenges of social life, Catholic social teaching is not either/or but both/and.  It does not dictate one approach or the other.  Rather, within the limits established by its foundational principle, Catholic social teaching allows for the formulation of creative solutions to address problems of poverty, unemployment, healthcare, and financial and industrial regulation.  Given this fact, Congressman Ryan is undoubtedly correct in asserting that the preferential option for the poor, which is a central tenet in Catholic social teaching, does not entail “a preferential option for big government.”[35]

        Not surprisingly, Mr. Ryan has drawn the attention of a number of fellow Catholics, some of whom have criticized his proposed budget as not in keeping with the Church’s social magisterium.  I believe that these critics fail to appreciate the capacious nature of the tradition, that they have read the tradition in far too narrow a fashion, a point that can be seen in their selective invocation of passages from various church documents.

        For example, just prior to the time that Mr. Ryan delivered a lecture on the proposed budget and Catholic social teaching at Georgetown University,[36] a group of Georgetown faculty wrote a letter to Ryan accusing him of “profoundly misreading Church teaching.”[37]  The letter warns that the proposed budget will “decimate[] food programs for struggling families” and “radically weaken[] protections for the elderly and sick” while “giv[ing] more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”[38]  They claim that in the name of subsidiarity Mr. Ryan seeks to “dismantle government programs and leave the poor to their own devices.”  And in what Catholic writer George Weigel (Blessed Pope John Paul II’s biographer) has rightly described as a fit of academic snobbery,[39] the authors of the Georgetown faculty letter recommend that Mr. Ryan consult the Vatican’s Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church, a copy of which they include with the letter.

        The Compendium is an important and readily accessible resource for anyone who hopes to know the mind of the Church as it relates to economic affairs, concern for the poor, and government intervention.  Unfortunately for the authors of the Georgetown letter, the Compendium does not provide the sort of blistering refutation of the Ryan budget that they suppose.  Instead, it reflects the Church’s sober appreciation for the complexity of these matters – the both/and approach that calls for the exercise of prudential judgment that I highlighted a moment before.  First, as George Weigel notes “[t]here is no . . . direct line from the principles of Catholic social doctrine to judgments on the levels of WIC funding, food stamp funding, or Pell grant funding, three issues on which the Georgetown faculty claims moral certainty.”[40]  These are again, matters of prudential judgment.  Moreover, the Compendium says that the action of the government must be inspired by both subsidiarity – without which the social order would “degenerate into a ‘Welfare State’” – and solidarity – so as to discourage “forms of self-centered localism.”[41]  It says that “[i]t is necessary for the market and the State to act in concert, one with the other, and to complement each other mutually” and that when the State makes “direct interventions” in the market these should be “only for the length of time strictly necessary.”[42]  The Compendium further states that public authorities should “seek conditions that encourage the development of individual capacities of initiative, autonomy and personal responsibility in citizens” warning that “a direct intervention that is too extensive ends up depriving citizens of responsibility and creates excessive growth in public agencies guided more by bureaucratic logic than by the goal of satisfying the needs of the person.”[43]  In seeking to limit government intervention, while caring for the needs of the poor and encouraging personal responsibility, Mr. Ryan’s proposed budget is consistent with these principles.  Moreover, at the very least, these passages raise the question of whether our current programs aimed at combating poverty actually help perpetuate it by stifling individual responsibility and fostering inter-generational dependence on government.

Similarly, writing in America magazine, a Jesuit periodical, Gerald Beyer, a professor at St. Joseph University, has said that Mr. Ryan “badly misunderstands” the bedrock principles of solidarity and subsidiarity.[44]  For Prof. Beyer, solidarity “[b]y its very nature . . . requires advocating social change on the structural level” by which he means legislative policies and institutions.[45]  Certainly Mr. Ryan is seeking to achieve structural change.  The change he seeks, however, is somewhat different from what Mr. Beyer thinks is appropriate.  

Beyer accuses Mr. Ryan of attempting to “enfeeble solidarity by flanking it with the principle of subsidiarity”[46] in that Ryan quotes Pope Benedict XVI as saying that “subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing state.”[47]  But this is only a rhetorical claim on Beyer’s part.  There is no indication that Mr. Ryan is somehow attempting to empty solidarity of its critical bite by pairing it with subsidiarity.  Instead, Mr. Ryan is attempting to remain faithful to Pope Benedict’s teaching in the American context.  Indeed, the Pope makes clear that “[t]he principle of subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa, since the former without the latter gives way to social privatism, while the latter without the former gives way to paternalist social assistance that is demeaning to those in need.”[48]  The passage from the Compendium on the Social Doctrine of the Church that I quoted a moment ago says something very similar:

Solidarity without subsidiarity, in fact, can easily degenerate into a “Welfare State”, while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk of encouraging forms of self-centred localism. In order to respect both of these fundamental principles, the State's intervention in the economic environment must be neither invasive nor absent, but commensurate with society's real needs.[49]

Beyer agrees that “[w]hen possible, it is better for smaller, local groups to solve their problem” but that “Catholic social teaching posits that large entities, including governments, have a responsibility to assist individuals and communities when they cannot effectively solve their own problems” and then asserts that “Ryan’s libertarian ‘government is the problem’ approach” is inconsistent with this teaching.  But Ryan nowhere denies “a positive role for government in protecting the economic rights and well-being of people.”  Instead, Mr. Ryan and Prof. Beyer have a disagreement with one another as to the scope of this role and the means whereby it should be exercised.  But this is a disagreement with one another.  It is not a matter of Mr. Ryan disagreeing with the Church.  Rather, disagreement on these specific issues is a disagreement of practical judgment, not unalterable principles.

        Likewise, the National Catholic Reporter columnist Sean Michael Winters has accused Mr. Ryan of “libertarianism” which he describes as a “heresy” [50] since he sees it as being at odds with Christ’s admonition that we will be judged by how we care for the least of our brethren.[51]  Surely, Ryan does stress individual responsibility – which, not coincidentally, is also a strong theme in Catholic social teaching – but Ryan’s proposed budget is hardly libertarian.  That is, it is hardly libertarian to publicly guarantee the existing Medicare program for those who are 55 years of age and older, and to propose a government sponsored voucher program in which citizens would receive $8000 adjusted for inflation in the form of a voucher for the purchase of insurance.[52]  This is hardly the proposal of someone who believes that all individuals should simply fend for themselves and that the government has no role in helping to ensure their well being.

        Again, I wish to be clear: I am not passing judgment on the merits of Ryan’s proposals as matters of public policy.  They may or may not be the policies that we as a nation should choose to pursue.  Instead, I am responding to the claim that these proposals contradict the principles of Catholic social teaching.  They do not.  And claiming that they do undermines the good will that is necessary for dialogue within the Church, even as it contributes to the impoverishment of public discourse more broadly in American society.  Dialogue within the Church should be a model for others, not a replica of the hyperbole and superficiality that typifies conversation in the public square today.

        In conclusion, St. Thomas More was a man who was deeply engaged in the world in which he lived as he sought to serve his king and the men and women of the realm, while also caring for his own soul’s sake, and for that he was recognized as a saint and raised to the glory of the altar.  Paul Ryan is not yet a saint, and neither is Joe Biden, and the same could be said of you and me.  But this should be our life’s ambition – to live with Jesus through all eternity in the endless joy of heaven.  Most of us are called to “work out our salvation”[53] by engaging the world as citizens who work for justice and the common good.  In attending to this most important task – our life’s work – we would do well to study the Church’s social teaching as we welcome the Good News into our hearts.

        May God give us this grace. Amen.



[1] E.E. Reynolds, St. Thomas More 299 (1958).

[2]

 1Thessalonians 5:17.

[3] Apostolicam actuositatem ¶11.

[4]

 Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., “Let Prudence Be Prudence and Doctrine Be Doctrine: The Doctrinal Status of Catholic Social Teaching,” Catholic Social Teaching and Economics (Plymouth, Michigan: Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, 2011), 187-198.

[5]

 “We do not claim to make these prudential judgments with the same kind of authority that marks our declarations of principle.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Economic Justice for All: A Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the Economy (Washington, D.C., 1986).

[6]

 “Christian Faith has never presumed to impose a rigid framework on social and political questions, conscious that the historical dimension requires men and women to live in imperfect situations, which are also susceptible to rapid change.” Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Doctrinal Note on Some Questions Regarding the Participation of Catholics in Political Life ¶ 7 (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2002), 15-16.

[7]

 “When reality is the subject of careful attention and proper interpretation, concrete and effective choices can be made. However, an absolute value must never be attributed to these choices because no problem can be solved once and for all.” Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church ¶ 568 (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2005), 246.

[8] “Decisions about candidates and choices about public policies require clear commitment to moral principles, careful discernment and prudential judgments based on the values of our faith.” United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States (Washington, D.C.: USCCB, 2007), ¶ 50.

[9] The full text of these letters is available at http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-063.cfm.

[10] Gaudium et Spes ¶ 4.

[11]

 Hebrews 13:8.

[12]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 12.

[13]

 Pacem in Terris ¶ 68.

[14]

 Gaudium et Spes ¶ 74.

[15]

 Rerum Novarum ¶ 25.

[16]

 Gaudium et Spes ¶ 42.

[17]

 Gaudium et Spes ¶ 73.

[18]

Gaudium et Spes ¶ 75.

[19]

 Gaudium et Spes ¶ 73.

[20]

 Evangelium Vitae ¶ 70.

[21]

 Centesimus Annus ¶ 43.

[22]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 9.

[23]

 Populorum Progressio ¶ 81.

[24]

 Gaudium et Spes ¶ 63.

[25]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 36; Centesimus Annus ¶ 49.

[26]

 Solicitudo Rei Socialis ¶ 38.

[27]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 38.

[28]

 See, Thomas J. Paprocki, “Option for the Poor:  Preference or Platitude?” America, vol. 172, no. 14 (April 22, 1995) 11-14.

[29]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 57.

[30]

 Quadragesimo Anno ¶ 79.

[31] The other Catholic presidential and vice-presidential candidates identified by year and party are as follows: Al Smith (1928-D), John Kennedy (1960-D), William Miller (1964-R), Thomas Eagleton (1972-D), Sargent Shriver (1972-D), Geraldine Ferraro (1984-D), John Kerry (2004-D), and Joe Biden (2008, 2012-D).

[32]

 The Commission’s website, which includes a link to the Commission’s final report, is available at http://www.fiscalcommission.gov.

[33]

 For example, Erskine Bowles, a Democrat, former chief-of-staff to President Clinton, and a co-chair of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been effusive in his praise of Paul Ryan.  See Michael Patrick Leahy, Democrat Erskine Bowles Called Ryan Budget ‘Sensible, Straightforward, Serious,’ available at http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/08/13/Democrat-Erskine-Bowles-called-Ryan-Budget-Sensible-Straightforward-Serious.

[34]

 Paul Ryan, Applying Our Enduring Truths to Our Defining Challenge, available at http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/applying-our-enduring-truths-to-our-defining-challenge/. See also, letter of Congressman Paul Ryan to then-Archbishop (now Cardinal) Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, dated April 29, 2011, and Dolan’s reply, dated May 11, 2011, available at http://budget.house.gov/fy2012budget/dolandialogue.htm.  

[35]

 Paul Ryan, The 2012 Whittington Lecture, available at http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/297054/paul-ryans-whittington-lecture-daniel-foster.

[36]

 The full text of Ryan’s address see id.

[37]

 Georgetown Faculty Letter to Rep. Paul Ryan, available at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JRLM7Jh9PnrxptafWYENXdAmxnXd4gQJMYTu3H4TFHA/edit?pli=1.

[38]

 Id.

[39]

 George Weigel, Ryan vs. Georgetown, available at http://www.nationalreview.com/blogs/print/297049.

[40]

 Id.

[41]

 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church ¶ 351 (2004).

[42]

 Id. ¶ 353.

[43]

 Id. ¶ 354.

[44]

 Gerald J. Beyer, What Ryan Missed, available at http://www.americamagazine.org/content/article.cfm?article_id=13455.

[45]

 Id.

[46]

 Id.

[47]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 57.

[48]

 Caritas in Veritate ¶ 58.

[49]

 Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church ¶ 351 (2004).

[50]

 Sean Michael Winters, Dear Republican Catholics, available at http://ncronline.org/blogs/distinctly-catholic/dear-republican-catholics.

[51]

 Matthew 25:31-46.

[52]

 For a summary of the proposed Ryan Budget, see, The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal, available at http://budget.house.gov/prosperity/fy2013.htm.

[53]

 Philippians 2:12.