Catholic News Service photo
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Republican U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, walk with Ryan's daughter Liza to the Romney campaign bus after Ryan was introduced as Romney's vice presidential running mate during a campaign event in Norfolk, Va. Ryan, a Catholic, chairs the House Budget Committee.
Compiled from news reportsCorrection: The Catholic Sentinel website post 'Ryan a controversial VP choice' was earlier mislabeled as a Catholic News Service story. It was actually compiled from news reports in the secular press.
Rep. Paul Ryan, a hero to some Catholics, troubles others. Mitt Romney’s pick for vice president atop the Republican ticket is a pro-life member of St. John Vianney Church in Janesville, Wis. yet also author of a budget proposal that the U.S. bishops said may weaken the safety net for poor Americans.
Ryan, 42, is a seven-term congressman and former altar boy who tells reporters his faith has guided his positions on social issues, putting him in line with church doctrine on abortion rights and gay marriage.
To the consternation of some, Ryan cites the Catholic social teaching ideas of solidarity and subsidiarity when he lays out plans to shrink government and cut debt. Critics say he has forgotten the Catholic principle of preferential option for the poor and vulnerable. Ryan counters, saying that supporting people who are poor does not mean big government.
A team of women religious traveled the country this summer, saying Ryan’s budget ideas would seriously harm the poor. The U.S. bishops last year wrote to Congress, warning them of the dangers that might come if they voted in favor of Ryan’s plan.
“We join with other Christian leaders in calling for a ‘circle of protection’ around our brothers and sisters at home and abroad who are poor and vulnerable,” the bishops wrote. The bishops said the true measure of the nation is “how those who are jobless, hungry, homeless or poor are treated.”