Paul Ryan Exclusive: Explains How His Catholic Faith Shapes Public Policy Views

Paul Ryan Exclusive: Explains How His Catholic Faith Shapes Public Policy Views


Below is part of The Brody File exclusive interview with vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan. The interview was done Friday at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C.

Mandatory Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File

The Brody File’s national piece on Paul Ryan airs on "The 700 Club" Monday morning. In addition, a fuller version of the interview can be seen on The Brody File TV Show this coming Friday at 9:30 a.m. on the ABC Family Channel.

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On How His Catholic Views Shape His Public Policy Decisions:

David Brody: What about the Catholic vote? I’m curious about that. One in four voters identify themselves as Catholic. There’s this big schism between the social justice Catholics and the pro-life Catholics. You’re in that world. What’s your take on all that?

Paul Ryan: There is some political philosophy that enters into it. I, as a conservative Catholic, can no more claim sole justification for my political views than a liberal can for theirs. The social magisterium is very broad in allowing the lay to exercise what we call prudential judgment to apply their principles to the problems of the day.

Now, there are key issues, intrinsic issues, life and marriage and things like this that are really non-negotiable and the Church is very clear on that. But on other issues, of economics and such like that, that’s a matter of prudential judgment.

Now what we believe as practicing Catholics, as conservative Catholics is that our job is to go after the root cause of poverty, to try and eradicate poverty. When we talk about ideas, principles like subsidiarity in conjunction with solidarity and preferential option for the poor, what that means is we believe in civil society. We believe in individuals in their community and solidarity with one another working to create a better common good for everybody; helping people in need, protecting the voiceless like the unborn.

These things are central to who we are and the notion that you can divorce these principles, these matters of faith between private life and public life, that doesn’t jive with the thinking of a Catholic. And so sure there are differences of opinion on how to achieve an end. We believe in attacking the root cause of poverty not simply treating the symptoms so it’s more tolerable and that means having a vibrant civil society.

And when government gets too big and too intrusive and too dictatorial, then it crowds out civil society. It makes it harder for those institutions that are the mediating institutions between the person and their government to flourish; churches, charities, civic organizations. When my boys go to Cub Scouts they learn values at Cub Scouts. When we put the Pinewood Derby together or the Raingutter Regatta, when my daughter gets involved in her local charities or things like this, this is what ties people together.

And the notion that the government is the center of our society, of our economy, in our life is just a notion that is foreign to us who are people of faith who believe in these principles.

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