Only on Brody File: Paul Ryan Says His Catholic Faith Helped Shape Budget Plan


In an exclusive interview with The Brody File, House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan says his faith helped him shape his federal budget plan, saying the Catholic principle of "subsidiarity" guided his thought process and is consistent with Catholic social teaching.

This interview was conducted last Tuesday near Milwaukee, Wis., but The Brody File is making some clips available now. A full report will air this Thursday on "The 700 Club."

Courtesy: CBN News/The Brody File

David Brody: Tell me a little bit about the morality and the debt. Where does your Catholic faith play into the way this budget is crafted?

Paul Ryan: A person’s faith is central to how they conduct themselves in public and in private. So to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is how do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?

To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society of the principal of solidarity where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good. By not having big government crowd out civic society, but by having enough space in our communities so that we can interact with each other, and take care of people who are down and out in our communities.

Those principles are very very important, and the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenants of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life. Help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence.

Here's a response to what Paul Ryan had to say by Graeme Zielinski, communications director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin:

For Paul Ryan to claim that the Catholic social teaching that emphasizes participation, solidarity, and care for the least is the backbone of his divisive and exclusionary budget is an act of political cynicism. The American bishops have, since the end of World War I, called for government to provide a safety net to the orphan, the widow, the disabled, the poorest among us.

Paul Ryan would shred that net while giving tax cuts to the richest and shredding a juridical system to oversee the market and protect other human beings. There are more than a few Catholics like me who are opposed to the Ryan budget precisely because of our faith, not in spite of it.

It was Blessed John Paul, after all, who wrote, 'It is right to struggle against an unjust economic system that does not uphold the priority of the human being over capital and land.'

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