Paul Ryan and the Hour of the Laity

As you know, Paul Ryan has been subject to the criticisms of a minority of Catholic bishops, questioning his commitment to Catholic social teaching in regard to budget policy-making.

(George Weigel has addressed this here.)

On EWTN’s The World Over last night, Raymond Arroyo asked Congressman Ryan’s bishop about his budget. Bishop Robert Morlino of the diocese of Madison, Wisconsin, spoke as a shepherd, encouraging discerning policy-making from Ryan and all Catholics in public life.

Pointing out “I don’t think that he really needs any particular affirmation from me,” the bishop was encouraging toward Ryan: “He is a very responsible lay Catholic, who understands lay mission and who makes his judgment very much in accord with all the teaching of the Church and he knows how to do that.”

Video here:

It is not an endorsement of the Ryan budget, but of taking what you claim to believe seriously.

That is in no small way a challenge to us all: Rather than sit around wanting the bishops to weigh in one way or another on what’s in the news, we could afford to take up the call to be discerning, vocal Catholics, taking our faith seriously in every aspect of our lives. With his engagement on economic matters, taking Catholic social teaching seriously, Paul Ryan is a model in public life, one to nudge us during this tipping point kind of election year, but always.

Harvard professor, Ambassador Mary Ann Glendon still has one of the best calls to action Catholic laity. She also happens to model it.

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  • Patrick Brennan

    Dear Ms Lopez:
    “Rather than sitting around, waiting for the bishops….” you assert the laity should take it upon themselves to be “discerning, vocal Catholics.” You miss the point. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Kathleen Sebelius all present themselves as “discerning, vocal Catbolics,” and when one of their number receives a warm welcome from a key Catholic institution (such as Georgetown University), there is little folks like me can do but say “is not / is so / is not.” In such cases the bishops (at least the one in whose See the institution exists) must say something more than “No comment.” The fact that they don’t is a scandal. The laity, remember, are the flock – the sheep; the bishops are the shepherds. When the flock are beset by wolves, it is up to the shepherd to defend them. Shepherds who demand that the sheep defend themselves are not very “Good Shepherds,” are they?

    • Captain Dg

      @Patrick Brenna
      To a point you have a point. But when K-Lo qualifies her call to discernment with “taking our faith seriously” it places an important limit on the laity. The public antics of a Pelosi or a Biden are not serious efforts to engage the faith. Even if an individual truly is conflicted, seriousness requires at least an honest presentation of the faith as it is.

    • Paulus

      Every morning on my hour-long ride to work on the train I pray the office of Prime. And part of Prime is the Martyrologium where I read about people who died for their faith, some under the most horrible circumstances. Some were bishops, yes, but most were people like you and me. Laity. Every morning I read this. And then I read something like this comment where O woe is little me, but where oh where are the shepherds? It’s a scandal! And I think that that’s not the true scandal, not by a long shot. Maybe if the bishops knew that we the laity had their backs when they took a stand instead of wondering where and from whom of their flock will come the knife they would be more worthy of your expectations. It’s a hard time to be a Catholic, but there were worse times. I read about it every morning.

      • anony

        Those “martyrs”– who did they die for? Was it for their committment to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior, or was it to the institution of the Roman Catholic Church?

  • jim sweeney

    After 16 years of Catholic education and over 80 of Catholic life, I now realize that I’ve missed that part of my faith where the usually fat, typically old and often predator-protectors, people we call Bishops, have an authoritative say in the federal budget. Where is it writ thus? From whence comes their knowledge of economics? These are beggars of wealth, not producers. They know little to nothing of that on which the expound which is why I ignore them as their record is sorry and their message is as flaccid as they.

  • bob

    K-Lo is now in favor of cafeteria Catholicism. ONE bishop is an authority, yet K-Lo says a MAJORITY must weigh in or it doesn’t count! What’s obvious is that K-Lo, like many conservative Christians, think religion is about sex. If it questions the powerful, then it’s not Christian. This is truly a double standard.

    • Carl E. Olson

      Ah, that explains why her post was all about sex. Oh, wait…never mind. Really, what a silly comment.

  • J. Bob

    From the commenter that says “What’s obvious is that K-Lo, like many conservative Christians, think religion is about sex”. A comment like that would more likely indicate a ignorance of reality, maybe reflect that individual’s view of Christianity, or both.

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