On the eve of the vice-presidential debates, a group of “Catholic theologians, academics and ministers concerned for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church” issued a statement, On All of Our Shoulders, pointedly attacking Paul Ryan as an Ayn Rand acolyte.
I first heard of it through Robert George’s critique:
Authentic Catholic social teaching begins from an affirmation of (a) the inherent and equal dignity and fundamental right to life of every member of the human family, including the child in the womb; (b) the centrality and indispensable social significance of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and (c) religious freedom and the rights of conscience.
What do the signers of the statement say about these foundational principles of Catholic teaching and Ryan’s positions on them? Very little. Indeed, they excuse themselves from discussing life issues because on these matters there is, they say, “little or no confusion about the Church’s teaching.” (Evidently, the memo has not yet reached Vice President Biden, House Minority Leader Pelosi, most Catholic Democrats in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, and Caroline Kennedy, whose speech at the recent Democratic convention displayed quite a bit of confusion.)
What do the signers say about the positions of the Obama-Biden administration on life, marriage, and religious freedom? Virtually nothing. This is scandalous in a statement presenting itself as non-partisan and published out of “concern for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Catholic Church.” It is Obama and Biden, not Ryan (or Romney), whose positions on abortion mirror those of the vehemently pro-abortion Ayn Rand …
Moreover, Obama, Biden, and their political party have committed themselves to abolishing in law the conjugal understanding of marriage as the union of husband and wife and replacing it with a conception of marriage as an intimate relationship of two persons of the same or opposite sexes …
The Obama-Biden administration has imposed odious mandates on Catholics and others, requiring employers, including religious institutions who cannot comply in good conscience, to provide health insurance coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives ….
I’m afraid George is right about the statement’s silence on these three foundational social principles. Progressive Catholics: are there other foundational principles?
I’ll concede, though, that if you (1) skip the bullshit leading up to “5 Principles of Catholic Social Doctrine Most in Danger of Being Forgotten or Distorted,” and then (2) ignore everything but the bold type, you may glean a (very) little actual insight into the Catholic Social Doctrine that has been built on the foundation.
The next time you hear that this or that Obama mentor was a Communist, recall that a politically motivated African-American in the 30s had, oh, roughly one political party that would welcome him. Further, a lot of idealistic people were deluded youthful Communists before WW II. (Credit belatedly added)
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