Catholic groups spar with Paul Ryan over budget
April 24th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

Catholic groups spar with Paul Ryan over budget

By Charles Riley, CNN Money

Rep. Paul Ryan is scheduled to deliver a speech at Georgetown University later this week, but he is unlikely to receive a standing ovation from some members of the faculty.

Almost 90 faculty members at the prestigious Jesuit school have signed a letter to Ryan that claims the Republican budget guru is misinterpreting Church doctrine as it relates to the role of government in public life.

"We would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few," the letter says.

The Ryan budget, which has passed the House but stands no chance in the Senate, calls for massive spending cuts over the next decade when compared to the president's plan. The non-security discretionary part of the budget, which contains many social welfare programs, would be hard hit.

Read the full story on CNN Money.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Catholic Church • Politics

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Abdul

    Where did you read that Christ would hate Christmas? Which article among 34928 did you see it?Granted, I think He clodun't possibly like the Wal Mart being open 24 hours beforehand, but I would think He'd be warm to the Charlie Brown special on TV

    May 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
  2. Steve

    I will jump on board if anyone can give me a reasonable answer to this question (I wish I could take credit for it...):

    Why has god never re-grown a severed limb? Jesus said if you have faith as a mustard seed, you can literally move mountains. He said you can do more miraculous healing than he did if you have faith. Jesus said ANYTHING you ask for in god's name will be granted you. I have never met a Christian who didn't believe that prayer results in healing.

    Does god hate amputees? Is he trying to "hide" himself to test people's faith? (That would be strange since he supposedly sent his only son to publicly heal the sick and raise the dead).

    This question is not in jest. It boils my disbelief down to a nutshell.

    May 13, 2012 at 8:16 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Huebert

      I missed you to honey.

      April 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!*!

      April 27, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Christian for Obama

      Ryan and Romney are trying to take food stamps from the poor to give tax breaks to the rich. That's not Christian!
      Join us on Facebook

      April 27, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  4. laura

    Guess the Catholic church finally got around to reading the plan.

    April 26, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • jabby

      Speaking of plan (yeah, right), at its meat, the Gospel of Christ is God's plan to deliver His people from the hate and evil of this world into His eternal paradise on earth and in heaven. In Christ, God does not judge anyone but allows each person to judge him or herself.

      April 26, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • jimtanker


      Relax, it's just a book. Stop getting yourself so worked up and enjoy life. All this repression that your religion is giving you is messing you up.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      At it's meat, it tastes kinda like venison. It's nothing like chicken as Jesus meat is clearly not white meat.

      April 26, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  5. b4bigbang

    "Swarm" of earthquakes detected in Pac NW (4/19).
    Jesus predicted these occurances as part of the signs indicating the end times!
    Read about it in the Gospels!

    April 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Spamming is fun. I love to spam. Spammy spammy spam spam.

      April 25, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  6. David Nelson

    The Left and Right Wings of the Catholic church at War with each other! That would descibe the last 50 or so years of this world's history. Left Wing catholic socialists and even communists and the Right wing SMOM money making machine that sends jobs overseas to China, an atheist communist regime. The rest of us Christians wish you would all just go away. Fat chance unless Jesus returns soon.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      How, exactly, is China an atheist nation?

      April 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  7. Gerald

    Supernatural charity has benefits for the giver and receiver. Government "charity" is an obligation for the taxpayer and an entilement for the receiver. It does not reach the heart.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • RevMum

      You know, part of the disconnect between the people talking about public assistance is the phrase, "charity".

      Personal charity is a quality of love, and a gospel imperative, it is an essential and meaningful human experience of God and Life in company with our fellow human beings.

      Public assistance is a vital facet of good governance, and an expression of the character which marks a great nation. It is an agreement upon basic standards of decency -standards worthy of an exceptional America and the Americans who dwell here.

      The two are not mutualy exclusive. We need BOTH.

      Public assistance is different than personal charity

      April 26, 2012 at 3:10 am |
  8. Gerald

    True charity has benefits for the giver and receiver. Government "charity" is an obligation for the taxpayer and an enti-tlement for the receiver. It does not reach the heart.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
  9. Gerald

    These Catholics who do there charity by joining with the government, which extracts the funds by turning the taxpayer upside down and shaking his wallet out of his back pocket do not represent the Catholic Church or Church teaching. Jesus did not partner with the government in his mission. Neither should we. Georgetown is noted for it's liberalism. Yet CNN likes them as the representative of Catholic teaching.

    April 25, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Scully

      First of all, Jesus lived under a dictatorship and we have a representative government. Please consider the historical context when you are interpreting your Bible. Second of all, your argument is hypocritical. If we shouldn't use government mechanisms to take care of poor because Jesus didn't do it, why is it OK to use the government to force your personal religious believes onto others? Jesus never did that. If religious leaders want to use Jesus' separation of church and state as an example to follow, then they shouldn't be inserting themselves into politics. You can't have it both ways.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  10. Frank Bund

    Screw the catholic church.

    April 25, 2012 at 8:13 am |
  11. Reality

    Dear Rep. Ryan,

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.


    April 25, 2012 at 7:35 am |
  12. just sayin

    The Catholic Church is corrupt, therefore the followers are corrupt. Deal with it.

    April 24, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • just sayin

      and Catholics do the work of the Devil. God Bless

      April 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Ironic, how you attack the church of the one, true Christ that you profess to "know" and believe in. Truly astounding!

      April 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Why did today's pope, prelates, preachers and rabbis, so focused on society's se-xual sins, lose sight of clerical se-xual sins?

      Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

      Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

      Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

      Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy"

      Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

      Neither is being an atheist or pagan since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

      If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Clinton, Cardinal Law) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings" David and Henry VIII).

      April 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm |
  13. just sayin

    Who cares what the childr ra p ist Catholics think??????????????

    April 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      I don't care what the few r api*st catholics think. But the other millions of catholics are a different matter.

      April 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • momoya

      no, js had it right.. Who cares what catholics think?. The US isn't a catholic country; fvck what they want.. What, are we letting private religions lobby one of the parties directly?! P'shaw..

      April 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Gerald

      Ah the broad brush painted. All Catholics are child rap-ists? Really? Prejudice loves ignorance. There are a smaller percentage of child abusers in the Catholic priesthood than society in general. Our society is corrupt.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  14. Rush Trotsky

    Catholics are commies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 24, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      Commies seems to be taking it too far. Cannibals, yes. Commies? Only if you live in Cuba.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Newt Gingrich

      Catholics turned me into a newt!

      I didn't get better.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • catholic engineer

      @Lewis "Cannibals, yes" Some early desciples were thinking cannibalism, too. Jesus answer? "Does this offend you? What then if you see me ascend to the place from which I came?" John 6

      April 24, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • just sayin

      Catholics are also child ra p ists...FACT

      April 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      @ce – been drinking a bit too much of the Jesus-blood lately, have we?

      April 25, 2012 at 2:35 am |
    • k

      Wow ... a lot of anti-Catholicism out here. I won't address that but, rather, focus on the "cannibalism" issue. These are very old concerns (dating back to Christ himself). But read John 6, 48:56. When Jesus says that you have to "eat his flesh" (verse 51) the Jewish leaders respond by asking for him to clarify his meaning. But He does not back down, rending his language more metaphorical. Instead, He doubles down (intensifying his language); see verse 53-55. In original text, He first used the word "phago" which means "to eat" ... like humans eat. When he doubles down (53-55) he does so by changing to the verb "trogo" which means to eat ... like an animal might eat (we might say "to gnaw" or "to devour"). So you're welcome to call Catholics cannibals if you want. But it's pretty clear what Christ meant (particularly since He followed these comments by his actions/words at the last supper). You can accept it or turn away. But don't disparage others because they listened.

      April 25, 2012 at 3:52 am |
    • Gerald


      Your broad brushing exposes bigotry. You would fit right in with the KKK.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • David Nelson

      k , please keep reading in John. John 6: 63 "It is the Spirit which quickeneth; the flesh profiteth NOTHING; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." We have to remember that Jesus is the Word. Jesus used a very challenging metaphor, but John gave us the information we needed to understand it in the introduction of his Gospel. In John 1: 14 John says the Word was made flesh. It is metaphorical. John wrote Revelation and in Rev 10: 10 John says he ate a book. I ask you, did he literally eat a book? BTW, the little scroll in Revelation 10 represents the Book of Daniel.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • momoya

      David, your god is your ego.. Give up the act; it's stupid.

      April 25, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • gerald

      David Nelson,

      You are going to have to help me out here. You say that v. 63 is the trump verse. "the flesh profiteth nothing". WHose flesh profiteth nothing? Jesus? Well then what did he die for? Our flesh? Well Catholics would agree. The Eucharist is not food for the body but for the soul. So I just don't see how your claims about v. 63 change anything that Jesus said 4 TIMES before that point. MY FLESH IS TRUE FOOD....MY BLOOD IS TRUE DRINK. How many more times would he have to say it. Further you should read on. If this passage were supposed to take away the literalness of the other 4 then why didn't he stop the people in verse 6:66 from walking away? Sorry but your arguement is anything but compelling.

      April 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • gerald

      Oh and Mr. Nelson, that Jesus spolke in metapores at times does not mean he always did. John 6 has significant parallels to Matt 26 and the story of the last supper and the crusifixion. If you would like I will go through them. There are also ties back to Ex 12 and the slaying of the lamb, the blood on the doorposts, eating of the lamb before the dawn of the a new day, etc. etc. Jeus in John 6 says "my flesh is true food...." In Matt 26 "this is my body". Both events happen on the passover a year apart. Show me a time when he says "this is" or "my flesh is" that he is speaking in metaphore? He says things like "I am the vine...." that are metaphore.... Further if you study the greek in John 6 the verb that is translated eat is very literal and graphic – gnaw or chew. Not just consume. I could go on and on about these things but again your argument is not at all compelling.

      April 25, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Lewis Keseberg

      I love gnawing on some Jesus-meat. Jesus jerky is my favorite, though.

      April 25, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • David Nelson

      gerald, Jews were utterly forbidden to consume blood. In Matthew 26:29 Jesus says to his disciples "I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." If taken literally, Jesus would be drinking his own blood in heaven! A rather strange heaven to say the least.

      May 9, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  15. J.W

    Wow these people are never happy

    April 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Rush Trotsky

      It's a "change the subject" thing. If they don't talk about providing contraceptives or Ron Paul's suggestions, then they would have to talk about a certain subject that they really just want to go away.

      April 24, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
  16. Reality

    The Georgetown elitists should worry more about the flaws in said church doctrine before criticizing others.

    The most infamous flaw/con of the RCC and Christianity:

    The "Resurrection"-

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  17. William Demuth


    A few moral Christians left!

    They are fighting a losing battle.

    It seems the mantle of their faith has been stolen once again by the money changers.

    While I douby Christ ever existed, I do firmly believe that if he were here, he would kick this clown squarely in his nuts!

    April 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
  18. James

    Taking care of the poor and need is a joint effort between the Govt and private citizens. All citizens share equal responsibility.

    April 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • NT

      To whom much is given, much is expected!

      April 24, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Gerald

      Partnering with the government which extracts money from the giver by grabbing his ankles and holding him upside down and giving him a shake is not the way to do it. Jesus did not partner with the government to feed the poor. We should not either.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Gerald

      Supernatural charity has benefits for the giver and receiver. Government "charity" is an obligation for the taxpayer and an enti tlement for the receiver. It does not reach the heart.

      April 25, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.