Republicans and Catholic social teaching

By quoting Pope Benedict XVI and Catholic Church social teaching, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan would have you believe Republicans share these values (“Social teaching and the federal budget: a Catholic politician’s view,” July 17). Nothing could be further from the truth! Buried in the midst of his pious, but obfuscating rhetoric, is his phrase “market freedom.” This in reality translates to: freedom from regulation; laissez-faire license to plunder without any consequences; Wall Street “morality”; and working-class economic slavery. 

Republicans do not really wish to reform Medicare or Social Security — they want to destroy them. As for reducing the debt — it went sky-high under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and George W. Bush, but they blame President Barack Obama for this. As for the preposterous claim that GOP’s plan will create jobs and prosperity — where is the evidence for this during all the years of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and corporate welfare?  

Against big government? They love government the way it is, with all its tax loopholes and subsidies; tax cuts for the rich; biased Republican-ruled Supreme Court decisions favoring corporations over consumers and letting them buy elections; etc.  

The GOP would do better to quote this passage from Scripture and live by it: “You cannot serve both God and Mammon!” 

David Tomko, Butler, Pa.

Typical non-response 

Can we now see why few of us have a clue regarding the federal budget, Catholic social doctrine and party politics? A few weeks back Congressman Paul Ryan, chair of the U.S. House Budget Committee, wrote a guest column (“Social teaching and the federal budget: a Catholic politician’s view,” July 17). The next week, Stephen Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, had a response (“A Catholic Democrat’s take on social teaching, budget and taxes,” July 24).  

Had OSV reversed this order of authors, we actually may have had a Catholic Democrat’s (or any Democrat’s) plan to address our federal budget dilemma. Instead, we got the archetypal Democratic response to just about any budgetary issue: “Hey, let me tell you about some disadvantaged or poor folks that I know that will be hurt by non-Democrats addressing the finances.” Had Schneck actually read the Ryan budget, he would have noted that Ryan was proposing responsible budgetary cuts that would not disregard our most vulnerable. OSV, in the future, see the dead giveaway. If our Democratic brothers and sisters start with the “I know some poor people” spiel, you can spare us by knowing that we good Catholics all know disadvantaged and poor folks, and many of us are on the front lines actually doing something about it, rather than simply acknowledging that poverty exists, and what is the “government” going to do about it? 

Thomas M. Doyle, El Paso, Texas

Single success 

Thanks for the In Focus on Catholic Singles by Emily Stimpson (“Singularly focused in the universal Church,” July 24) and, especially the article “Is the unconsecrated single life a vocation?” These have to be one of the best subjects, the best articles I’ve read in OSV that I can remember. I’ll say this plainly, because I don’t know how to say it forcefully enough, that I hope you continue to regularly report on what it means to be single and Catholic.

Paul Leddy, via email

Enlightening lives 

Re Greg Erlandson’s “A band of brothers” (Spectator, July 24). 

I don’t know if I’ll ever see the movie Erlandson speaks of, but he brought back a few good memories for me. I have spent a lot of valuable time at the Abbey of Gethsemani near Bardstown, Ky., and I must admit that at first I had a contempt for the residents. With the Church needing priests in most dioceses, why were they here hidden away doing nothing? 

I soon learned to eat a little humble pie and appreciate gratefully this residence of peace and their ability to treat everyone who comes to their door as if it were Jesus himself. 

The song “I believe” has this line included, “somewhere in the darkest night a candle glows.” When depression or sadness or times of despair come to our door, to know for sure the light of Christ is always lit to show the way brings a glad reminder that even though you can’t always see or know them, someone really does care for us. 

Are these men living a necessary existence? Well, it is necessary to know there is hope and love on our dark nights. Thank you, Father Damian, for being there, and thank you, Mr. Erlandson, for shedding this good light and stirring an old heart. 

Les Johnson, Akron, Ohio

Praying for Corapi 

I’m writing about the article about Father John Corapi (“Accused priest: ‘I won’t obey,’” July 24)

I blame his order for his failures. They knew he had drug problems, women involvement and alcohol problems. They gave him enough rope to hang himself, which he did! 

I’m an 85-year-old lady who is also guilty of not praying enough for him. He now shares in my daily Mass and Communion. I hope I’m not too late! 

Marian McCarty, Virginia, Minn.