I wrote the other day about conservative Catholic politicians whose views are at odds with church teachings, and asked if church leaders would offer guidance and instruction like they often do to liberal Catholic lawmakers. A high-profile example may be emerging with a letter drafted and signed by Catholic university professors to Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner, who is set to give the commencement address at the Catholic University of America. The New York Times reports:
More than 75 professors at Catholic University and other prominent Catholic colleges have written a pointed letter to Mr. Boehner saying that the Republican-supported budget he shepherded through the House of Representatives will hurt the poor, elderly and vulnerable, and therefore he has failed to uphold basic Catholic moral teaching.
“Mr. Speaker, your voting record is at variance from one of the Church’s most ancient moral teachings,” the letter says. “From the apostles to the present, the Magisterium of the Church has insisted that those in power are morally obliged to preference the needs of the poor. Your record in support of legislation to address the desperate needs of the poor is among the worst in Congress. This fundamental concern should have great urgency for Catholic policy makers. Yet, even now, you work in opposition to it.”
The letter writers go on to criticize Mr. Boehner’s support for a budget that cut support for Medicare, Medicaid and the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program, while granting tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. They call such policies “anti-life,” a particularly biting reference because the phrase is usually applied to politicians and others who support the right to abortion.
The signatories note that they are reflecting the views of US bishops who published a piece criticizing elements of certain budget proposals that would drastically reduce aid to the poor while leaving military and defense spending nearly untouched.
Read the full article here.