Catholic Social Teaching lives
As Paul Ryan jockeys for position in the already-crowded 2016 GOP presidential starting gate, he may want to read this Catholic News Service story to help him avoid the CST pitfalls and pratfalls of the last campaign:
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Good health is a benefit that needs to be defended and guaranteed for all people, not just for those who can afford it, Pope Benedict XVI told hundreds of health care workers.The new evangelization is needed in the health field, especially during the current economic crisis "that is cutting resources for safeguarding health," he said Nov. 17, addressing participants at a conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry.Hospitals and other facilities "must rethink their particular role in order to avoid having health become a simple 'commodity,' subordinate to the laws of the market, and, therefore, a good reserved to a few, rather than a universal good to be guaranteed and defended," he said.
Meanwhile, the USCCB as a whole couldn't say anything coherent about CST and the economy last week, but Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., and Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairs of the bishops' committees on domestic and international issues, were able to state the obvious in a letter to every congressional representative:In developing frameworks for future budgets, Congress should not rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons, they wrote.From my RNS story:
In budget deficit efforts, there has always been a bipartisan consensus to exempt programs for the most vulnerable and instead to call for shared sacrifice by all, including raising adequate revenues, eliminating unnecessary military and other spending, and addressing the long-term costs of health insurance and retirement programs fairly, Blaire and Pates wrote.To achieve savings, policy makers should consider cutting nuclear weapons programs, direct agricultural subsidies, and other unnecessary spending.The bishops say the "important goal" of addressing long-term deficits is necessary, but must not be achieved "at the expense of the dignity of poor and vulnerable people at home and abroad.They cite Pope Benedict XVIs warning against the downsizing of social security systems, and they frame their appeal in terms of traditional principles and values.
Now, that wasn't so hard, was it?