Bishop Morlino defends Paul Ryan

National Catholic Register:

Earlier this year, when Georgetown University announced that Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the chairman of the House Budget Committee, would defend his budget in a public address, almost 90 faculty members at the Jesuit institution publicly denounced his interpretation of Church doctrine.

While the media generally presented the harsh judgment as a sign that Ryan’s budget proposals violated core beliefs of his Church, most news stories failed to examine why the subsequent appearance of Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, at a Georgetown graduation event did not provoke a comparable furor. Sebelius is widely viewed as the architect of a federal contraception mandate denounced by the U.S. bishops as an “unprecedented” threat to the free exercise of Catholic institutions, but the same group of Georgetown faculty apparently saw no need to register their disapproval.

During the final bruising months of a presidential election that could hinge on the shifting views of Catholic “swing” voters, Americans can expect to witness further disputes that showcase legitimate questions about the practical impact of Ryan's policies and partisan hit jobs that fail to provide a holistic treatment of Catholic teaching.

Now, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison, Ryan’s bishop, has waded into this election-year minefield, clearly concerned that a valued member of his flock is being unfairly attacked by partisan forces.

In a column posted on his diocesan website Aug. 16, Bishop Morlino vouches for Ryan’s Catholic bona fides, but stresses that his remarks should not be viewed as an endorsement of Ryan or any candidate.

“I know him very well. He is in regular communication with his bishop.

“I am defending his reputation because I am the one who, as his diocesan bishop, should have something to say about this, if anyone does,” Bishop Morlino told the Register during an Aug. 15 telephone interview.

“Since others have, I believe, unfairly attacked his reputation, I have to look out for his good name. That is Church law. If someone disagrees with Paul, he is free to do that. But not on the basis of reputation destruction, really calumny,” he added.

“They say things about him that aren’t true. I am not a defender of Paul Ryan; I am a defender of reputations of Catholics in the public sphere whose reputations are unjustly attacked.”


1 comment:

  1. I heard Bp Morlino on Relevant Radio today during Drew Mariani's show doing the same. What a great bishop who can really articulate a message. We need more bishops like him.


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