House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., holds up a copy of his budget plan entitled "The Path to Prosperity" March 20 during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
Dozens of Georgetown University faculty members apparently have a bone to pick with the congressional speaker they’ll be hosting Thursday.
They’re blasting Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), claiming that he’s misusing Catholic teachings to defend his budget proposal.
Ryan is the guest of honor for the 2012 Whittington Lecture, put on every year by Georgetown’s Public Policy Institute. He’s expected to speak on his vision for the federal budget, which he previously said was partially based on his Catholic beliefs
But the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops begged to differ on the GOP’s budget plans last week and criticized Ryan’s vision by saying it would disproportionately cut programs that serve the poor and vulnerable.
Now, it appears a priest and senior Georgetown fellow has dozens of colleagues who agree with the USCCB.
Jesuit Father Thomas Reese circulated a letter at the university, reportedly signed by nearly 90 other faculty members and administrators. It chastises Ryan for his “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 also encourages the House Budget Committee chairman to read up on the Vatican’s Social Doctrine to “help deepen” his “understanding of Catholic social teaching.”
In response, Ryan’s press secretary Kevin Seifert released the following statement:
"Chairman Ryan remains grateful for Georgetown's invitation to advance a thoughtful dialogue this week on his efforts to avert a looming debt crisis that would hurt the poor the first and the worst. Ryan looks forward to affirming our shared commitment to a preferential option for the poor, which of course does not mean a preferential option for bigger government."