I was cheering as I read about how House Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) claims his Catholic faith positively and concretely affects the way he does his job. He says that the Republican budget plan was partially shaped by his Catholic worldview. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ryan said:
"A person's faith is central to how they conduct themselves, in public and in private, so to me, using my Catholic faith, we call it the social magisterium, which is: How do you apply the doctrine of your teaching into your everyday life as a lay person?"
He spoke about subsidiarity...
"To me, the principle of subsidiarity, which is really federalism, meaning government closest to the people governs best, having a civil society... where we, through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that's how we advance the common good."
He spoke about how to help the poor...
"The preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don't keep people poor, don't make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life, help people get out of poverty out onto life of independence."
Ryan feels strongly that the nation's budget reflects its moral values. I don't know much else about the man, but this is good stuff. Read more here.
A congressman who quotes Pope Benedict? Cool. Read Ryan's own words about the role of faith and social doctrine in politics at OSV...
"Catholic social thought's paramount interest is the moral character of society, which takes primacy over dollars and cents. What kind of people do Americans want to be? We must not become a people of diminished hopes. We much not be defeated people who worship the state as our greatest benefactor. We are called to be exceptional -- comforting our neighbors in need while striving for a brighter future in this fallen world and for the perfect society that awaits us only in the City of God."
Congressman Paul Ryan: Social teaching and the federal budget: a Catholic politician's views
Congressman Ryan defends the Republican budget plan on Fox News.