The Editors

Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan and Catholic Social Teaching

Catholic Social Ethics

4 thoughts on “Paul Ryan’s Anti-Poverty Plan and Catholic Social Teaching

  1. “Second, the plan does not adequately consider the poor as active participants in their own communities. Although some have criticized as “paternalistic” the plan’s suggestion that local organizations help recipients map out an “opportunity plan” to meet their life goals, the more serious problem is that the plan gives no role to the poor themselves in planning the programs designed to meet their needs. Likewise, the plan does not consider that associations of the poor themselves, such as neighborhood associations or work co-ops, might be effective in combatting poverty; the poor are always the recipients of someone else’s charity. These ideas are not ruled out by the plan, but they do not seem to be what Ryan was imagining.”

    This statement by Mr. Shadle about the need to include the poor “in planning the programs designed to meet their needs”, is very important. Here is a suggestion for including this principle in Catholic Education:

    A “preferential option for the poor” should be maintained in our Catholic Schools. If we find that we cannot afford to keep our schools open to the poor, the schools should be closed and the resources used for something else which can be kept open to the poor. We cannot allow our Church to become a church primarily for the middle-class and rich while throwing a bone to the poor. The priority should be given to the poor even if we have to let the middle-class and rich fend for themselves.
    Practically speaking, the Catholic Schools must give up general education and use the resources for “Confraternity of Christian Doctrine” and other programs which can be kept open to the poor. Remember, the Church managed without Catholic Schools for centuries. We can get along without them today. The essential factor is to cultivate enough Faith to act in the Gospel Tradition, namely, the poor must be included. The rich and middle-class are welcome too. But the poor come first.

  2. A thoughtful reflection. Ryan’s proposal I think also ignores how decentralized most of our social welfare programs already are (save Old Age and Survivors Insurance and Medicare, which Ryan doesn’t touch). But SNAP, Section 8, TANF, LIHEAP, SSI, DI and most other programs are administered on the state, local and CBO level and have certain flexibilities already in place.

  3. I think Paul Ryan is in the right track, despite some criticism he can have. We can never forget that he stands for the right to life from conception to natural death and thats the first step not the last to promote a culture of life.

  4. Who wrote this excellent post? It was posted by “The Editors,” but seems to be written in the first person?

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