Editorial selectively cited Church teaching


To the Editor:
In his May 10 editorial, Frank Wessling accused budget chairman Congressman Paul Ryan of distortion and selectivity regarding Church teaching on subsidiarity. Who’s being selective, Ryan or Wessling?
Consider: Wessling cites the second element of the common good in the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) #1908, but ignores the first element in #1907 which states: “… public authorities are  bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person,” and from “Gaudiem et Spes” 26.2, also in #1907, “rightful freedom in matters of religion.”
CCC #1883 also says: “Excessive intervention by the State can threaten personal freedom and initiative” and in #1885: “The principle of subsidiarity … sets limits for state intervention.”  Paragraph #1885 also states opposition “to all forms of collectivism,” an oft-stated view by Ayn Rand, especially in “Anthem.”
Funny how Wessling never mentions Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” which had sales of 500,000 in 2009.  Her emphasis on reason is rooted in Aristotle, whom she admired, and Aquinas, whom she didn’t.  She recognized creative intellectual power and rejected moral relativism. So do I. Does that make me her disciple?
Consider these words of Ryan that Rand would reject: “Our budget (strengthens) job training programs to help those who have fallen on hard times … strengthens welfare programs for those who (need it) … allows seniors to choose traditional Medicare … proposes to eliminate special interest loopholes that go primarily to the influential and well-off.” Ryan believes that “Obama’s health-care law that puts a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in charge of cutting Medicare…. is wrong.”  (National Catholic Register, 5-20-12, p.7)
Ryan refers to the Church’s Compendium of Social Doctrine and asserts that “Catholic social truths are in accord with the “self-evident truths our Founders bequeathed to us” as CCC #1907 exemplifies. Why didn’t Wessling have the integrity to cite that?
Mary Rourke

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