The Catholic Church is weighing in on the contentious House budget debate.
The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops sent Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan a letter yesterday commending his "continued attention" to Catholic social justice “in the current delicate budget considerations in Congress.”
"The budget is not just about numbers,” Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan wrote in the letter. “It reflects the very values of our nation. As many religious leaders have commented, budgets are moral statements."
In the two-page letter, Dolan did not come out and expressly endorse the budget, insisting that he’s a pastor, “not a politician.”
But he praised Ryan’s attention to fiscal responsibility, the role of the family, the dignity of the person and human life and attention to the poor.
The letter also clearly disputes one of the chief rallying cries against the budget: That it would hurt the poor to benefit the rich.
“In any transition that seeks to bring new proposals to current problems in order to build a better future, care must be taken that those currently in need not be left to suffer,” Dolan wrote. “I appreciate your assurance that your budget would be attentive to such considerations and would protect those at risk in the processes and programs of such a transition. While appreciating these assurances, our duty as pastors will motivate our close attention to the manner in which they become a reality.”