Friday, February 25, 2011

Interview: Catholics vs. Gov. Walker?

I have done an interview with’s Kathryn Lopez about the protests in Wisconsin.  Here is an excerpt:


Lopez: Is there a Catholic position on the tea party and tightening the fiscal belt? If Congress starts really taking on entitlement reform, will the Church be protesting?

Fr. Sirico: Of course there is no specific Catholic position on the tea party or the specifics of entitlement reform. As the social-teaching tradition has stated consistently, the Church has not specific economic or political policy prescriptions to offer. The Church offers principles such as freedom, human dignity, solidarity, and subsidiarity. The application of these principles is largely up to the lay faithful who must prudently apply them in real life, and maintain a spirit of charity when the disagree on their respective applications. Beware anyone who tells you what “the Catholic position” is on the tea party, the specifics of budget debates or entitlement reforms. These are matters of prudence, not dogma. In fact, it’s often the case that the person trying to tell you that this is the Catholic position on a prudential issue turns out to be an incorrigible dissenter on the true non-negotiables of Catholic faith and morality! They know who they are.

In terms of entitlement reform and fiscal belt-tightening, much will depend on what they consist of. Catholic social teaching is not blind to the excesses of the welfare state and has underscored the damage it can inflict upon a society’s moral ecology and economy. Obviously the Church must pay attention to how entitlement reform affects the least among us, but with attention to the common good of society. Indeed, it might even be an opportunity for the Church in America to reflect upon how we can better help our brothers and sisters in need without simply assuming that yet another government program or unaffordable entitlement will help resolve the problem in the long term.

Read the entire interview at

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