It should come as no surprise that Bishop Morlino has taken a shine to the handsome, and conservative Republican vice-presidential candidate. Morlino is only too happy to continually praise Paul Ryan.
What does surprise me, however, is the distance that Morlino places himself with Pope Benedict when discussing the larger umbrella topics that are at the very heart of the presidential election. That topic would be the role of government in the lives of our citizenry.
This also raises the question if the bishop believes in papal infallibility?
Here is the crux of the issue, as reported in today’s Wisconsin State Journal.
“If people begin to look to government for everything, that’s how we get toward a state-imposed socialism, which is never acceptable from a Catholic point of view because it’s contrary to reason, which says that human labor should yield its fruits, and that those who labor own the fruits,” Morlino said.
Those with an abundance are obligated to share with those who lack basics, Morlino said, but the best way to do that is at the level closest to the people in need, a Catholic principle called subsidiarity.
“It’s just common sense,” Morlino said. “In other words, if I can help you directly, why should we bring it to the mayor or the government or the president of the United States, if I can just help you?”
Those words from Morlino seem rather political and titled towards a Republican point of view. But how does Pope Benedict view the larger issues of government, and assisting people with programs, and state aid?
But when it comes to economic justice, Pope Benedict XVI is to the left of President Obama. Heck, he is even to the left of Nancy Pelosi.
Those who read the pope’s 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate (Charity in Truth)” will not be surprised by this new document. In that encyclical, the pope decried “corruption and illegality” among economic and political elites in both rich and poor countries. He told financiers they must rediscover the ethical foundation of their activity and stop abusing savers. He wants a radical rethinking of economics so that it is guided not simply by profits but by “an ethics which is people-centered.”
Benedict notes that economic “inequalities are on the increase” across the globe. He does not accept the trickle-down theory, which says that all boats will rise with the economic tide. Benedict condemns the “scandal of glaring inequalities” and sees a role for government in the redistribution of wealth.
The pope also disagrees with those who believe that the economy should be free of government regulation. An unregulated economy “shielded from ‘influences’ of a moral character has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way,” he writes. This has “led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise.”
Falling under the sway of the rugged good looks of Ryan might be easy to do, but following the advice of the Pope seems more sensible when it comes to understanding how government must be involved with the citizenry.