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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Catholic Press and Nuns on the Bus - Our Sunday Visitor Should Ride Along

Since when did the religious Our Sunday Visitor become a political flyer?

Catholics, instead, should check out this link:

Pictures of Roman Catholic Saints on an organized church magazine rack included a startling political face glaring from the top fold of the Our Sunday Visitor newspaper.

Rather than publish a photo of a benevolent Roman Catholic doing good work, the front page OSV, last week, was a larger than life head shot of Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican candidate for Vice-President. 

Rather than post side by side pictures of both Ryan and our current Roman Catholic Vice-President Joe Biden, the OSV appeared to spotlight just one side of the political aisle by featuring the conservative Ryan. 

Rather than make Roman Catholic Social Teaching the top of the fold news story, the OSV, instead, seemed to support Ryan, a politician who supports cutting safety net programs for the poor, our Veterans, the elderly, students on Pell Grants and pensions provided under Social Security.

Ryan argues how his budget plan is informed by Catholic social teaching, and that reducing the federal deficit through budget cuts would help the poor and all Americans by allowing the economy to grow.  But Ryan does not understand Catholic Social Teaching.  He's never worked side by side with the poor.  Roman Catholic Social teaching includes the philosophy of wealth sharing. In other words, raising taxes on those who can pay them to support the infrastructure needed to care for everyone.
OSV should print a retraction of its abrasive political lead and feature, instead, support for the on line petition for the work of Nuns on the Bus.  

Here's the direct link to the statement of solidarity and appreciation for Nuns on the Bus as posted by Proud Catholic Democrats on twitter.  OSV should reprint this link.

As one of the most conservative Congressmen in the US Congress, Ryan does not exemplify Roman Catholic Social Teaching as taught to us through the philosophy of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In fact, St. Augustine wrote eloquently about social justice. He advocated for the poor, and challenged abuses of authority.
Any journalism student 101 would remind OSV of it's objective responsibility to all Roman Catholics who might be unduly influenced by a candidate's religion - both Vice-President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan are Roman Catholics. I'm mystified as to why OSV would appear to ignore our current Vice-President Biden, who often wears his faith on his sleeve, while giving the stoic face of Congressman Ryan maximum exposure.

Regardless of the political affiliations OSV seems to support or not support, the fact is, Roman Catholics should be completely united around the dedicated work supported by Sister Simone Campbell as leader of Nuns on the Bus.

Sister Simone rightly says the Ryan budget is "immoral".  Moreover, she boldly explains how her, along with other religious and lay people, support a pro-life philosophy by advocating for repeal of Ryan's conservative budget.  

Clearly, OSV is out of line by showcasing only Congressman Ryan from Wisconsin, rather than supporting our faithful Roman Catholic American Vice President, Joe Biden.  At the very journalistic least, OSV should give equal exposure to both candidates for Vice-President in the 2012 election.  

American Catholics are very proud of our Social Justice teaching and the charitable works provided throughout the world by dedicated religious and lay people.  Congressman Ryan is dedicated to cutting important social programs for the very same people being cared for by our  Roman Catholic charitable programs, supported by Catholic Charities around the world.  

It's plainly shameful and hypocritical for OSV to give one sided exposure to Congressman Ryan, whose immoral budget flies in the face of St. Augustine's teachings on the responsibilities of sharing wealth and support for social justice.  

Our Sunday Visitor should ride along with Nuns on the Bus.

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