The National Catholic Register reports on "comments and objections raised by several bishops" at the USCCB meeting in Atlanta that "challenged
the specificity of some heavily publicized statements", such as Bishop
Blair's criticisms in April of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget:
“There have been some concerns raised
by lay Catholics, especially some Catholic economists, about what was
perceived as a partisan action against Congressman Ryan and the budget
he had proposed,” said Bishop Boyea. That statement “didn’t really
further dialogue in our deeply divided country.”
In his view, statements that endorsed
specific economic policies revealed a lack of “humility.” He told the
assembly, “We need to learn far more than we need to teach in this
area. We need to listen more than we need to speak. We already have an
excellent, fine Compendium [of the Social Doctrine of the Church].”
Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City,
Kan., agreed that the committee was “at times perceived as partisan”
and neglected the principle of subsidiarity, which calls for solutions
that can be provided close to people in need.
Archbishop Naumann suggested that
drafters of the statement needed to rethink a tendency to advocate for
government assistance, and he said that the conference’s proposals
should not ignore the ballooning national deficit.
“Sometimes we’re perceived as just
encouraging the government to spend more money, with no realistic way
of how we’re going to afford to do this,” he observed.
A third statement, by Archbishop Allen
Vigneron of Detroit, echoed Archbishop Naumann’s suggestion that the
proposed document focus more on the family as the central social
institution and spoke of how the “disintegration of the family” had
fueled the demand for government assistance.