Complete letter to Paul Ryan with signatories…

Posted April 26, 2012 11:18 AM by

Welcome to Georgetown University. We appreciate your willingness to talk about how Catholic social teaching can help inform effective policy in dealing with the urgent challenges facing our country. As members of an academic community at a Catholic university, we see your visit on April 26 for the Whittington Lecture as an opportunity to discuss Catholic social teaching and its role in public policy.
 
However, we would be remiss in our duty to you and our students if we did not challenge your continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has wisely noted in several letters to Congress – “a just framework for future budgets cannot rely on disproportionate cuts in essential services to poor persons.” Catholic bishops recently wrote that “the House-passed budget resolution fails to meet these moral criteria.”
 
In short, your budget appears to reflect the values of your favorite philosopher, Ayn Rand, rather than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her call to selfishness and her antagonism toward religion are antithetical to the Gospel values of compassion and love.
 
Cuts to anti-hunger programs have devastating consequences. Last year, one in six Americans lived below the official poverty level and over 46 million Americans – almost half of them children – used food stamps for basic nutrition. We also know how cuts in Pell Grants will make it difficult for low-income students to pursue their educations at colleges across the nation, including Georgetown. At a time when charities are strained to the breaking point and local governments have a hard time paying for essential services, the federal government must not walk away from the most vulnerable.
 
While you often appeal to Catholic teaching on “subsidiarity” as a rationale for gutting government programs, you are profoundly misreading Church teaching. Subsidiarity is not a free pass to dismantle government programs and abandon the poor to their own devices. This often misused Catholic principle cuts both ways. It calls for solutions to be enacted as close to the level of local communities as possible. But it also demands that higher levels of government provide help — “subsidium”– when communities and local governments face problems beyond their means to address such as economic crises, high unemployment, endemic poverty and hunger. According to Pope Benedict XVI: “Subsidiarity must remain closely linked to the principle of solidarity and vice versa.”
 
Along with this letter, we have included a copy of the Vatican’s Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, commissioned by John Paul II, to help deepen your understanding of Catholic social teaching.
 
Respectfully,
 
Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Maurice Jackson
Associate Professor of History and African American Studies
Department of History
 
Angelyn Mitchell, PhD
Associate Professor of English and African American Studies
Department of English
 
Dolores R. Leckey
Senior Research Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Raymond B. Kemp
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Thomas Michel, S.J., Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Rita M. Rodriguez, MBA, PhD
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Hope LeGro
Director, Georgetown Languages
Georgetown University Press
 
Jackie Beilhart
Publicist
Georgetown University Press
 
John Langan, S.J.
Professor of Philosophy and Catholic Social Thought
Georgetown University
 
John F Haught, PhD
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Karen Stohr, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics
Department of Philosophy
 
Ilia Delio, OSF
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Joseph Schad, Mdiv
Chaplain, Mission and Pastoral Care
Georgetown University Hospital
 
J. Leon Hooper, S.J.
Director, Woodstock Library
Woodstock Theological Center Library
 
Joseph A. McCartin
Associate Professor of History; Director, Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor
Department of History
 
E. Hazel Denton, PhD
Adjunct Professor
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
James Walsh, SJ, Phd
Associate Professor
Department of Theology
 
Scott Taylor
Associate Professor
School of Foreign Service
 
Sarah C Stiles, PhD, JD
Professor
Department of Sociology
 
Katherine Marshall, MPA
Visiting Assistant Professor
Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
 
William C. McFadden, S.J.
Associate Professor of Theology
Georgetown University
 
Alan C. Mitchell, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins
Georgetown University
 
Rev. Dr. Joseph Palacios
Adjunct Professor of Latin American Studies
Center for Latin American Studies
 
Julia A Lamm
Associate Professor of Theology
Theology Department
 
Peter C. Phan, Ph.D., D.D.
Professor of Catholic Social Thought
Georgetown University
 
William Rehg, SJ, PhD, MDiv, PhL, MA
Professor of Philosophy
Saint Louis University (visiting, Georgetown University)
 
Diana L. Hayes, JD, PhD, STD
Professor Emerita of Systematic Theology
Georgetown University
 
Edward Vacek, S.J.
Visiting Scholar
Woodstock Theological Center
 
Anthony Tambasco, PhD
Professor of Biblical Studies and Christian Ethics
Theology Department
 
Mark Lance, PhD
Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Justice and Peace
Georgetown University
 
Robert J. Bies, PhD, MBA
Professor of Management
McDonough School of Management
 
Benjamin Bogin, PhD
Assistant Professor
Theology Department
 
John W. O’Malley, S.J., PhD
University Professor
Theology Department
 
Lauve H. Steenhuisen, PhD
Visiting Assistant Professor
Theology Department
 
Linda Ferneyhough
Theology Dept. Administrator
Theology Department
 
Marilyn McMorrow
Visiting Assistant Professor International Relations and Political Theory
School of Foreign Service
 
Matthew Carnes, S.J., PhD
Assistant Professor of Government
Georgetown University
 
Diana Owen, PhD
Associate Professor
CCT/American Studies
 
Friederike Eigler (Ph.D.)
Professor of German
Georgetown University College
 
Ricardo L. Ortiz, PhD
Associate Professor of English
Department of English
 
David J. Collins, S.J., S.T.L., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Georgetown University
 
Peter C. Pfeiffer, PhD
Professor
German Department
 
Julie Finnegan Stoner
Publishing Assistant
Georgetown University Press
 
Mary Helen Dupree
Assistant Professor of German
Georgetown University
 
Lan Ngo, S.J., M.A., MDiv.
Graduate Student
Department of History
 
Francis J. Ambrosio PhD
Associate Professor of Philosohy
Philosophy Department
 
Joseph H. Neale, Ph.D.
Paduano Distinguished Professor of Biology
Georgetown University College
 
Elizabeth Velez
Academic Director, Community Scholars
Professorial Lecturer, English Women’s and Gender Studies
Georgetown University College
 
Astrid Weigert
Assistant Professor of German
Department of German
 
John Rakestraw, PhD
Instructor of Theology
Center for New Designs in Learning & Scholarship
 
Susan F. Martin, PhD
Donald G. Herzberg Associate Professor of International Migration
School of Foreign Service
 
Eli S. McCarthy PhD
Adjunct Professor of Justice and Peace Studies
Center for Social Justice
 
Veronica Salles Reese
Associate Professor
Spanish Department
 
Francisca Cho, PhD
Professor of Buddhist Studies
Theology Department
 
Marcia Chatelain
Assistant Professor of History
Georgetown University
 
Heidi Byrnes, PhD
George M. Roth Distinguished Professor of German
German Department
 
Steven R. Sabat, Ph.D.
Professor of Psychology
College of Arts and Sciences
 
Marianne Lyons
Assistant Dean
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Ladan Eshkevari, PhD, CRNA
Assistant Professor
Georgetown University
 
John Kraemer, JD, MPH
Assistant Professor of Health Systems Administration
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Jose R Teruel, MD, MPH
Professor of International Health
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
Elizabeth H. Andretta, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate Professsor
Georgetown University in Qatar
 
Jo Anne P Davis, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nursing
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Irene Anne Jillson, PhD
Assistant Professor
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
Jeanne A. Matthews, PhD, RN
Chair and Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
Justin M. Owen, BSc(Eng)
Director of Medical Technologies
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Laura Anderko PhD RN
Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Michael A. Stoto, PhD
Professor of Health Systems Administration and Population Health
School of Nursing & Health Studies and Pubic Policy Institute
 
Ronald Leow, Ph.D.
Professor of Applied Linguistics
Georgetown University
 
Rosemary Sokas, MD, MOH
Professor of Human Science
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
Carol Taylor, PhD, RN
Professor of Nursing
School of Nursing and Health Studies
 
Robert J. Barnet MD, MA
Adjunct Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
 
Leona M Fisher, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Department of English
 
Jane Fitz-Simons MS,RN
Adjunct Faculty Nursing
Georgetown University
 
Mary Jane Mastorovich, MS
Asst. Professor, Health Systems Administration
Georgetown University
 
Edilma Yearwood, PhD, RN
Associate Professor of Nursing
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Wilfried Ver Eecke
Professor in Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
 
Sylvia E. Mullins, M.A.R in Theology
Graduate Student
Department of History
 
Terry Pinkard, PhD
University Professor
Department of Philosophy
 
Bryce Huebner, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Georgetown University
 
Judith Baigis, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor Emerita
School of Nursing & Health Studies
 
Patricia Mullahy Fugere
Adjunct Professor, JD Program
AB ’81; JD ’84; E.D., Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
 
Henry Schwarz, PhD
Professor of English
Georgetown University
 
Judith Lichtenberg, PhD
Professor of Philosophy
Georgetown University
 
Joseph A. Chalmers, PhD
Retired Dean
Georgetown University
 
E. J. Dionne, Jr., D.Phil.
University Professor
Georgetown Public Policy Institute
 
Marlene Canlas, MA, MPH
Assistant Dean
Georgetown University

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