Michael Peppard, a young theologian on faculty at Fordham University, offers a sharp and intelligent presentation of the complications that surround the catholicity of the vice presidential candidates. Spurred on by the novelty of having two Roman Catholic candidates for the second-highest political office in the United States of America and the contentious discussions that frequently arise concerning who is and who is not “a good Catholic” according to any given number of factors (most often, though not exclusively, involving abortion), Peppard draws readers’ attention to the lack of orthodoxy (as one might argue) concerning Ryan’s particular espousal of anti-abortion and economic policies.

But while Mr. Ryan’s vision for abortion policy is far more restrictive than current law, it is not the one advocated by the Catholic hierarchy. Along with Mr. Biden, he has joined the ranks of dissenting Catholic politicians, those who preserve a distance between nonnegotiable Catholic moral teaching and civil law.

The rest of the op-ed piece highlights the ways in which Ryan’s approach to the abortion issue as political does not authentically jive with Catholic moral teaching.

Regardless of one’s political affiliation, which candidate you chose in the polling station in November, or where you stand in your interpretation and execution of Church teaching on these moral issues, Peppard’s essay is sure to engender a lot of discussion and debate. Hopefully those who wish to enter the fray will do so respectfully and intelligently.

To read the whole piece online, go to: “Paul Ryan, Catholic Dissident.

Photo: Pool (from VP debate)


  1. Sorry. At this point this is a non-issue. I am pragmatic enough, or dare I say apathetic at this point that the only ones who seem to be really “up in arms” about the abortion issue are the dem’s in order to distract everyone from the real issues at hand — the ECONOMY and JOBS — and the absolute mishandling of everything by the current administration. While I still to the core of being believe that Abortion is a mortal and grave sin and I fully support the teachings of the Holy Mother Church on this issue, and other “social” issues (please note I did not say “social catholic teaching issues), I pessimissitically do not believe that Roe v. Wade will ever get over-turned, although the VP tried his own fear-mongering with (oooh, whomever gets elected will have the opportunity to appoint two new judges vis-a-vis if the GOP gets it, we might all be doomed! Alot of good that did, Obamacare was still ruled legal with a “conservative” changing colors, and giving the deciding vote).

    No, I find it laughable how some will criticize Sen. Ryan for not being “catholic” enough because he is showing a little bit of compromise and understanding the people, yet when Sen Santorum was running, that seemed to be that was talked about, that by some he was too “catholic” and still yet not enough by his critics (mostly dems). And, the VP gets an “understanding” and well he “just the right amount of “catholic”. (Oh I forgot, he is a dem).

    So, to really get back on track and wade through the smoke and mirrors. I would like to quote a well respected democrat:

    “Because my proposals incorporate LOWER RATES OF TAXATION as well as tax reform measures, they WILL STIMULATE ECONOMIC ACTIVITY and so raise the levels of personal and corporate income as to yield within a few years an increased-not a reduced flow of revenues to the Federal Government.

    Guess who? JFK. (Oh, who BTW was certainly not the “ideal” Catholic either, but certainly seemed to have a few good things going for him.)

  2. Being Catholic, being in communion with Christ’s Church, is not a matter of degree. You are either with Him or against Him, which is why Christ made it clear that He will not tolerate being lukewarm.

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