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.”