Before John Boehner delivered the commencement address at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., about 75 Catholic academics sent the speaker a letter denouncing the House Republicans' budget as inconsistent with the Catholic Church's teachings about social justice.
In response to a letter from Paul Ryan, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, thanked Ryan for his "continued attention to the guidance of Catholic social justice in the current delicate budget considerations in Congress."
Dolan wrote "people of good will might offer and emphasize various policy proposals that reflect their experience and expertise." From the archbishop's letter:
It is clear that all of this correspondence reflects recognition of the foundational principles at work. Within the given parameters of such principles, people of good will might offer and emphasize various policy proposals that reflect their experience and expertise. The principles of Catholic social teaching contain truths that need to be applied. Thus, one must always exercise prudential judgment in applying these principles while never contradicting the intrinsic values that they protect.
While Dolan wrote the bishops appreciate Ryan's "assurances" that his budget is meant to strengthen the social safety net and reestablish fiscal responsibility, "our duty as pastors will motivate our close attention to the manner in which they become a reality."