Catholics Divided on Social Justice, Poverty, and Abortion Issues

In a major speech on poverty, vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan this week praised religious charities while blasting federal anti-poverty programs. He charged they create what he called a “debilitating culture of dependency.” Sister Simone Campbell, leader of the “Nuns on the Bus” tour, criticized Ryan, a fellow Catholic, for wanting to slash federal funding for low-income families. She argued that contradicted church teachings.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Catholic News Service, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said Catholics must be loyal to their church, not their political party, on the issue of abortion. A poll released this week from the Public Religion Research Institute found that 60 percent of Catholics think the church should focus more on social justice and the poor even if that means focusing less on issues like abortion.