Will Paul Ryan’s Photo Op Hurt a Catholic Charity’s Efforts to Feed the Poor?

The Nuns on the Bus have been saying for months that Paul Ryan’s miserly budgetary approach betrays his Catholic values. The Bishops agree. Joe Biden even called Ryan out for “taking issue” with the Church’s social teachings.

Just days after being called out by a fellow Catholic for being stingy with the poor, Ryan commandeered a soup kitchen so he could stage a photo op.

It turns out the soup kitchen is run by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul–a Catholic lay organization.

And the local president of the society suggests Ryan’s photo op might hurt their donations.

Brian J. Antag, president of the Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society, said that he was not contacted by the Romney campaign ahead of the Saturday morning visit by Ryan, whostopped by the soup kitchen after a town hall at Youngstown State University.

“We’re a faith-based organization; we are apolitical because the majority of our funding is from private donations,” Antag said in a phone interview Monday afternoon. “It’s strictly in our bylaws not to do it. They showed up there and they did not have permission. They got one of the volunteers to open up the doors.”


“I can’t afford to lose funding from these private individuals,” he said. “For us to even appear like we’re backing somebody, it’s suicide. … If this was the Democrats, I’d have the same exact problem. It doesn’t matter who it was.”

He added that the incident had caused him “all kind of grief” and that regardless of whether Ryan had intended to serve food to patrons or wash dishes, he would not have allowed the visit to take place.

Ryan has made a concerted effort to make it harder for the Federal government to help the poor.

And now, with his selfish big-footing, he may have made it harder for Catholics serving the poor to do so.

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