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NEW YORK (AP) -- This year's vice presidential candidates are both Irish-American Catholics, but Paul Ryan and Joe Biden represent opposing activist wings of the church.
Catholic League President Bill Donohue says, "Ryan really is the epitome of the pro-life Catholic and Joe Biden is clearly the epitome of the social justice Catholic."
Donohue says that while Biden can be accused of ignoring the church's opposition to abortion and gay marriage, Ryan will be charged with proposing budgets that violate Catholic social teaching by hurting the poor.
Ryan has said his proposals would save social programs and help Americans escape from poverty.
The vice presidential candidates are likely to face each other in debate, and Donohue says he hopes "that it doesn't get nasty."
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)