A Denver-area Catholic commentator sees a connection between the national debt crisis and the "growing hostility to faith, family and freedom," but he also sees hope for change if the country "turns away from the path of economic and social self-destruction."

"As increasing numbers of people realize that the government simply will not be able to meet all its obligations in providing for the aged and the poor, new economic approaches grounded in Catholic principles of solidarity and subsidiarity are emerging," Peter Droege told CNA Oct. 3.

He said that Pope Benedict XVI's encyclicals on society have called on the Church to "explore new forms of economic activity that combine the best of capitalism with the fundamental principle of charity."

Droege is a former editor of the Denver Catholic Register who has been involved in several nonprofits in education and homeless ministry. He is presently a vice president at the Daniels Fund, one of the largest foundations in the Rocky Mountain region, but the talk is not connected in any way to the fund.

He was scheduled to present his view on Catholics' role in the upcoming election at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Denver's St. Vincent de Paul parish on the evening of Oct. 4.

He told CNA that Americans are not being given a "clear picture" of the United States' debt obligations. In fiscal year 2011, the U.S. government had a net accumulated deficit of $14.8 trillion and social insurance obligations of $46.3 trillion.

"This is vastly more than the $16 trillion in debt pointed to by the media," he said.

Droege's presentation will give an "alarming look" at how aging populations and declining population growth, which some call a "Demographic Winter," have had a negative economic impact over the past generation. He said this impact is a result of "anti-family policies including birth control and abortion."

He said the United States can turn away from "out-of-control debt accumulation policies" and achieve a "prosperous future" in discovering new energy reserves and new technologies.

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Droege also weighed-in on the presidential contest.

He said President Obama has shown an "unwillingness or inability" to control spending, while his "unwavering support for abortion," his "attacks on the family" and his support for the HHS mandate make the president "an unacceptable leader" from the Catholic perspective that emphasizes the "dignity of the human person."

"If elected, Mitt Romney will face tremendous challenges, but he has at least demonstrated the ability in the private sector to turn around failing enterprises," Droege said.