Francis: As employer, Vatican “must follow the guidelines of the Social Doctrine of the Church”
Pope Francis would have a difficult time in his ministry without the labors of an estimated 3,000 lay Vatican employees. The Holy Father invited these workers and their families to the Paul VI audience hall in late December to thank them for their work and to exchange Christmas greetings. His remarks merit quoting at length.
Today we wish to thank God first of all for the gift of work. Work is extremely important, both for the actual person who works and for his or her family. As we give thanks, let us pray for the people and the families, in Italy and throughout the world, who have no work, or else, often, who do work that is undignified, poorly paid, or harmful to health…. We must always thank God for work. And we must be committed, each one with his or her own responsibility, to ensuring that work is dignified, respectful of the person and of the family, and just. Here in the Vatican we have an extra reason to do so, we have the Gospel, and we must follow the guidelines of the Social Doctrine of the Church. Here in the Vatican I do not want there to be work that is out of line with this: no undeclared work, no subterfuge.
Thus, let us all thank the Lord. However, for my part, today I want to thank you for your work. I thank each of you, each one, for the diligence you put forth each day in doing your work and trying to do it well, even when perhaps you don’t feel very well, or there are family concerns…. A good thing about the Vatican is that, being a very small entity, it is possible to perceive it as a whole, with the various tasks that form the whole, and each one is important. The various work sectors are close and connected, we know everyone somewhat; and we feel the satisfaction of seeing a certain order, that things function, with all the limitations, of course, we can and must always improve, but it is good to hear that every sector does its part and the whole functions well for the benefit of all. Here, this is easier, because we are a small entity, but this takes nothing away from the effort and personal merit; and for this I feel moved to thank you.
Vatican lay employees are represented by a trade union, the Associazione Dipendenti Laici Vaticani (ADLV). The Holy Father’s entire speech can be found on the Vatican website.