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Catholics must take a stand in support of Walmart employees

Catholics must take a stand in support of Walmart employees

Guest blog

It would be hard to compete with Pharaoh in the realm of obduracy, but Walmart is giving the old man a run for his money. Like the Israelite brick makers of Exodus Chapters 5-11 Walmart workers, organized as OUR Walmart, are asking for respect—specifically, increasing the flexibility of working hours, moving up to full-time work when possible, and increasing pay to a minimum of $25,000 annually.

In addition they are calling for an end to retaliation against associates involved in OUR Walmart and its mini-strikes, like last year’s Black Friday. More than 100 alleged Walmart retaliation cases are pending at the National Labor Relations Board.

Since Memorial Day, hundreds of courageous Walmart associates have walked off the job and are now caravanning together to bring their concerns to Walmart’s June 7 shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas. They will demand an end to retaliation against associates who organize and hope to begin a dialogue on scheduling and wages at a time when Walmart CEO Mike Duke makes $20.7 million per year—more than 1,000 times the wages of the average Walmart associate. Read more

A Catholic Framework for Economic Life

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A Catholic Framework for Economic Life

“A Catholic Framework for Economic Life” offers ten key principles to help Catholics reflect on the values that should shape our participation in economic life. It was written by the bishops of the United States based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, papal encyclicals, the pastoral letter Economic Justice for All, and other statements of the U.S. Catholic bishops.

PDF Version

As followers of Jesus Christ and participants in a powerful economy, Catholics in the United States are called to work for greater economic justice in the face of persistent poverty, growing income-gaps, and increasing discussion of economic issues in the United States and around the world.  We urge Catholics to use the following ethical framework for economic life as principles for reflection, criteria for judgment and directions for action.  These principles are drawn directly from Catholic teaching on economic life. Read more

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

Dignity of man central to ‘rethinking solidarity,’ says Pope

 
Pope Francis rides through St. Peters Square after Mass on April 28, 2013. Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA.

Vatican City, May 25, 2013 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Speaking to an international group dedicated to promoting education of the Church’s social teaching, Pope Francis called for a new economic view that places the human person at the center.

“We must return to the centrality of man, to a more ethical view of business and human relations, without the fear of losing something,” the Pope said on May 25.

Pope Francis addressed members of the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice at the end of their three-day conference at the Vatican. Founded by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1993, the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Read more

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Pope says everyone can do good, regardless of belief

Vatican City, May 22, 2013 / 04:03 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Every human person despite his or her beliefs can do good, and a sharing in good works is the prime place for encounter among those who disagree, Pope Francis said at his Mass today.

“The Lord created us in his image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and he does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and avoid evil. All of us,” the Pope taught in his homily May 22 at St. Martha’s residence in the Vatican.

“We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.” Read more

Growing the Ranks of ‘Labor Priests’

By Barbara Doherty

Growing the Ranks of ‘Labor Priests’

For as long as working people have come together for better lives and working conditions, they have relied on clergy and religious leaders to bring a spiritual dimension and moral leadership to the movement—in mines, mills, fields and factories.

Now an effort is under way to reinvigorate the ranks of “labor priests” in the Catholic Church. This new network of labor priests aims to build a contemporary home for a century-old tradition of speaking out for workers’ rights and fighting against injustice alongside workers. Read more

Church in UK: Archbishop leads call to tackle poverty on the doorstep

Vatican Radio

Church in UK: Archbishop leads call to tackle poverty on the doorstep

 

 

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appealed to us to be a Church for the poor and the Catholic Church in England and Wales is answering that call by organizing a seminal conference to tackle rising levels of domestic poverty. Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark spoke to Susy Hodges about why this initiative is so important.

Listen to the extended interview with Archbishop Smith:

In the aftermath of the economic crisis, Archbishop Smith says there is clear evidence that the poverty crisis is worsening and how more and more people in the United Kingdom “are finding it difficult to feed their families.” Read more

Coptic Pope stresses urgency of Christian unity at Vatican

Coptic Pope stresses urgency of Christian unity at Vatican

By Estefania Aguirre and David Uebbing
Pope Francis meets with Pope Tawadros and his delegation on May 9, 2013 in Vatican City. Credit: Copticworld.org.

Vatican City, May 10, 2013 / 07:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt met with Pope Francis at the Vatican and spoke about the urgent need for unity among Christians in the Middle East.

“We must prepare our people for this very real and needed unity that we know and live, we must work quickly and seriously,” said Pope Tawadros II in May 10 remarks provided to CNA by his office. Read more

Pope Francis: Address to Pope Tawadros

Vatican Radio

Pope Francis: Address to Pope Tawadros

 

 

(Vatican Radio) Below please find the full text of Pope Francis’ address to the leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, whom he met on Friday May 10, at the Vatican

Your Holiness,

Dear Brothers in Christ,

For me it is a great joy and a truly graced moment to be able to receive all of you here, at the tomb of Saint Peter, as we recall that historic meeting forty years ago between our predecessors, Pope Paul VI and the late Pope Shenouda III, in an embrace of peace and fraternity, after centuries of mutual distrust. So it is with deep affection that I welcome Your Holiness and the distinguished members of your delegation, and I thank you for your words. Through you, I extend my cordial greetings in the Lord to the bishops, the clergy, the monks and the whole Coptic Orthodox Church. Read more

Labor Day 2013: “All together to promote justice and human dignity”

Labor Day 2013: “All together to promote justice and human dignity”

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Labor Day has been celebrated for 123 years as a sign of solidarity with all workers around the world.  Are we finally reaching a world centered on the human person rather than a world of work centered on capital and mechanization?

The 2004-2005 report from the International Labor Office (ILO) gives terrible statistics:  of the approximately two billion eight hundred and fifty million workers in the world 49% earn less than 2 Dollars a day and, of these, 39% less than one dollar!  Two hundred million men and women are unemployed! Today poverty has worsened throughout the world.  According to an OECD report 60% of men and women workers in the world do not have a proper contract and are exposed to job insecurity.

Last year many labor disputes occurred throughout the world.  In Asia, the Philippines, Taiwan and in Indonesia workers gathered to demand wage increases.  In Tunisia, Egypt and the Middle East they called for economic reforms and measurements for employment.  In New  York and in London, in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis, they occupied the financial centers of Wall Street and the City to oppose the power of money. Read more