Over the past 200 years, the Catholic church has consistently held a favorable attitude toward labor unions and the rights of workers to organize. A key step in attaining this position was the action of an American Cardinal, James Gibbons of Baltimore, in pursuading Pope Leo XIII not to condemn the Knights of Labor in 1887. The Knights were an American attempt to organize workers and some bishops argued that the group possessed the characteristics of a secret society. But Cardinal Gibbons saw that it was important to support the recent immigrants to American shores, many of them Catholic, whose work conditions were hard and often unjust. Read more
In his book Living Justice: Catholic Social Teaching in Action, Jesuit priest and scholar Thomas Massaro provides nine basic concepts that have characterized Social Catholicism since the time of Rerum Novarum.
- The dignity of every human person and human rights: Made in the image and likeness of God, humans deserve respect and dignity from conception to natural death. This idea means Catholics reject abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment. This teaching calls for equality on all fronts. Human rights are a way of expressing what belongs to humans by virtue of their dignity. Read more
Saturday February 9, 2012
December 15, 2012
For more than a decade, the Catholic Labor Network has brought together labor activists passionate about their Catholic faith with clerical and lay Catholic activists seeking to explore Catholic social teaching and its implications for worker justice. More recently they have affiliated with the World Movement of Christian Workers, to become the American representative. The WMCW is a pontifical association of the Christian faithful focused on the concerns of workers.
I am pleased to report that the Catholic Labor Network’s annual meeting in conjunction with the Social Ministry Gathering of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be held Saturday, February 9, 2013, from 9am to 3:30pm. The theme will be “Church and Labor: Faith Completed by Works” In addition, we strongly encourage all of you to stay, and actively take part in the entire Catholic Social Ministry Gathering. With the many social ministry issues facing our Church and nation, we and the other participating Catholic organizations will gain new perspectives and energy from greater interaction and dialog. Read more
Cardinal George warns US secularization is more serious than elections :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).
Chicago, Ill., Oct 23, 2012 / 07:15 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has said that the “secularizing” of American culture is a “much larger issue” than political causes or the outcome of the presidential elections, warning against a rise of anti-religious sentiment and restating his fears of a future persecution in the United States.
“The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters,” Cardinal George said in his Oct. 21 column for the Catholic New World. Read more
“With Election Day soon approaching, it is imperative that the lay faithful take their right to vote seriously,” Fr. John Trigilio, Jr., president of the San Diego-based fraternity, said Oct. 4. Read more
LABOR-PRIESTS Jul-6-2012 (1,070 words) With photo. xxxn
Father J. Cletus Kiley, a priest from the Archdiocese of Chicago, is pictured in the lobby of the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington July 5. The priest is director of immigration policy for UNITE HERE, a union for hotel, restaurant and textile workers. Father Kiley also serves on the AFL-CIO immigration committee. (CNS/Bob Roller)
By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) — The concept of “labor priest,” epitomized by Msgr. John Egan and Msgr. George Higgins in the 20th century, has been given a new twist to meet the realities of the 21st century.
The priests — more than two dozen of them, and all working with the approval of their diocesan bishops — are being recruited to help immigrant and low-wage workers.
The clerics met in Chicago in June with a number of mentors, speakers and labor leaders to hone their focus and to give them tools for the work ahead. Read more
Table of Contents:
A Tipping Point
A Threat to the Church’s Teachings
Prudence and Principle, Love and Truth
Prudence and Policy
5 Principles of Catholic Social Doctrine Most in Danger of Being Forgotten or Distorted
We write as Catholic theologians, academics and ministers concerned for our nation and for the integrity of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. We write to hold up aspects of the Church’s social doctrine that are profoundly relevant to the challenges our nation faces at this moment in history, yet are in danger of being ignored. At a moment when the ideas of Atlas Shrugged influence public debate and policy, we write to proclaim the Catholic truth that the stewardship of common good rests upon all of our shoulders together. This is a responsibility we dare not shrug. We fulfill this obligation in myriad ways, but indispensibly among them, through the policies of our government. We highlight these principles of the Church’s social doctrine in the hope that their substance will better influence our political and policy debates. Read more
C A T H O L I C S C H O L A R S F O R W O R K E R J U S T I C E
P r o m o t i n g C a t h o l i c S o c i a l T e a c h i n g o n t h e I n d i s p e n s i b
l e R o l e o f U n i o n s f o r E v e r y P r o f e s s i o n
T H E L A B O R G U I L D , 8 5 C O M M E R C I A L S T R E E T , W E Y M O U T H , M A 0 2
1 1 8 U S A P H O N E + 1 ( 7 8 1 ) 3 4 0 . 7 8 8 7 , F A X + 1 ( 7 8 1 ) 3 4 0 – 5 8 8 5
E M A I L: I N F O @ C A T H O L I C S C H O L A R S F O R J U S T I C E . O R G
W E B S I T E: W W W . C A T H O L I C S C H O L A R S F O R J U S T I C E . O RG
A Statement by Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice
Issued at Georgetown University
June 1, 2011
The Vatican‟s COMPENDIUM OF THE SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH (2004) is a remarkable summary of 2000 years of official Catholic Social Teaching. To place Catholic teaching on labor unions in its proper context, the serious reader will consult the chapters on, “Principles of the Church‟s Social Doctrine” (pp. 71-94), and “Human Work,” “Economic Life,” and “Political Life.” (pp. 115-182) Several principles emerge in this significant treatment of Catholic teaching on labor unions: Read more
A PARTIAL CRITIQUE OF THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PLATFORM
As a layman, a practicing Roman Catholic, and a Union leader, let me start by saying that I respect and adhere to all that the Roman Catholic Church believes and teaches. In fact, my Roman Catholic faith and the teachings of the Church are the underpinnings of my involvement in the labor movement, and continue to inform and inspire my work. Further, I am a Board Member of the Catholic Labor Network as a result of my commitment to both my Faith and my work.
That said, I must admit that I am somewhat confused of late, particularly when well-respected Catholic Church leaders say things like “I have read the Republican Party platform and there is nothing in it that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin.”[i] With all due respect, I thought that the Catholic Bishops had clearly defined their role in politics, at least in part, when they said, “…we bishops do not intend to tell Catholics for whom or against whom to vote. Our purpose is to help Catholics form their consciences in accordance with God’s truth.”[ii] The United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) most correctly noted that “In fulfilling these responsibilities, the Church’s leaders are to avoid endorsing or opposing candidates or telling people how to vote.”[iii] I would rather that Catholic leaders point out to me what there is in the Republican Party Platform that supports and promotes the teaching of the Catholic Church, as well as social justice in our country and world.
So, while I certainly have plenty of concerns over the Democratic Party Platform, particularly the areas that would rightfully be considered intrinsically evil, my experiences have taught me that the Democrats generally stand with working men and women, whereas today’s Republican Party appears to stand more with the rich and ultra-rich, against the common good, as well as against issues of importance to working men and women, such as just wages. I have the sense that some Catholic leaders are trying to tell Catholics that they cannot vote Democratic because of certain platform issues that are considered intrinsically evil. Whereas because these same Catholic leaders do not find anything in the Republican Party platform that supports or promotes an intrinsic evil or a serious sin, apparently Catholics should vote Republican? I respectfully disagree, and will try to elucidate my concerns with the Republican Party Platform and why I believe it supports serious sin, from the perspective of a Catholic layman involved in the labor movement. Read more