Entries by Bill Droel

Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part Sevenby Bill Droel There are scores of books explaining Catholic social doctrine. The outline for many of them is a chronology of papal encyclicals (from Pope Leo XIII’s 1891 On the Condition of Labor to Pope Francis’ 2020 On Social Friendship). Or the author might pick issues like peace, […]

Daily Grind

The Working Catholic: Routine by Bill Droel Clocks are everywhere because our modern economy needs to know the time.      Our “regular measurement of time and the new mechanical conception of time arose in part out of the routine of the monastery,” writes Lewis Mumford (1895-1990) in Technics and Civilization (University of Chicago Press, 1934). […]

Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine, Part Fiveby Bill Droel Catholicism ducked its appointment with modernity for about 400 years. Not until Vatican II (1962-1965) did Catholicism open the door to dialogue with the modern world—not a wholesale acceptance of every modern trend, but an engagement conducted with patience and sophistication.Catholicism opposed the Protestant Reformation (from […]


The Working Catholic: Lockoutby Bill Droel Kellogg has used the lockout tactic before. In October 2013 the cereal company locked out its 220 Memphis employees. Issues included mandatory overtime and benefits. The situation remained until August 2014 when a federal judge ruled that in this case the tactic was illegal. The judge ordered that employees […]

Labor Day Part II

The Working Catholic: Labor Day Part IIBy Bill Droel Covid-19 brings us an opportunity to experiment with different work arrangements, including shorter hours. For example, the 100 employees at Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com), a popular crowd-funding platform, will work four days per week in 2022, a minimum of 32 hours. Their pay remains the same as when […]

Labor Day

The Working Catholic: Labor DayBy Bill Droel International Workers Day (May Day), the counterpart to our September Labor Day, was inspired by an 1886 event here in Chicago. The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor obtained a city permit for a May rally/demonstration in the Haymarket area (now a trendy restaurant spot). Late in the […]

Social Doctrine Part II

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part IIBY BILL DROEL Modern Catholic social doctrine dates from May 1891 with the publication of On the Condition of Labor by Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903). Customarily, social encyclicals are subsequently released on significant anniversaries of On the Condition of Labor.In May 1981 Mehmet Ali Agca, a criminal from Turkey, […]

Social Doctrine

The Working Catholic: Social DoctrineBy Bill Droel Modern Catholic social doctrine is officially 130-years old. It dates from Pope Leo XIII’s May 1891 encyclical, On the Condition of Labor. Subsequent popes (as will be mentioned) advance social doctrine, often on anniversaries of On the Condition of Labor. Doctrines are derived from reflection on the accumulated […]

Social Sin

The Working Catholic: Social Sinby Bill Droel Although social sin is Catholic doctrine, it is rarely part of sacrament preparation nor is it normally mentioned during the sacrament of reconciliation. Slavery, for example, is a social sin even if every Christian plantation owner had been kind, even if the pharaoh of olden times had not […]

From Mobilizing to Governance

The Working Catholic: Mobilizing and Governingby Bill Droel The young adult activists who inspired the world this past summer now have the challenge of translating their fervor into practical reform. It is the transition from mobilizing to governance.The founders of our country were more prepared for the transition to governance than other revolutionaries, argues Hannah […]