This month marks the 130th anniversary of Rerum Novarum, the foundational text of modern Catholic Social Teaching. After careful study of the industrial era economy and its impact on workers, in light of the Good News, Pope Leo XIII shared his new encyclical letter with the world on May 15, 1891. The document made the right of workers to organize in unions an official element of Catholic social doctrine – a right that was not protected in US law until more than forty years later!
The Catholic Labor Network will mark this anniversary with a special online presentation. Professor Gerry Beyer of Villanova University will discuss Rerum Novarum and the rights of workers in Catholic Social Teaching. Afterward Catholic Labor Network board member Chuck Hendricks of UNITE HERE will reflect on his experience as a young worker trying to organize in the United States, illustrating just how far we have to go to realize Pope Leo’s vision. Join us at 2pm ET on May 12 for this event!