Friday, September 01, 2017

For Labor Day, Reflections from Pope Francis and the U.S. Bishops

“Person and work are two words that can and must stand together. Because if we think and talk about ‘work’ without the ‘person,’ work ends up becoming something inhuman which, in forgetting people, also forgets and loses itself. But if we think of a person without work, we are talking about something partial, incomplete, because a person is fully realized when he or she becomes a worker; because the individual becomes a person when he or she opens up to others, to social life, when he or she flourishes in work. A person flourishes in work. Work is the most common form of cooperation that humanity has generated in its history.”  -Pope Francis (Address to Delegates from the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions, 6/28/17)

This Labor Day, we find ourselves at a time of kairos, a moment of crisis as well as opportunity.  Over the past year, Pope Francis has drawn our attention to problems in the world of work that seek to undermine our understanding of the dignity of the person and threaten the stability of society.  The Pope has also called us to action based on the truth about the nature of work which is intended to support the flourishing of the family.  As the Holy Father recently remarked, work "comes from the first command that God gave to Adam . . . . There has always been friendship between the Church and work, starting with a working Jesus.  Where there is a worker, there is the interest and the gaze of love of the Lord and of the Church."  -Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development,  Read Full Statement 

The Catholic bishops of the United States have long held that the most effective way to build a just economy is to make decent work at decent wages available for all those capable of working. When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to protect the life and dignity of unemployed and underemployed workers and their families.  Read More here    Pastoral Resource from the USSCB for Labor Day weekend.

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