Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

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					      With regard to Catholic Social Teaching in the public square, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops offers
                                                 “Seven Key Themes”
       The Right to Life the Dignity of the Human Person               Dignity of Work the Rights of Workers
       Call to Family, Community, and Participation                    Solidarity
       Rights and Responsibilities                                     Caring for God’s Creation
       Option for the Poor and Vulnerable
                                     <http://www.faithfulcitizenship.org/docs/insert_4p_bw_english.pdf>

Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers
“The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Economic justice calls for decent
work at fair, living wages, opportunities for legal status for immigrant workers, and the
opportunity for all people to work together for the common good through their work,
ownership, enterprise, investment, participation in unions, & other forms of economic activity.”
As per Chapter 6 of the Compendium of            standing the sin of our progenitors,…            his work of redemption and show that
the Social Doctrine of the Church, “To           the Creator's plan, the meaning of His           they are disciples of Christ bearing his
the first human couple God entrusts              creatures — & among these, man,                  cross, every day...Christians are called
the task of subduing the earth and               who is called to cultivate & care for            to work not only to provide them-
exercising dominion over every living            creation — remain unaltered.                     selves with bread, but also in
creature (cf. Gen 1:28). The dominion                                                             acceptance of their poorer neigh-
exercised by man over other living               “Work has a place of honour because              bours….By his work and industrious-
creatures, however, is not to be                 it is a source of riches, or at least of         ness, man — who has a share in the
despotic or reckless; on the contrary            the conditions for a decent life, and is,        divine art & wisdom — makes
he is to 'cultivate & care for' (Gen             in principle, an effective instrument            creation, the cosmos already ordered
2:15) the goods created by God....               against poverty (cf. Pr 10:4)….Work is           by the Father, more beautiful....
                                                 essential, but it is God — and not
“In the Creator's plan, created                  work — who is the origin of life and
realities, which are good in                     the final goal of man….
themselves, exist for man's use. The
wonder of the mystery of man's                   “The apex of biblical teaching on
grandeur makes the psalmist exclaim:             work is the commandment of the
   'What is man that you are mindful of         Sabbath rest…. Rest gives men and
    him, and the son of man that you             women the possibility to remember
    care for him? Yet you have made him          and experience anew God's work,
    little less than god, and crown him          from Creation to Redemption, to
    with glory and honour. You have              recognize themselves as his work (cf.
    given him dominion over the works
                                                 Eph 2:10), & to give thanks....
    of your hands; you have put all things
    under his feet' (Ps 8:5-7)….
                                                 "In his preaching, Jesus teaches that
“Work is part of the original state of           we    should     appreciate     work....
man & precedes his fall; it is therefore         Jesus teaches man not to be enslaved
not a punishment or curse. It                    by work....Work…[is a] participation
becomes toil & pain because of the sin           not only in the act of creation but also
of Adam and Eve, who break their                 in that of redemption. Those who put
relationship of trust & harmony with             up with the difficult rigours of work
God (cf. Gen 3:6-8).... Notwith-                 in union with Jesus cooperate, in a
                                                 certain sense, with the Son of God in
 “Work is 'a foundation for the formation of family life, which          the right to appropriate subsidies that are necessary for the
is a natural right and something that man is called to'.[John             subsistence of unemployed workers and their families…
Paul II, Encyclical Letter Laborem Exercens, 10: AAS 73                  the right to a pension & to insurance for old age, sickness, &
(1981), 600.]....it is necessary that businesses, professional                in case of work-related accidents….
organizations, labour unions and the State promote policies              the right to social security connected with maternity...
that, from an employment point of view, do not penalize but              the right to assemble and form associations….
rather support the family nucleus....
                                                                      “The Magisterium recognizes the fundamental role played by
“The rights of workers, like all other rights, are based on the       labour unions….
nature of the human person & on his transcendent dignity.                     “unions may not misuse the tools of contention
The Church's social Magisterium has seen fit to list some of                  ….they must overcome the temptation of believing
these rights…:                                                                that all workers should be union-members, they
 the right to a just wage…                                                   must be capable of self-regulation and be able to
 the right to rest…                                                          evaluate the consequences that their decisions will
 the right 'to a working environment & to manufacturing                      have on the common good….they should not be
    processes which are not harmful to the workers' physical health           forced to submit to the decisions of political parties
    or to their moral integrity'….                                            nor be too closely linked to them”
   the right that one's personality in the workplace should be
    safeguarded 'without suffering any affront to one's conscience
    or personal dignity'…

       Neither unsubstantiated promises of cures nor of job creation justify recourse to attacks against human life
                                              in its very earliest stages…




           Authentic Catholic Social Teaching provides guidance with regard to moral economic development…

				
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