Monday, September 05, 2011

The dignity of work

There are a lot of reasons that I'm (still) a practicing Catholic, and though I don't generally feel it necessary to enumerate, explain, or defend those reasons, here's one, in honor of the day:
Economic life is not meant solely to multiply goods produced and increase profit or power; it is ordered first of all to the service of persons, of the whole person, and of the entire human community. . . . In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature.*

The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God's creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected--the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.**
Happy Labor Day, all.

*From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
**Statement by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this; as a fellow progressive, pro-labor practicing Catholic in academia, I often feel lonely. I think it's important to raise our voices.

Dr. Virago said...

Happy Labor Day to you, too, Flavia!

Anon - I'd be right there with you and Flavia as a progressive, pro-labor, practicing Catholic in academia if it weren't for the whole not-believing-in-God-anymore part, which makes me thing I can't really count myself as a Catholic anymore. But count me as a *cultural* Catholic, anyway, along with progressive and pro-labor! And I know a lot more like Flavia, too -- I don't think they're as few and far between as it sometimes seems.

Contingent Cassandra said...

Amen (from a Protestant in the Reformed tradition, with one Catholic grandparent). Though there are obviously areas where I disagree with its doctrine, I have to say that the Catholic church does poverty/dignity of labor/progressive issues well, and consistently.

Veralinda said...

Huzzah, Flavia!

Renaissance Girl said...

Rock on.