September 3, 2014 – Excerpted from “Put Out Into the Deep”, Bishop DiMarzio’s column in The Tablet:
Each year, prior to Labor Day, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, of which Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is the Chair and I am a member, issues a statement that comments on the present situation of labor in our Nation. Catholic social teaching is rich in a tradition of understanding the proper place of work in the human family.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has added to this long tradition by stating that work “Is fundamental to the dignity of a person…. [it] ‘anoints’ us with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God … gives one the ability to maintain oneself, one’s family, (and) to contribute to the growth of one’s own nation.”
Although the worst of the recession seems to be behind us here in the U.S., there are many countries where the work situation seems only to get worse. In our own society, unemployment is too high, especially among African-American males, Hispanics and other minority groups. Catholic social teaching tells us that work is the key to the social question, the social question being, “How can the common good can be achieved in any society?”
Without every member of a society contributing to the common good by their own labor, societies find themselves in terrible circumstances where wage inequality and opportunity inequality discourage human growth and development.
Read the full text of the Bishop’s column on The Tablet website.