Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Pope decries unemployment

During his weekly audience marking the May 1 feast of St. Joseph the Worker, Pope Francis called for greater efforts to create dignified work for more people. According to a report from Catholic News Service:
The problem of unemployment is "very often caused by a purely economic view of society, which seeks self-centered profit, outside the bounds of social justice," he said . . ..  
"I wish to extend an invitation to everyone to greater solidarity and to encourage those in public office to spare no effort to give new impetus to employment," he said. "This means caring for the dignity of the person."  
. . .  
In his homily, the pope said unemployment "is a burden on our conscience" because when society is organized in such a way that it cannot offer people an opportunity to work, "there is something wrong with that society: It is not right!"  
"It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity to begin with (work)."  
"Power, money, culture do not give us dignity," he said. "Work, honest work, gives us dignity."  
However, he said, "today many social, political and economic systems have chosen to exploit the human person" in the workplace, by "not paying a just (wage), not offering work, focusing solely on the balance sheets, the company's balance sheets, only looking at how much I can profit. This goes against God!"  
"People are less important than the things that give profit to those who have political, social, economic power. What point have we come to?" he asked.  
The pope recalled a recent "tragedy" in Bangladesh, where more than 400 garment workers were killed when the building they were working in collapsed. The workers reportedly earned just $38 a month.  
"This is what you call slave labor," the pope said.  
Today, "we can no longer say what St. Paul said, 'Who will not work, should not eat,' but we have to say, 'He who does not work has lost his dignity' because he cannot find any opportunities for work."  
A society that cannot offer a person the possibility of work is a society that "has stripped this person of dignity," he said.
You can read more here.

Labels: , ,