The USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development has issued its traditional statement for Labor Day . It is one of the most forceful statements from the USCCB in a long time. Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, the head of the committee notes the long and fruitful collaboration between unions and the Church, the Church’s long-standing commitment to workers’ rights, especially the right to organize, and he sets forth a vision for the nation’s economic and political life . (See USCCB press release)
Bishop Blaire’s,witness in this document and in his efforts over the past few months to get Congress and the White House to look at their budgetary decisions through the lens of Matthew 25 – “whatever you do to these the least of my brethren, you do to me” . It ranks squarely in the tradition of American church leaders such as Cardinal Gibbons, Msgr. Ryan, Cardinal Dearden and Cardinal Shehan and Cardinal O’Connor as powerful defense of the rights of workingmen and women. And it goes without mentioning in detail the list of Popes from Leo XIII through Benedict XVI.
As Vincentians we can be proud of the heritage of Frederic Ozanam, Giuseppe Toniolo, a follower of Frederic, who provided technical advice to Leo XIII for Rerum Novarum and the many among us who advocate through our “Justice and Peace Committees, etc. serving as the voice of the poor.
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