"The pope emphasized that the
inalienable dignity of the worker has been a cornerstone of the church's
social teaching in the modern age,
and said this teaching
has helped the movement toward fair wages, improvement of working conditions
and protection of
vulnerable categories of
Catholic New Service
Pope says labor unions important in resolving financial crisis
By John Thavis
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope
Benedict XVI said labor unions have an important role to play in finding a way
out of the global financial crisis and establishing a new culture of solidarity
and responsibility in the marketplace.
"The great challenge and the great opportunity posed by today's worrisome
economic crisis is to find a new synthesis between the common good and the
market, between capital and labor. And in this regard, union organizations can
make a significant contribution," the pope told directors of the Confederation
of Italian Labor Unions Jan. 31.
The pope emphasized that the inalienable dignity of the worker has been a
cornerstone of the church's social teaching in the modern age, and said this
teaching has helped the movement toward fair wages, improvement of working
conditions and protection of vulnerable categories of employees.
Workers are facing particular risks in the current economic crisis, and unions
must be part of the solution, he said.
"In order to overcome the economic and social crisis we're experiencing, we know
that a free and responsible effort on the part of everyone is required," the
"In other words, it is necessary to overcome the interests of particular groups
and sectors, in order to face together and in a united way the problems that are
affecting every area of society, especially the world of labor," he said.
"Never has this need been felt so urgently. The problems tormenting the world of
labor push toward an effective and closer arrangement between the many and
diverse components of society," he said.
He noted that his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, had underlined labor as the
key component in social questions and had described the labor union as an
indispensable element of social life in modern industrialized societies.