Work and the Dignity of Families

An American Airlines ground crew unloads baggage at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in late March. Labor Day, honoring working people of America, is observed Sept. 7 this year. (CNS photo/Jim West)

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami cited the importance of work in supporting families in the U.S. bishops’ 2015 Labor Day statement, which drew on Pope Francis’ June encyclical on ecology, “Laudato Si’.” Archbishop Wenski said ,“We must not resign ourselves to a ‘new normal’ with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women.... We are in need of a profound conversion of heart at all levels of our lives.” The archbishop explained, “Wage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up.” He added that “the violation of human dignity is evident in exploited workers, trafficked women and children, and a broken immigration system that fails people and families desperate for decent work and a better life.” Archbishop Wenski said that in “Laudato Si’” Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation and honoring the dignity of the “universal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.”

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