WASHINGTON - August 24, 2015 - Creating sufficient, decent work that honors the dignity of families is a necessary component of the challenge facing all Catholics, and it is the Catholic way, said the chairman of the U.S. bishopsâ€™ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami cited the importance of work in supporting families in the 2015 Labor Day statement, which drew on Pope Francisâ€™ June encyclical on ecology, Laudato Siâ€™.
â€œWe must not resign ourselves to a â€˜new normalâ€™ with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women,â€ Archbishop Wenski said. â€œWe are in need of a profound conversion of heart at all levels of our lives.â€ Archbishop Wenski challenged Catholics to â€œrecommit ourselves to our brothers and sisters around the world in the human family, and build systems and structures that nurture family formation and stability in our own homes and neighborhoods.â€
Archbishop Wenski noted that even though work is meant for the sake of family, â€œWage stagnation has increased pressures on families, as the costs of food, housing, transportation, and education continue to pile up.â€ He added that â€œthe 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.â€
Archbishop Wenski said that, in Laudato Siâ€™, Pope Francis challenges people to see the connections between human labor, care for creation, and honoring the dignity of the â€œuniversal family, a sublime communion which fills us with a sacred, affectionate and humble respect.â€
The full text of the 2015 Labor Day statement is available online.