Friday, July 13, 2012


Today’s saint was born in Bavaria, Germany (the birthplace as well of Pope Benedict) and was crowned the Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 1014. He worked hard for the renewal of the Church and for peace within his kingdom. For centuries he was considered a model for Christian leaders. Let us ask him to pray with us that the leaders of nations may work together to ensure that everyone in the world will have work in secure and safe conditions. Our reflection is from the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church #287-8.

Work is a fundamental right and a good for mankind, a useful good, worthy of man because it is an appropriate way for him to give expression to and enhance his human dignity. The Church teaches the value of work not only because it is always something that belongs to the person but also because of its nature as something necessary. Work is needed to form and maintain a family, to have a right to property, to contribute to the common good of the human family. In considering the moral implications that the question of work has for social life, the Church cannot fail to indicate unemployment as a “real social disaster” (Pope John Paul II, Laborem Exercens #18), above all with regard to the younger generations.

Work is a good belonging to all people and must be made available to all who are capable of engaging in it. “Full employment” therefore remains a mandatory objective for every economic system oriented towards justice and the common good. A society in which the right to work is thwarted or systematically denied, and in which economic policies do not allow workers to reach satisfactory levels of employment, “cannot be justified from an ethical point of view, nor can that society attain social peace” (Pope John Paul II, Centesimus Annus #43).

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