The state’s Catholic Conference has chosen neither — and taken a stance it describes as “neutral.”
The bishop of Madison, Robert Morlino, has more to say in his weekly newspaper column:
The question to which the dilemma boils down is rather simple on its face: is the sacrifice which union members, including school teachers, are called upon to make, proportionate to the relative sacrifice called for from all in difficult economic times? In other words, is the sacrifice fair in the overall context of our present situation?
At a time when all are called to sacrifice, this question requires a weighing of the relative sacrifice which all are called upon to make, so that a judgment about just proportions can be made by each one of us.
The teaching of the Church allows for persons of good will to disagree as to which horn of this dilemma should be chosen, because there would be reasonable justification available for either alternative. (This is unlike the case of abortion or euthanasia, for which reason can offer absolutely no justification in terms of the killing of an innocent victim.)
The present situation, which has evolved in our state and which is powerfully, symbolically present in the Madison demonstrations, is one which admits of disagreement in conscience as to which alternative is most appropriate. As I indicated, I believe that the final question boils down to: is the sacrifice which teachers and other labor union members are called to make fair?
The problem with responding to that question, of course, is that there appears to be no common ground in terms of what the word “fair” actually means among various individuals. Some believe that “a fair solution” would require sacrifice from everyone but self. The relativism of our culture and society once again does us grave harm, because the cultural response to the question of the meaning of “fair” is, “well, what’s fair for you is fair for you and what’s fair for me is fair for me,” leaving us no common ground for reasonable and civil discourse. We are left with our emotions about the word “fair.” This, then, is a moment in our state and in our nation when the terrible effects of relativism on a culture are being blatantly displayed.
Read more. And check out, as well, what Milwaukee’s Archbishop Jerome Listecki had to say on the subject, too.