Washington D.C., Aug 15, 2012 / 12:03 am (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ point man on domestic justice issues has called for an economic renewal that places “working people and their families at the center of economic life.”
“Everyone and every institution has a role to play in building a more just economy,” said Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, Calif., who chairs the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
He recalled the words of Blessed Pope John Paul II that both “society and the State must ensure wage levels adequate for the maintenance of the worker and his family.”
In his 2012 Labor Day statement, the bishop reflected on the “moral and human dimensions” of “a broken economy that is not producing enough decent jobs.”
He observed that more than 46 million people in the U.S. live in poverty, and more than 16 million children grow up in poverty.
In addition, he noted, there are more than 12 million people looking for work but unable to find it, “and millions more have actually given up seeking employment.”
Millions of other individuals are “underemployed,” wishing to work full time but unable to find a job that allows them to do so, he added, while over 10 million families are “working poor,” unable to meet their basic needs despite being employed.
These numbers show “a serious economic and moral failure for our nation,” Bishop Blaire said. He called for the faithful to show solidarity to those who are struggling, in order to help them meet basic needs.
At the same time, he said, there is a need for “national economic renewal,” keeping in mind the dignity of human work while building “an economy that serves the person rather than the other way around.” (Read more here.)