Just this Thursday last, the Church celebrated alongside all the nations of the world International Workers Day.
Commemorating the day, Pope Francis tweeted: “I ask everyone with political responsibility to remember two things: human dignity and the common good”.
The Pope has often voiced his concern and expressed his strong position regarding the dignity of labor.
In a world in which more than 200 million people are unemployed and the daily news testifies to the realities of those suffering from the economic crisis, Pope Francis addressed workers and those in positions of responsibility since he was elected Pope.
In the current economic climate and the difficulties facing the work environment, the Pope said in his meeting with Italian steelworkers on 20 March 2014 that it is necessary “to reaffirm that employment is an essential reality for society, for families and for individuals. Work, in fact, directly regards the person, his/her life, freedom and happiness.”
“The primary value of employment is the good of the human person,” he said, because it “realizes a person,” intellectually by making demands on his or her attitudes and creative and manual abilities. Employment, then, should not be considered simply as a means for obtaining profit, but above all a purpose that affects man and his dignity. And if there is no work, this dignity is wounded!”
He said: “Anyone who is unemployed or underemployed risks, in fact, being placed on the margins of society, becoming a victim of social exclusion. Many times it happens that people out of work – I think especially of the many unemployed young people today- slip into chronic discouragement or worse, apathy.”
During his address at a General Audience on this feast day a year ago, he called for solidarity and said, “I would like to encourage those in public office to make every effort to give new impetus to employment, this means caring for the dignity of the person” He also voiced his worry over “slave labor” at this address.
In Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, published on 24 November 2013, he noted that because people are in a world where everything is under laws of competition and survival of the fittest, “masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape”.
Recalling lack of respect for human dignity, he said “human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded.” (D.C.L.)
This article was taken from Zenit.org