The Catholic Church’s social teaching is a rich treasure of wisdom about building a just society and living lives of holiness amid the challenges of modern society. Here is number five of the seven principles of the tradition.
PRINCIPLE: THE DIGNITY OF WORK AND THE RIGHTS OF WORKERS
The economy must serve people, not the other way around. Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected — the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to the organization and joining of unions, to private property, and to economic initiative.
In his encyclical letter On Care for Our Common Home, Pope Francis wrote: “Work should be the setting for this rich personal growth, where many aspects of life enter into play: creativity, planning for the future, developing our talents, living out our values, relating to others, giving glory to God. It follows that, in the reality of today’s global society, it is essential that we continue to prioritize the goal of access to steady employment for everyone, no matter the limited interests of business and dubious economic reasoning.”
Catholic Charities works with thousands of low-income people, some of them homeless, some recovering from homelessness. Many are migrants with amazing skills and talents. They need jobs, and our case managers work to pair them with employers.