Thursday, March 29, 2018

Youcat commented through CCC – Question n. 444.

YOUCAT Question n. 444 - What does the Church’s social doctrine say about the topics of labor and unemployment?

(Youcat answer) To work is a duty that God has given to us. In a common effort we are supposed to look after and continue his work of creation. “The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it” (Gen 2:15). For most people, work is the foundation of life. Unemployment is a serious misfortune that must be dealt with resolutely.

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 2433) Access to employment and to professions must be open to all without unjust discrimination: men and women, healthy and disabled, natives and immigrants (Cf. LE 19; 22-23). For its part society should, according to circumstances, help citizens find work and employment  (Cf. CA 48).      

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) While today many people who would like to work find no jobs, there are also “workaholics” who work so much that they have no time left for God and their fellowmen. And while many people can scarcely feed themselves and their families with their wages, others earn so much that they can live a life of unimaginable luxury. Work is not an end in itself but should serve the development of a humane society. That is why catholic social teaching is committed to an economic order in which all men can collaborate actively and share in the prosperity that is achieved. It insists on a just wage that enables all to have a dignified existence, and it calls on the rich to practice the virtues of moderation, solidarity, and sharing. 

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 2434) A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice (Cf. Lev 19:13; Deut 24:14-15; Jas 5:4). In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. "Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business, and the common good" (GS 67 § 2). Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.     

(The next question is: What is meant by the principle “labor before capital”?)

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