Bishops Need to Go to Bat for Their Own Workers

By McBrien, Richard P. | National Catholic Reporter, September 3, 2010 | Go to article overview

Bishops Need to Go to Bat for Their Own Workers


McBrien, Richard P., National Catholic Reporter


I keep hoping that one of these years the U.S. Catholic bishops will issue a Labor Day statement that focuses on the church's own responsibility to practice what it preaches and teaches about social justice and human rights.

Such a statement would ground its message in the theology of sacramentality, that is, in the church's call to be a credible sign and instrument of God's presence and saving activity on behalf of the whole world.

The time has come when the bishops need to stop addressing other agencies and institutions in society on their obligations, and begin turning the klieg lights on the church itself.

As Pope Paul VI reminded us in his 1975 apostolic exhortation, Evangelii nuntiandi ("Of proclaiming the Gospel"), it is the essence of the church's mission to evangelize, but the church must begin "by being evangelized itself."

In the same document, the pope pointed out that people listen "more willingly to witnesses than to teachers, and if [they do] listen to teachers, it is because they are witnesses."

"It is therefore primarily by her conduct and by her life that the church will evangelize the world," Paul VI continued, "in other words, by her living witness of fidelity to the Lord Jesus--the witness of poverty and detachment, of freedom in the face of the powers of this world, in short, the witness of sanctity."

Pope Paul VI understood and embraced the principle of sacramentality. It is high time, some 35 years later, that our bishops did as well.

One of the obstacles is that the U.S. hierarchy has changed so much under Pope John Paul II and now Pope Benedict XVI.

Some readers might recall the claim that was persuasively made, back in the 1940s and 1950s, that most American bishops came from households where the breadwinner was an ordinary workingman.

This meant that the bishops of those years were more likely to view social and political issues from the viewpoint of those on the lower end of the economic ladder. They were more readily disposed to support the rights of workers than the interests of their corporate employers.

Yesterday's bishops would have gone to bat, so to speak, for the right of workers--many of whom were Catholic--to form labor unions. Some assigned priests in their dioceses to run labor schools to instruct Catholic workers on the church's social teachings and to identify the rights they possess in the marketplace. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bishops Need to Go to Bat for Their Own Workers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.