Pope talks up unions to Italian labor officials

In a speech June 28 to a delegation from the Italian Confederation of Union Workers, Pope Francis said, “There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that isn’t reborn every day in the peripheries, that doesn’t transform the rejected stones of the economy into corner stones.”

But he also warned that unions risk losing their “prophetic nature” when they mimic the very institutions they are called to challenge. “Unions over time have ended up resembling politicians too much, or rather political parties, their language, their style.”

Labor unions must guard and protect workers, but also defend the rights of those “outside the walls,” particularly those who are retired and the excluded who are “also excluded from rights and democracy,” he went on to say.

Turning to one of his frequently voiced concerns; the pope told the union leaders that a society that leaves young men and women without jobs is “foolish and shortsighted.”

For National Catholic Reporter Michael Sean Williams, Distinctly Catholic (July 6, 2017) column report, click here.

For the America magazine (June 28, 2017) report, click here.