Conventual Franciscan Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, KY wrote a message to State legislators in Kentucky in early January appealing them to vote against anti-union “right to work” legislation and using the tenets of Catholic social teaching to illuminate the issue before them.
Bishop Stowe stated in part, “Workers cannot be treated merely as a means for corporate profit and production, but must be seen as autonomous human beings who contribute to the common good through their work. “
Invoking Pope Leo XIII’s seminal encyclical on Catholic social teaching, Rerum Novarum, he noted that works have the rights to organize for their just rights which decent wages and safe working conditions.
“In Catholic teaching,” Bishop Stowe continued, “unions are described as an indispensable element of social life. Unions are to promote solidarity among workers. They are essential for economic justice and to protect the rights of workers.”
For Bishop Stowe’s entire statement, click here.