Pope Francis said that the solution to the "global economic dictatorship" is a society of fraternity that promotes the dignity of the person. CNS photo/Kiyoshi Ota, EPA

Pope Francis: Work is more than money, it's about the person

  • May 2, 2017

VATICAN CITY – Reflecting on the dignity of work, Pope Francis said that a society of fraternity promotes the dignity of the person and provides a solution to the “global economic dictatorship.”

“Do not be trapped in the vortex of pessimism, please! If each one does his or her part, if everyone always places the human person – not money – with his dignity at the centre, if an attitude of solidarity and fraternal sharing inspired by the Gospel is strengthened, you will be able to leave behind the morass of a hard and difficult economic season of work.”

This was the Pope’s message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, corresponding to the feast day of Saint Joseph the Worker traditionally celebrated by the Church on May 1. The research institute is meeting for a Plenary Assembly at the Vatican April 28 to May 2, 2017.

The Pope warned against the two extremes of viewing everything solely as a “trade commodity” on one hand, and overemphasizing a “duty” to the state on the other.

He said solidarity with men and women experiencing “social exclusion and marginalization” is not enough. Rather, there must be an expansion of “the parameters of the traditional concept of justice.”

The solution is a society of fraternity, said the Pope, which contains not only the right to equal and just wages, but also supports the development of skills in correspondence to the individual’s vocation and dignity.

Before equal remuneration is “conceived as a right” said the Pope, it is important to first recognize work “as a capacity and an inalienable need of each person.”

The Pope has discussed the connection between work and dignity before. In March, he talk to a large group recently laid off by an Italian satellite company due to cutbacks, expressing the importance of the dignity of each person and management’s responsibility to that dignity.

“Work gives dignity, and managers are obliged to do all possible so that every man and woman can work and so carry their heads high and look others in the eye with dignity,” said the Pope to a group recently let go from Sky Italy.

(Catholic News Agency)

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