26 May, 2010

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

Union busting is mortal sin, Catholic scholars say | National Catholic Reporter

23 comments:

  1. Anonymous26 May, 2010

    Hi Tim,

    I will simply quote Thomas Jefferson here:

    "In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own."

    I think the above quote works quite well in context of this article if you substitute the word "priest" for "Church". Many of us are hardly surprised to see the official Church in league with the right wing elites who control the American economy.

    Cheers...Martin

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  2. Martin: You have enough experience and first hand knowledge to know that what Jefferson offers does not describe most of the clergy you know, nor the values they promote (Doc Ryan would have a stroke if you thought of him as aligned with the capitalist power structures of the day). If you are still working in the trading and exchanges commissions, you would more closely fit Jefferson's description than would most priests and/or bishops.

    Tim

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  3. Anonymous26 May, 2010

    Hi Tim,

    I know that many priests and religious are very committed to social and economic justice. I share that much with you folks.

    Unfortuantely, these same priests and religious are also supporting a very corrupt power structure (the institutional Church). The Church often aligns with the religious right and the powerful elites to further its institutional interests. Unfortunately, neither the institutional Church nor the right wing elites have the interests of common folks at heart. Citizens are just pawns who must be convinced to vote against their own economic interests. This is accomplished by convincing the common person that the elites share the same values: guns, god, and flag.

    Cheers...Martin

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  4. Anonymous27 May, 2010

    As a life-long Union member, there is a little more to be added than what this article presents. Many Unions have Marxist/socialist leanings. Most unions support anti-Christian doctrines such as abortion rights and take sides on other controversial social issues, which they have NO EXPERTISE whatsoever.

    The union movement has certainly not kept pace with modern times, and has become corrupt to the core. Many take sides with only a select few benefiting. The Trade Union movement is in dire need of overhaul, just as the Church is in need of reform.

    Cliff

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  5. Anonymous27 May, 2010

    This document certainly should not be considered scholarly as there needs to be a lot more input into the corruption that now pervades the Trade Union Movement.

    If more input is not received, it will further embarrass the Catholic Church. The political, social, and moral activities need to be investigated before arriving at any conclusion.

    Cliff

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  6. When did unions become church property?

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  7. Lady Janus" Unions have been supported and promoted in Catholic teaching for well over 100 years. They're not our property, but we see them as the legitimate structure by which workers can defend their own interests. They evolved from the guilds of the middle ages (another church structure) and deserve to be defended.

    Fr. Tim

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  8. If they "deserve" to be defended, then surely their own members can defend them?

    But making their defense a condition of memebership in a religion? I find that pretty awful.

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  9. Lady Janus: You wrote: "But making their defense a condition of membership in a religion? I find that pretty awful."

    What makes you think that this is the case?

    Fr. Tim

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  10. "Union busting as a mortal sin" is not making defense of unions a condition of being a member of the religion?

    Is there another way of interpretting that?

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  11. Lady Janus: Stealing is a mortal sin. Lying can be a mortal sin. Calumny (something we both have been victim of) is a mortal sin. It does not mean that if we commit such sins we are expelled from the church. It means that the church (like every human institution) is populated by sinners.

    Hope this helps.

    Fr. Tim

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  12. Not sure it does help, Tim. Stealing and lying and calumny are pretty much negative human attributes, no matter to which culture you belong, but I don't think I've ever heard of them referred to by anyone else as "mortal sin."

    What I guess I'm saying is, it sounds like if you don't agree that union busting is a mortal sin (and how is that different from regular sin?), you can't/shouldn't call yourself a Catholic...

    And while I think you should have the right to join a union, you should also have the option of not joining a union -- or of quitting the union without leaving your job, if you find out it's not for you!

    I saw a lot of referals to "rights" in that article. Seems to me that there's a limit on what "rights" are acceptable, n'est-ce pas?

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  13. Lady Janus: The sky is afire tonight with the most dazzling display of lightning I have seen in a very long time. Unfortunately there's very little rain with it. I fear that there will be a few new forest fires tomorrow.

    All of the examples that I offered (and I can offer MANY, MANY more from the RC pantheon of sins)are indeed mortal sins in Catholic theology. I think that you are perhaps confusing them with Capital sins (which can carry an automatic excommunication). Union busting is a sin if it is an attempt by an employer to deny a just wage and safe working conditions to its workers.

    As to one's freedom to belong to a union or not: I agree completely! That is an entirely different matter. If one (or all) decide to either resign or de-certify a union, there's nothing sinful about it. The church is (again) condemning the type of union busting that has far less egalitarian motives.

    Fr. Tim

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  14. Lady Janus, Tim,

    There is a certain degree of absurdity with a church being involved in supporting or not supporting unions. A church should not be entangled with the affairs of this world to that extent.

    The second thing is there is no such thing as "mortal" or "venial" sins in the Bible. This is another invention of the RCC.

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  15. Anonymous28 May, 2010

    Father Tim, I think you are a little off the edge in this Union busting crap. Another example of how behind the times the Church really is.

    Cliff

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  16. I should have said there is no such thing as classifying sins as mortal or venial in the Bible.

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  17. "Union busting is a sin if it is an attempt by an employer to deny a just wage and safe working conditions to its workers."

    Okay...that makes much more sense, now! It's not the idea of "busting" a union so much as it is the denial of basically fair working conditions and wages that is the sin. Gotcha. I think. But...that would apply whether or not the workers have a union, would it not?

    See, I live in the most unionized province in the country, and out here, if you refuse to join a union, it's considered "busting." If you refuse to honor a picket line by denying the business your custom, that's considered to be "busting." If you criticize the union member who has just smacked a little old lady upside the head because she tried to cross his information-only picket line (the only kind that's legally allowed, and the only kind that's never seen) so she can get her prescription renewed, that's considered "busting." And the time I invited a union proselytizer to go swimming in an overflowing ditch full of icy run-off water because he refused to get out of my way and let me go to work without signing his pledge card -- that was considered "busting." But he did get out of my way when I made a move on him, finally.

    But all this union/nonunion stuff is commercial and political. Why does the church feel it should be involved in all that? Are there not already enough "sins" to monitor among the faithful; do they really need to invent new ones?

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  18. Anonymous28 May, 2010

    Gulp! I almost find myself agreeing with Lady Janus in her last post. She makes some good points that I concur with. What is the world coming to? Mea Culpa!

    As mentioned in some of my earlier posts, unions have long strayed from their original intentions of fighting for fair wages and decent living conditions for us average Joes. They now are more interested in political power, rewarding their friends and forgetting about the little person at the bottom of the totem pole. They certainly do need reform or re-structuring of some kind.

    Cliff

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  19. Cliff & Lady Janus: This is scary. All three of us agree on something.

    There's probably a Nostradamus prophecy about this!! Perhaps 'the end is near' is truer than most think! (grin)

    Fr. Tim

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  20. What's ironic is the RC scholars defend unions so that workers can get a fair share of the pie while the Vatican is probably the richest corporation in the world. Having had almost two millenium to acumulate it's wealth, where is the example of the life of poverty that Jesus lived. Jesus did not even have so much as a pillow to lay his head and He was born in a manger. How quickly the earthly institution abandoned poverty in favour of the accumulation of wealth. What do these scholars have to say about that? Does anyone outside the Vatican even know what the total accumulated wealth of the Vatican really is?

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  21. Wayne, when you talk about the "wealth" of Vatican, you need to step back a bit and realize that that most of that wealth is not liquid wealth. It cannot be converted to currency.

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  22. Lady Janus,

    "Wayne, when you talk about the "wealth" of Vatican, you need to step back a bit and realize that that most of that wealth is not liquid wealth. It cannot be converted to currency."

    "A clutch of paragraphs from THE VATICAN BILLIONS by Avro Manhattan:

    "The Vatican has large investments with the Rothschilds of Britain, France and America, with the Hambros Bank, with the Credit Suisse in London and Zurich. In the United States it has large investments with the Morgan Bank, the Chase-Manhattan Bank, the First National Bank of New York, the Bankers Trust Company, and others. The Vatican has billions of shares in the most powerful international corporations such as Gulf Oil, Shell, General Motors, Bethlehem Steel, General Electric, International Business Machines, T.W.A., etc. At a conservative estimate, these amount to more than 500 million dollars in the U.S.A. alone.

    "In a statement published in connection with a bond prospectus, the Boston archdiocese listed its assets at Six Hundred and Thirty-five Million ($635,891,004), which is 9.9 times its liabilities. This leaves a net worth of Five Hundred and Seventy-one million dollars ($571,704,953). It is not difficult to discover the truly astonishing wealth of the church, once we add the riches of the twenty-eight archdioceses and 122 dioceses of the U.S.A., some of which are even wealthier than that of Boston."

    From:
    http://www.rumormillnews.com/cgi-bin/archive.cgi?read=68927

    Wealth in shares in various large companies and banks can most likely be easily converted to cash at any time. If the Boston archdioceses had nearly $635 million, how difficult would be it be to convert a few million or tens of millions to cash?

    If these figures are genuine, the amount of wealth the Vatican has and various archdiocese in the U.S.A. would be staggering. In the last 1800 years, how much wealth has the RCC accumulated just by laying claim to various countries and kingdoms and people of all walks of life from commoner to king or queen willing their personal wealth to the church upon death in order to gain less time in Purgatory and treasure in heaven? I don't think we can even begin to imagine.

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  23. "Wealth in shares in various large companies and banks can most likely be easily converted to cash at any time."

    Yup. And crash the company and the economy at the same time. Good move!

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