The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued its annual Labor Day statement this week, focusing on rebuilding after the economic devastation caused by the current pandemic. “This Labor Day is a somber one. The COVID-19 pandemic goes on”, said Archbishop Paul S. Coakley, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. “Millions are out of work and wondering how they will pay the bills. And for workers deemed ‘essential’ who continue to work outside the home, there is the heightened danger of exposure to the virus.”
“The dignity of the human person, made in the image and likeness of God, is not at the center of our society in the way it should be”, continued Coakley. “In some workplaces, this has meant an emphasis on profits over safety. That is unjust. Consumerism and individualism fuel pressures on employers and policy makers that lead to these outcomes.” Archbishop Coakley also asked policymakers to “address the outstanding needs that people have around nutrition, housing, health care, jobs and income support”.
Archbishop Coakley also reminded us that God never abandons us, and that He “knows the challenges we face and the loss and grief we feel”. “The question to us is this: will we pray for and willingly participate in God’s work healing the hurt, loss, and injustice that this pandemic has caused and exposed? Will we offer all we can to the Lord to ‘make all things new?’”.
Archbishop Coakley’s full Labor Day statement can be found on the USCCB website.