Acton Institute Powerblog

A Quote of Note from Archbishop Silvano Tomasi

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The following is from Archbishop Tomasi’s address at the 93rd International Labor Conference in Geneva. (Click here for the full text of his remarks.)

"It is the dignity of every human person that requires access to work in condition of personal security, health, fair renumeration, a safe environment. Work is a right and the expression of human dignity…work is the motor for development and poverty elimination, for unlocking the hidden resources of nature, for personal and professional fulfillment and family support, for social participation in the well-being of society."

And from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"In work, the person exercises and fulfills in part the potential inscribed in his nature. The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and its beneficiary. Work is for man, not man for work."

From time to time, it is worth revisiting these basic but crucial premises of all fruitful discussions of labor.

David Michael Phelps


  • These thoughts are indeed important — but the Church is not above criticism.

    How many jobs has it created? Why isn’t the Church involved in profitable, wealth and job creating activities?

    Any leader that can support the use of force by gov’t, should be able to support the use of binding agreements (contracts) to organize wealth creation.

  • If the Church really thinks Work is so important, it should devote more effort at creating jobs.

    I think it IS that important. And that priests should start trying to be on the boards of directors of private companies, and look for market share expansion and job creation. In free competition with profit-maximizing capitalists.