Gehring Calls Out Ohio Cath Conference

by Michael Sean Winters

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John Gehring, writing at Faith in Public Life, points out the glaring failure of the Ohio Catholic Conference to take a forthright stance in defense of workers' rights by remaining neutral on that state's upcoming referendum on "Issue 2" - a vote on whether or not to repeal a GOP-backed law that strips unions of much of their collective bargaining rights.

As Gehring points out, the bishops in Wisconsin were much more forceful in defending workers' rights when that state's governor attacked them. And, Bishop Stephen Blaire, writing on behalf of the USCCB, gave a ringing endorsement of workers' rights in his Labor Day Statement. And, Popes since Leo XIII have put workers' right at the center of Catholic social teaching.

The episode recalls a conversation Cardinal van Thuan had with Bl. Pope John Paul II when the Pope asked van Thuan to create a compendium of the Church's social teachings. As van Thuan related the conversation to a group of bishops, one of whom related it to me, he asked Pope John Paul II who was the intended audience for the compendium, the laity or seminarians or some other group that needed to be better acquainted with the Church's teaching in this area? The pope replied, "The bishops."

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