Wednesday, October 5, 2011


This blog is an attempt to present Catholic Social Teaching as it developed from Rerum Novarum in 1891 to the present. Some references to current problems are made within the historical context of the documents being considered and the church leaders of the time. In some instances reference will be made to future documents and the radical shift provided by Vatican II.

The topic we are now discussing is: Democracy, Equality and the Simple Life as seen by Pius XII. The previous posting was on Democracy; now we will consider Equality.

Before the posting on Equality, there will be an article on a demonstration in Chicago concerning the Obama administrations “Secure Communities” program.

The next ‘aside’ will be a post listing the major Vatican pronouncements on Catholic Social Teaching since 1891 including Rerum Novarum along with key concepts from the documents.

Protesting "Secure Communities" (from Voces de la Frontera Newspaper, Sept. 2011).

By Bill Lange, New Sanctuary Movement of Voces de la Frontera

On August 18th, Voces members Jim Cusack, Ken Greening and I traveled to the Haymarket Monument in Chicago to attend a press conference held before an Advisory Task Force hearing on “Secure Communities.”

The Haymarket is the site of the 1886 demonstration for the eight-hour day led by immigrant workers. Mounted police attempted to break up that rally and several policemen and some workers were killed. Labor leaders were indicted and falsely accused of murder. Four were hanged, only one of them a native English speaker. They are called the “Haymarket Martyrs.”

But is it any better today? At the press conference, Father Brendan Curran, O.P. of St. Pius V parish in Chicago, lamented the breakup of families with the “Secure Communities” program under the Obama administration. In Milwaukee, Voces is swamped with families looking for loved ones who have been picked up by law enforcement.

The advisory task force hearing took place at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ hall located around the corner from the Haymarket Monument. The meeting started with controversy as some were not allowed into the hall because of capacity restrictions. Jim Cusack of Voces was the first speaker: “It’s outrageous to incarcerate our neighbors – to make them fearful of even going to church,” he said.

Several in the crowd had enough of talking and took to the street. They blocked Randolph Street; buses threatened them, but protesters refused to move. Many were sitting in the street. A group of musicians were drumming as other danced around police who attempted to remove them. Young people with t-shirts reading “Undocumented” shuffled onto the street despite the police and chanted, “We are not afraid, we are not afraid!” Some protesters were arrested, but there was no violent action by the demonstrators.

Jenny Dale of the Chicago New Sanctuary Movement commented, “We should all be inspired by these courageous young people who take to the street in the struggle for justice.”

The next day, President Obama announced major changes to US deportation policy. It remains to be seen if this will actually grant some relief to immigrant workers.

Check this link for article and photos:

No comments:

Post a Comment