Rick Santorum is a Catholic.  He has incessantly called all Catholics who use contraceptions against Church doctrine, as being “non Catholics”, as worshiping some phony religion.   Santorum minces no words when he declares Catholics have to follow the teaching of their church…..

In an op-ed piece in the Philadelphia Inquirer in December of 2009 entitled “The Elephant in the Room: Catholics Must Heed Teachings,”  Santorum wrote, “Catholics must be true to their consciences. But that is not a free-floating guide that we can define ourselves. A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the church’s teachings on faith and reason, and to act in a morally coherent and consistent way, both privately and publicly.”

That bold line bears repeating…

A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the Church’s teachings….  Rick Santorum (2009)

That is a very dangerous thing to say because the Church has been around for a long time…  Over its life-long history,  the Church has said quite a bit…

For example, one of the things the Church under  Pope Leo XIII said back in 1891…. was that the Church would always be solidly supportive of labor unions…. and solidly against unfettered Capitalism….. 

In the Rerum Novarum  (1891- Pope Leo XIII)  occurs the following……

“Let the working man and the employer make free agreements, and in particular let them agree freely as to the wages; nevertheless, there underlies a dictate of natural justice more imperious and ancient than any bargain between man and man, namely, that wages ought not to be insufficient to support a frugal and well-behaved wage-earner. If through necessity or fear of a worse evil the workman accept harder conditions because an employer or contractor will afford him no better, he is made the victim of force and injustice…”

Among the remedies it prescribed were the formation of trade unions and the introduction of collective bargaining, particularly as an alternative to state intervention.

 Rerum Novarum also recognized that the poor have a special status in consideration of social issues: the modern Catholic principle of the “preferential option for the poor” and the notion that God is on the side of the poor were expressed in this document.

Why does Santorum want to get rid of labor unions?  To do away with these (listed below) responsibilities ordained to be done by the Catholic Church?

Some of the duties of employers are:
1) to pay fair wages
2) to provide time off for religious practice and family life
3) to provide work suited to each person’s strength, gender, and age
4) to respect the dignity of workers and not regard them as slaves…

(Fair wages are defined in Rerum Novarum as at least a living wage, but Leo recommended paying more than that: enough to support the worker, his wife and family, with a little savings left over so that the worker can improve his condition over time…)

Just ask any teacher in Nashville, which this year wiped out all teacher’s unions, whether or not they can fulfill these requirements sanctioned by the Supreme Holiness himself….?

(The answer is :  NO, THEY CAN’T)….

The Catholic Church sanctioned Labor Unions for a good reason… so much so that it codified deep within it’s canon, that protecting Labor Unions would be a necessary requirement for every Catholic to comply with….

So when you see Rick Santorum next time,  ask him why it is that women, … MUST obey the Catholic Church canon,  but large corporations…. must not?     Either it works both ways, Rick,  or… it works neither way……   You don’t get to pick and choose…

Anyone against the formation of  labor unions is in violation of  Catholic Church Doctrine  ……….

Because… ..

A Catholic is required to form his conscience in accordance with the Church’s teachings….  Rick Santorum (2009)

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