Bishops Urge Support for Increase in Minimum Wage

May 11, 2018
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The following is a statement from the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts

In a civilized society every hard-working individual deserves to be compensated at a rate that is fair, just, and in line with the inherent dignity that we are all God’s children regardless of economic status. A fair and just wage directly supports the individual, the family, and ultimately promotes a healthy society.

The Catholic Church teaches: “A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice. In determining fair pay both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. ‘Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural, and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of business, and the common good.’ Agreement between the parties is not sufficient to justify morally the amount to be received in wages.”1

As detailed in our Statement titled; The Value of a Just Wage,2 the Catholic Church continues to be among the state’s largest social service providers. Basic, daily necessities of life are provided to those who cannot afford to provide for themselves or their families. The assistance provided includes, but is not limited to; clothing, food, rent, shelter, utilities, and transportation.

All families and individuals should be given the opportunity to break the cycle of reliance on others. By providing wages that are just and fair to both employers and employees, that opportunity will become a reality to hard working individuals.

It is the position of the Roman Catholic Bishops of Massachusetts that elected officials, or alternatively voters in the upcoming ballot question in November, should enact laws that puts a structure in place to increase the hourly minimum wage over the next several years. While the specific wage amounts are best determined by economists or other experts, we stand united in advocating for the neediest in society.

 

+His Eminence Seán P. Cardinal O’Malley, OFM, Cap.; Archbishop of Boston

+Most Reverend Robert J. McManus; Bishop of Worcester

+Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha; Bishop of Fall River

+Most Reverend Mitchell Rozanski; Bishop of Springfield

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