Click here to advertise on

Right-to-work law is 'unjust,' says retired Michigan bishop

Catholic World News - December 11, 2012

A retired Catholic bishop in Michigan has denounced a right-to-work bill passed by the state’s legislature as an “unjust law,” saying that it is “designed to break unions,” and claiming that the US bishops’ conference has condemned such legislation.

“Right-to-work laws go against everything we believe,” said Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a retired auxiliary of the Detroit archdiocese. He made a series of astonishing claims about such laws:

They lower wages for all workers. They lessen benefits for all workers. They increase poverty for all people.

Bishop Gumbleton, who retired reluctantly in 2006, has frequently taken strong public stands favoring liberal positions on both political and theological issues. In 2009, Bishop Alexander Sample of Marquette, Michigan asked Bishop Gumbleton not to speak in his diocese, explaining that he had taken this action because of Bishop Gumbleton’s “very public position on certain important matters of Catholic teaching, specifically with regard to homosexuality and the ordination of women to the priesthood.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($35,000 to go):
$35,000.00 $0.00
100% 0%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Savonarola - Dec. 11, 2012 7:54 PM ET USA

    Gumbleton is wrong again. Why does he even get the publicity?

  • Posted by: Defender - Dec. 11, 2012 5:25 PM ET USA

    How about teachers and others who work for a diocese? Every pope in the modern era has stated that unions are a right of every worker to participate in (and not one pope exempted the Church from this right). Why then have the bishops continued to ignore all of these popes and pay their own lay-workers less (in some cases, far less)? Before the bishops openly support unions, shouldn't they take a page from their own social justice playbook and apply it to themselves?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Dec. 11, 2012 11:11 AM ET USA

    In the 1980s the discredited Gumbleton raised funds to "match dollar for dollar" aid to the Communist Sandinista regime in El Salvador. His dollar-for-dollar match was to oppose Reagan's support for the rebel army. Jesuits and Maryknoll priests were well-represented in the Sandinista regime. Regarding Gumbleton's quote above, a labor-relations expert said on the radio this morning that wages are on the order of 25% higher for workers in right-to-work states. But who cares about the facts?

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear 8 hours ago
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects 8 hours ago
In the Aftermath of Obergefell 8 hours ago
The political outlook after Obergefell June 29
Good news/bad news on the Vatican PR overhaul June 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4