Catholic World News

Wisconsin bishops are 'neutral' on union protests, bishop says

February 24, 2011

The Catholic bishops of Wisconsin have “chosen a neutral stance” regarding the confrontation between the governor and public-service unions in that state, Bishop Robert Morlino of Madison has stated.

In a statement published in his diocesan newspaper, Bishop Morlino said that the political conflict involves a dilemma: “is the sacrifice which union members, including school teachers, are called upon to make, proportionate to the relative sacrifice called for from all in difficult economic times? In other words, is the sacrifice fair in the overall context of our present situation?” He said that it is possible “for persons of good will to disagree” on the appropriate political solution.

Bishop Morlino stressed that the Wisconsin Catholic Conference would remain neutral on the issue. He said that he was in agreement with Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, who had earlier drawn attention to the moral issues involved in the conflict. Archbishop Listecki’s statement had been interpreted in some quarters as an expression of support for the unions. The archbishop had said: “Hard times do not nullify the moral obligation each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers.”

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  • Posted by: Defender - Feb. 25, 2011 12:39 PM ET USA

    Let's see...every pope since Leo XIII has supported unions, but how many unions of Catholic employees are there?

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 25, 2011 8:51 AM ET USA

    The Bishop's question still stands: "Is the sacrifice which union members...are called upon to make, proportionate to the relative sacrifice called for from all in difficult economic times?" As a percentage of total compensation, the answer is NO. Union leaders are shamelessly left, and should be restricted re: political donations, but union members are parents and taxpayers. If Walker's plan is so good, then let union critics peg THEIR salaries to the CPI. Put your money where your mouth is.

  • Posted by: Obregon - Feb. 25, 2011 12:09 AM ET USA

    Well, apparently the NCCB is not as neutral as the Wisconsin bishops! So many miters still support Obama even though Obama has made it clear he is willing to divide the nation by taking the Left's side (Unions) and by not supporting the Marriage Act.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Feb. 24, 2011 7:46 PM ET USA

    To answer your question with a question, Ken, when was the last time a bishop worried about a taxpayer?

  • Posted by: Ken - Feb. 24, 2011 7:18 PM ET USA

    'neutral' - which is exactly where the bishops should be on this issue. For Archbishop Jerome Listecki - how about the ligitimate rights of the taxpayers who pay for the outsized benefits unions demand (and get) from today's gutless politicians?