Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich pledged his support and that of the Catholic Church to strengthening the labor movement in a speech to union members on September 17.
Teamsters and other union workers gathered en masse at Plumbers Local 130 in Chicago to welcome the Archbishop. Cupich talked at length about the principles of solidarity and the protection of the dignity of workers that link the labor movement and the Catholic Church together.
“My central message today is that I want the church to become an even more committed partner in this civic solidarity, joining with business, government and labor in promoting the common good,” said Cupich. “I have come today to tell Chicago workers: The Catholic Church is with you. Pope Francis is with you. I am with you.”
The Archbishop detailed expectations union members can have of the Archdiocese, pledging that the church will be a prominent voice and ally in standing up for workers’ rights.
Cupich directly challenged the measures of “Right to Work” laws, prompting a prolonged standing ovation from the entire crowd.
“Others may see it differently,” said Cupich, “But history has shown that a society with a healthy, effective and responsible labor movement is a better place than one where other powerful economic interests have their way and the voices and rights of workers are diminished.”
Cupich serves as the ninth Archbishop of Chicago, appointed to the position in September 2014.
Watch Archbishop Cupich’s full speech here: