“There is no worse material poverty… than the poverty which prevents people from earning their bread and deprives them of the dignity of work."
Pope Francis, to a conference on unemployment, May 2013
The Church has long been a supporter of the right of people to work. Work is more than simply being able to earn money. It is about being able to support oneself, and one’s family. It is about finding a role and place within society. It is linked to flourishing as a person, and finding fulfilment, a sense of purpose and worth.
It is also about people being paid a just wage and having adequate facilities to do the work they are tasked with. This is why the Church has long been a supporter of both the Living Wage and Fair Trade movements. It is a way in which we can show our love in action.
As we continue to experience high levels of unemployment, especially for the young and those nearing the end of their working lives, how are we called, as a community, to support our sisters and brothers whose dignity is not being respected? And what will be the impact of Artificial Intelligence on our pattern of work?