In perhaps the strangest turn in the weirdest story of the year, clergy from Illinois are offering sanctuary to Democrats who fled Wisconsin to avoid upsetting their union overlords, says the Lacrosse Tribune.
Seriously? Could this story get any weirder? I can’t help but think of Quasimodo climbing Notre Dame and yelling “Sanctuary!!!! Sanctuary!!!!”
Except Quasi was trying to save a life. The Dems are just trying to stay elected which they know they can’t do without unions pouring millions into their coffers.
Weasel Zippers reports:
Clergy from Illinois say they will offer sanctuary to Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin Thursday in an effort to stop Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial budget repair bill.
Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders from Wisconsin and Illinois plan a conference call with reporters this afternoon to discuss their support of collective bargaining rights for public employees.
More than 50 religious leaders have signed a letter in opposition to Walker’s plan, which would deny most public employees the right to collective bargaining.
Earlier this week Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki called on lawmakers to “carefully consider the implications of this proposal and evaluate it in terms of its impact on the common good.”
Wow. Just wow.
February 18, 2011 at 11:45 pm
Very disappointing if Catholic churches are a part of this. They are risking tax exempt status in order to arguably be on the wrong side of this issue.
The extremely high salaries and uncommonly generous benefits paid to these "public service" employees should give pause. The money to do this comes off the backs of everyone else.
Also, unions for public sector employees are at best a questionable proposition. Unlike private employers, the public can not just patronize a different police force, fire house or public school system when they strike.
February 19, 2011 at 3:50 am
There is a political process that is in place and no amount of drama can alter that.
February 19, 2011 at 3:41 pm
The response by the bishops in Wisconsin is disturbing.
It appears to be a knee-jerk response made with the assumption that union demands always lead to just working conditions. There is a lack of awareness that Wisconsin public employees are not anything akin to the auto or coal workers of the early 20th century or the struggling workers in third-world nations.
In the case of public sector unions, their demands are unjust because of the burdens they place on the rest of society who have to pay for their disproportionate wages and benefits, as well as the lack of accountability inherent in the current system.
The Wisconsin bishops are not on the side of the oppressed and downtrodden on this one.
February 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm
Currently, Ohio is a few weeks behind Wisconsin. We have a parallel bill going through the state legislature, but it is still in committee. I would imagine in a couple weeks, after the Wisconsin vote takes place as the Ohio one comes to the floor, Ohio will take center stage in the national media. As a teacher in the public schools, the political environment is obviously hostile to anyone who shows the least amount of sympathy towards this bill. It is particularly trying because I left the union a few years ago, and let's just say that those who want to "kill the bill" have even less patience with someone who fails to join their efforts. At the service of a public response, I penned a piece called "Confessions of a Catholic Teacher in a Public School." I realize this is shameless self-promotion, but for know I like to delude myself into thinking of it as therapy for the events of this past week, events that will only escalate as this bill comes to the floor. If you get a chance, I welcome group therapy, otherwise known as comments.
February 19, 2011 at 6:06 pm
The teachers have a near monopoly on the mandatory education racket, and have an informal union just from the educational credentials required. Will we see the corporate part of the right-wing supporting vouchers in order to break this stranglehold on the education market? Or is the training in mediocrity too valuable, and the possibility of teachers being utterly reduced to testing automatons with human faces too wonderful?
February 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm
May Archbishop Listecki be replaced soon by an orthodox bishop. What a fraud. Enraging. This is exactly the type of thing that should be left to the prudential competence of the laity.
February 19, 2011 at 7:17 pm
Liberal, modernist, worldy bishops and clergy. The Church in America is in shambles and their focus is on leftist political causes.
February 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm
Talk about a 3 Ring Circus. This is such a sad reflection on our Church…Cheering as the USA is coming down around us.
February 19, 2011 at 7:23 pm
The public sector unions, and in fact most unions today, match Leo XIII's description of a bad as opposed to a good, labor union.
February 19, 2011 at 7:27 pm
Politics, politics, politics! I'm so very tired of corrupt bishops…now they give these political cowards the stamp of approval of the Church…no wonder no one takes their bishops seriously in the sad state of Illinois anymore. There is no one thretened in this case. No one is being denied life or fair play. They are simply being asked to contribute more toward their own retirement. BIG DEAL! In the meantime, where is the sanctuary for those who are truly being threatened? What about babies in the womb that these bishops' friends, the Democrats, like to execute? These politicians are jokes…yes, even amongst the working class…people like me. If you truly believe in something, you stand on principle and fight for it…these guys stand for nothing but themselves…their flight from responsibility proves it.
REALITY CHECK: Budgets must be cut or we're headed toward bankruptcy and real misery both in Wisconsin and here in Illinois. The governor of Wisconsin has tried to do this compassionately by having the teachers pay more into their retirements themselves instead of having to pay the piper by laying people off. He has to do something…there is no money. As Margaret Thatcher once said, "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." This is what we're seeing here…we've run out of other people's money.
The rioting is a bit like a teenager throwing a tantrum when told that he cannot have his allowance for a few years because mom and dad have fallen into debt and must concentrate merely on necessities for awhile. Sad. Compare this entitlement generation to the great generation who grew their own victory gardens and rationed their food and gas to support the war effort. I'm ashamed to be a member of this generation…bunch of babies!
February 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm
The average teacher salary in Milwaukee is some $50,000+ per year; and on top of that, another $50,000+ benefits package–per year. $100.000
a year! Anybody you know making that kind of money? The school system (MPS)in that fair city is and has been for decades in an utter state
of failure; the teacher unions have obstructed any positive change. Now you know why the teachers are playing hooky and marching trough
Madison under the union's red banners. The days of pigging out at the public trough are over as there is just nothing left for them to slurp
up. The voters of Wisconsin sent Scott Walker to Madison to turn things around; but the liberals, egged on by WPR (Wisconsin Public
Radio)rally to thwart the will of the people.
February 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm
I think the right course is not to eliminate collective bargaining, but make it optional. And the state should have the right (and be willing to use it) to fire the collective bargainers.
I don't know what the rules are in WI, but here in MI a place is either Union or not, all or nothing. Get rid of the union monopoly on available workers and wages and benefits will be more in line with the real world.
February 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm
The Catholic Bishops are particularly adept at moving degenerates from state to state and hiding them. Call it a gift. Since they are recently short of pervs to shuffle around, why not ply their craft upon leftist politicians? It will keep their shifty skills honed until the seminaries supply more perps.
February 20, 2011 at 6:01 am
Did any of you who are calling Abp. Listecki a heretic and liberal stooge actually READ his statement IN FULL? Here is is, in case you didn't:
"The Church is well aware that difficult economic times call for hard choices and financial responsibility to further the common good. Our own dioceses and parishes have not been immune to the effects of the current economic difficulties. But hard times do not nullify the moral obligation each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers. As Pope Benedict wrote in his 2009 encyclical, Caritas in veritate:
"Governments, for reasons of economic utility, often limit the freedom or the negotiating capacity of labor unions. Hence traditional networks of solidarity have more and more obstacles to overcome. The repeated calls issued within the Church’s social doctrine, beginning with Rerum Novarum , for the promotion of workers’ associations that can defend their rights must therefore be honored today even more than in the past, as a prompt and far-sighted response to the urgent need for new forms of cooperation at the international level, as well as the local level. [#25]
"It does not follow from this that every claim made by workers or their representatives is valid. Every union, like every other economic actor, is called to work for the common good, to make sacrifices when required, and to adjust to new economic realities.
"However, it is equally a mistake to marginalize or dismiss unions as impediments to economic growth. As Pope John Paul II wrote in 1981, “[a] union remains a constructive factor of social order and solidarity, and it is impossible to ignore it.” (Laborem exercens #20, emphasis in original)
"It is especially in times of crisis that “new forms of cooperation” and open communication become essential. We request that lawmakers carefully consider the implications of this proposal and evaluate it in terms of its impact on the common good. We also appeal to everyone –lawmakers, citizens, workers, and labor unions – to move beyond divisive words and actions and work together, so that Wisconsin can recover in a humane way from the current fiscal crisis."
Now pay close attention to the third paragraph: "Every union… is called to work for the common good, to make sacrifices when required, and to adjust to new economic realities." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of unbridled union greed, is it?
Also, when he appeals to "everyone" to "move beyond divisive words and actions" that applies just as much to the protesters and Democratic "flee-baggers" as it does to Walker himself or to the GOP legislators.
Abp. Listecki is simply restating established principles of universal Catholic social teaching. He is admonishing those who allow blind union loyalty to trump all other considerations, as well as those who go off the deep end in the other direction and insist that ALL unions (public and private) are evil and must be abolished.
Just as important as what the Archbishop said is what he DIDN'T say. He didn't come out and say "This bill is evil and you must vote against it". Most bishops, if they think a particular bill is truly immoral or a threat to the Church — for example, bills legalizing gay marriage or removing conscience protections for health care workers — will explicitly call for the bill to be voted down. Abp. Listecki did not. He merely asked everyone involved to keep the common good in mind when they make their decision.
That sounds entirely proper and reasonable to me, because I suspect ALL sides are, to some extent, playing to a national audience and trying to make a name for themselves instead of really concentrating on what is best for the people of Wisconsin.
February 20, 2011 at 10:03 am
With all due respect, the Abp's letter sounds to me more like a willful endorsement of abusive behavior than a just effort.
Someone commented already with regard to the cause of the teachers' uprising: They'll need to contribute more to their own retirement, etc.
To be perfectly blunt, Elaine, I find this situation patently offensive! I'm working my tail off for 50-60 hours per week (sometimes more), barely making a living, never mind retirement, and I'm stuck having to deal with drunk, stupid, and idiotic customers all the time.
Don't even THINK about telling me or anyone else to put up with these shenanigans from teachers! If they're going to force schools to close for three days simply so THEY can demand their "rights", they durn well BETTER get back to the classrooms this next week and accept the pay CUT the rest of us would be forced to handle.
This kind of conduct from teachers is wholly unacceptable!
..And His Excellency needs a serious reality check if he things THIS is justice!!
February 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm
This is insane. Where is the compassion for the overburden tax payer. I don't see any union worker in America suffering at the hands of the evil boss. There is not enough money and union workers need to contribute more to their generous benefits. The priests should not contribute to dereliction of legislature duty.
February 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm
The million dollar question is: Will the teachers show up for work tomorrow (Monday)? There are already boatloads of parents angry and mad about this past week, with kids basically abandoned and no where to go.
February 21, 2011 at 5:03 pm
Being a Catholic taxpayer from Wisconsin, I can tell you it's all-out civil war here in the state and within families. I am the oldest of a large family, and being a former socialist feeder at the taxpayer trough I know the socialist side (socialism under the guise of union). Some of my family are still socialists, government union supporters, never having known anything else. I wonder if the Catholic Church in Illinois would provide sanctuary to the pro-life people who were arrested at Notre Dame who were trying to provide sanctuary to the murdered millions of unborn babies through abortion and abortifacients? Matthew 10:34-35 Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
February 21, 2011 at 5:18 pm
The drama queens on the left love this kind of chaos. They get to re-live the sixties again. You can see the destablizing effect a former rabble rouser as American president is having on the world. The signal is that anything goes.
February 22, 2011 at 9:46 am
Putting the good archbishop’s quote at the end of this article gives several false impressions: that he officially supports this “sanctuary” effort, that he was involved in that conference call, and that he signed that opposition letter.
First, the did not sign the letter (http://tinyurl.com/46ruewj). Second, if an archbishop had joined that conference call, it would surely be mentioned (http://tinyurl.com/4dll8t4).
What was quoted from him comes from his recent letter, which reflects the Catholic Church’s offical and balanced social teaching about unions, which goes back more than a century. The archbishop’s letter is not much longer than this brief article. Why not read it for yourself? (http://tinyurl.com/4omap8r)