Tuesday, February 22, 2011

WI Community Organizers Stand With the Unions

WISDOM, the interfaith network of congregation-based justice organizations, calls on Governor Walker and the Wisconsin legislature to abandon any plans to undermine or remove the collective bargaining rights of workers.

Our religious traditions speak clearly about the fundamental right of workers in the public and private sectors to be organized into unions which can defend their interests. We are pleased to see that Methodist Bishop Lee, Catholic Archbishop Listecki, Rabbi Biatch and ELCA Bishop Burnside are among those who have spoken out against the radical policy changes being proposed in the “budget repair” process, which would take away long-established rights from many Wisconsin workers.

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Green Bay Bishop Cuts Ties With Chicago-Style Community Organizers

Green Bay Bishop David Ricken has ordered Catholic parishes in the diocese to cut corporate ties to JOSHUA, ESTHER and other non-Catholic social justice organizations. Ricken complimented the work being done by the Green Bay-based JOSHUA and the Fox Cities-based ESTHER of the Fox Valley, but expressed concern that without Catholic oversight, the groups' political positions could stray from Catholic teachings.

"An undesirable result of dual affiliations could be that a conflict could place our parishioners in a very difficult position of having to choose between their Catholic Church authority and another parallel organization," Ricken said in a statement. "Therefore, I am directing our parishes to withdraw their corporate membership in these organizations, effective July 1, 2011."

The directive will affect 15 of the diocese's 157 parishes, including eight in Brown County and seven in Outagamie and Winnebago counties. The order won't preclude individual Catholics from belonging to either group, and parishes would still be encouraged to work with those and other groups on specific projects consistent with Catholic social teaching, Ricken said.

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