Page 1, 16th March 1945

16th March 1945
Page 1
Page 1, 16th March 1945 — The Pope Wants Forces of the People Reorganised

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Organisations: Trade Union


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The Pope Wants Forces of the People Reorganised


" The time has come to repudiate empty phrases and to attempt to organise on a new basis the forces of the people: to raise them above the distinction between employers and would-be workers, to realise that higher unity which is a bond be-, tween all those who co-operate for production."

This straight utterance was made by the Pope in a very important speech to the Catholic trade unionists of Italy this week. It is mainly directed to the Italian problem, but its implications are universal.

"Let us examine briefly the relations of the Christian Unions with other Trade Unions," the

Pollee said. " A single Trade Union organisation was recently set up in Italy: we cannot but •expect and hope that the sacrifices made through their adherence to it by the Catholic workers will bring no harm to their cause, but bear the fruit hoped for, to the benefit of all workers.

"This entails the fundamental pre. requisite that the Trade Unions remain within the limits of their essential mission: that of representing the workers and defending their iitterests in labour disputes.

" In carrying out ithig activity the Unions naturally exercise a. certain influence on politics • and on public opinion, but they could not exceed these limits without causing great •injury to themselves.

T.U. LIMITS " Should the Trade Unions, as such and as a result of political and economic developments, take over the right to control the workers entirely, as happens elsewhere, the very conception of the Trade Union—an association aimed at mutual assistance—would be altered and destroyed.

" You may have been told that. the Trade Union and the Christian Workers' Associations have a ccmmon goal: to improve the walkers' living conditions. The leaders of ilie new single Union have recognised the high spiritual contribution of the Catholic workers to the work of thc Confederation and paid tribute to Christian inspiration in the spiritual activity which they spread within the Confederation to the good of al. May these activities remain stabile and successful. and may the spirit of the Gospel remain the true founria. lion of Trade Union activities; for what is in reality this spirit of the Gospel but a fight that the principles of justice should prevail., in accordance with the order established in the world by God, over the purely material force. ofthe institutions, and love and charity over Class hatred ?


" As for. the democratisation ol economy, it is equally endangered by monopolies—that is, the economic tyranny of an anonymous conglomeration of private capital—and by the preponderant power of organised masses,

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