Friday, March 18, 2016

Catholic Social Teaching and Fordham's Dining Hall Negotiations

In the context of a discussion of economic policy and economic ethics, the bishops of the United States, in Economic Justice for All, par. 24, wrote, "Decisions must be judged in light of what they do for the poor, what they do to the poor and what they enable the poor to do for themselves. The fundamental moral criterion for all economic decisions, policies, and institutions is this: They must be at the service of all people, especially the poor."
Insofar as a large number of the unionized employees of Sodexho who serve Fordham are "poor," and that especially the least well paid and the newest workers are likely "poor" by any Just Wage or Family Wage standard (which is also part of traditional Catholic Social Thought), I urge you to continue to remind the administration -- as I do through this email -- of the moral judgment the bishops have given and that they claim applies to all institutions.
One may contextualize the application of a fundamental moral criterion, but one cannot properly deny that it is the fundamental moral criterion.
Terrence W. Tilley
Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J., Professor of Catholic Theology
Fordham UniversityI