Apr 18, 2012 / 01:13 am
The late labor activist César Chávez offers Catholics a model for faithful and effective civic engagement, according to a professor of history at Christendom College.
In his April 16 essay for Crisis Magazine, “The Passion of César Chávez,” Dr. Christopher Shannon claims that the United Farm Workers leader was “the last Catholic in America” to achieve a “cultural/political synthesis” that brought the Church's social teaching into the public square.
The union organizer, Shannon says, contributed to the development of “an authentic Catholic politics,” because of his ability “to speak a common language with non-Catholics” while trying to “lead them … to a fuller understanding of a distinctly Catholic position open to people of good will.”
While Chávez's birthday on March 31 is a civic holiday in some states, he is also controversial in some quarters of the labor movement.