Denver Newsroom, Sep 6, 2021 / 06:00 am
A US archbishop has urged Catholics to pray and work for an economy that respects the common good, as the country and the world continue to recover from the economic and human tolls of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“On this Labor Day, I express my gratitude to the many workers who have kept our country functioning during these trying times and worked under difficult and often underappreciated conditions. We also pray for those who lost or continue to lack resources or income,” Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City wrote in “A Dream for a Better Economy”.
Archbishop Coakley, chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said he based his reflections on Pope Francis’ latest encyclical, Fratelli tutti, as well as on the 2020 event ”Economy of Francesco.”
While the US unemployment rate has dropped to nearly pre-pandemic levels, the pandemic greatly increased people’s vulnerability to exploitation. Reports of human trafficking and sexual exploitation increased throughout the pandemic, and many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed. As many as 43,000 minor children in the U.S. have lost a parent as a result of the pandemic, Archbishop Coakley noted.