Even this policy was more generous than that offered by many companies which have a use-it-or-lose-it approach to sick leave and do not allow it to build up year after year.
But the new policy far surpasses the previous one and brings the archdiocese to the forefront of family-friendly policies across the nation – not only within the Church but among the population as a whole. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, only 12 percent of U.S. private sector workers have any amount paid family leave through their employers.
Betsy Bohlen, chief operating officer for the archdiocese, told the Catholic New World that Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich supported the policy as a reflection of Church teaching.
"Obviously we do want to be a voice for pro-life, family friendly kinds of policies," she said, adding that the archdiocese also believes the policy is "an attractive feature" in attracting strong talent.
Father Peter Wojcik, co-director of parish life and formation for the archdiocese, cited both Pope Francis' writings on the family and the recent Vatican Synod on the Family – in which Archbishop Cupich participated – as part of the inspiration for the change in policy.
"I think it's a practical way of saying yes, the families are at the center of the church, the church is built on the families and families need time to be with each other and accompany each other," he told the Catholic New World.