Cardinal Sin Presides Over May Day
Jubilee For Workers
MANILA (CWNews.com/Fides) - Cardinal Jaime Sin
presided over the Philippine's Jubilee Mass for Workers on Monday at the
Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. The Mass was attended by
the major trade unions in the country, "despite their political and
ideological differences," said Father Erik Adoviso, director of the
Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center, who personally invited all the union
leaders for the occasion.
"The Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center, being
the labor arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, wants to do her share in the
celebration of the Great Jubilee, thus, we planned this Workers' Jubilee
Celebration," said Father Adoviso.
"The Jubilee called for in the Book of
Leviticus 25 basically benefits the poor in Hebrew society, identifying
the slaves and those with debts as poor people who were dependent upon the
good graces of their masters and their creditors. But who are these
'biblical poor' in our present context? They are the toiling workers who
have no option but to sell their power to create commodities; they are
poor, not only in the acquisition of commodities or material wealth but
also in the context of being commodities themselves," he said.
A Pastoral Message for the Workers' Jubilee was read
by Cardinal Sin on May Day, traditionally a day to recognize workers
worldwide. "The Jubilee holds the promise of liberation for all. Both
in the Old and New Testaments, the message of liberation is very emphatic.
Now that we are at the threshold of the third millennium, we are called
upon to set free ourselves and our neighbors, especially the poor, from
that which enslaves, dehumanizes, and oppresses."
Father Adoviso pointed that the pastoral message
wants to stress two main points: "First, to promote every worker's
basic right to security of employment and secondly, to make sure that
every worker's wage would enable him or her to a decent living; their
income must allow them to provide the basic needs of the family."
Cardinal Sin's pastoral message also stresses the
need "to protect the rights of women and children. Women have equal
rights to work, whereas children ages 17 and below, should be at school
and not be forced to work." The Church is in "unity with workers
by tirelessly communicating the message of their human dignity as workers,
as persons created in the image and likeness of God," the Cardinal