The U.S. bishops’ annual Labor Day message calls the faithful to use Catholic social teaching to guide them as they cast their votes this November.

Click on link to download US Bishops Labor Day Message 2008

“An American Catholic Tradition” marks Labor Day, celebrated Monday, Sept. 1, and calls for “renewed vigor as we seek to build together a society that cares for its own, reaches out to the poor and vulnerable, and offers true hope to all.”

Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, chairman of the U.S. episcopal conference’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the statement. It highlights the needs of workers, economic inequalities and the responsibilities of all citizens to help improve working conditions.

Given the coming national elections, the Labor Day statement reminds Catholics to use Church social and moral teaching to assess issues of economic justice, human life and dignity.

Bishop Murphy cited the bishops’ “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” and stressed the need to form a correct conscience and base votes on platforms that best respect human life and dignity.

Informed conscience

“An informed conscience moves beyond personal feelings and individual popularity,” he wrote. “An informed conscience asks first what is right and true. An informed conscience examines the candidates and the issues from the perspective of human life and dignity, the true good of every human person, the true good of society, the common good of us all in our nation and in this world.

What can I add to that? Never forget that human life is the supreme good in this world. Never forget that human dignity is not an expendable commodity but belongs to everyone without exception.

Every day we are pro-life. Every day we are champions of human dignity. Our voices and our votes should shape society by bringing these inalienable truths into every particular proposal and program, every particular candidate’s projects and plans.