Commission answers PM's denial of existence of Catholic position

The CEO of the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations responded yesterday to Prime Minister Howard's assertion at the weekend that there's "no such thing as a Catholic or an Anglican view on anything. It depends on individuals".

John Ryan told ABC Radio National's Breakfast program that there is a "long tradition of the Church speaking on labour and work and the employment relationships... It goes back to the Gospels".

The program yesterday reported that the Commission is set to release a briefing paper on the Federal Government's proposed industrial relations changes that directly contradicts the PM's view.

"The Church tradition tells us that the workplace is one of the means that we contribute to society. We're not a commodity," said Mr Ryan. "Employers and employees work in a partnership to achieve objectives for business whilst providing workers and their families with proper wages and conditions."

The Prime Minister's comments - on ABC TV's Insiders program - followed the reporting on Saturday of the move of Cardinal George Pell, and Sydney's Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen, to join the Uniting Church in questioning the morality of the changes.

Radio National said the ACCER paper is believed to raise 'serious concerns' about four elements of the government's proposed reforms. It documents more than a century of Catholic social teaching about work, justice and equity - along with comments from Pope John II in 1986, praising Australia's IR system.

Catholic IR (ABC Radio National Breakfast 9/8/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Australian Catholic Commission for Industrial Relations

PM dismisses voice of Church (CathNews 8/8/05)
Melbourne Archbishop coordinating IR response (CathNews 3/8/05)
Minister tells churches to stay out of IR fight (CathNews 11/7/05)
Pell voices wages concerns (CathNews 4/7/05)
Canberra bishop speaks out on job insecurity fears (CathNews 1/7/04)
Church leaders worried about Howard IR changes (CathNews 29/6/05)
Bishop hits back at Minister's claims on IR reforms 1/6/05)
Catholic body seeks meeting with Minister over workplace laws (CathNews 30/5/05)

We want this! We need this! We demand this! (Online Catholics 10/8/05)
PM holds out against IR pressure (Seven News/Australian Associated Press 9/8/05)
Family Provisions Decision (Australian Catholic Commission for Industrial Relations 8/8/05)
No "Catholic" political stands, Australian premier says (Catholic World News 7/8/05)

10 Aug 2005