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By Fr. Thomas Wray, The Catholic Thing, April 25, 2020
Fr. Thomas Wray is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and Chaplain to Ruah Woods Press, a Theology of the Body teaching institute
With more than 20 million Americans unemployed as a consequence of the coronavirus lockdowns, much Catholic ink has been spilled on the prudential wisdom, or lack thereof, of these extreme economic and social restrictions. Whatever the answer to those practical questions, Modern Catholic Social Doctrine has developed some basic principles that, in a moment like this, should help us to step back and reflect on the meaning of work in light of Christian anthropology.
Work is at the heart of the social question, as Pope Leo XIII famously taught in Rerum Novarum. Even the “lucky 37 percent” who, despite the lockdowns can work from home, have seen their jobs transformed nearly overnight in virtual meeting spaces and processes.
“Generation Zoom’s” transition to this forum suggests there may be no going back to brick and mortar in-person meetings in many industries, institutions, and professions. Livestreaming has – for good and not – already changed how Catholic clergy and the faithful experience the sacred mysteries of the Mass. Newly online teachers have had to instantly re-define how, when, and where learning occurs. ….