What if we let exploitative employers get away with Amoris Laetitia’s moral reasoning?
July 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — What if the ambiguous language on sexual morality in Amoris Laetitia was applied to employers who exploit their workers?
This is the topic of a Catholic World Report essay by Nick Bottom that demonstrates the exhortation’s dangerous implications on matters that the Catholic Church teaches are moral absolutes.
After the release of Amoris Laetitia, many Catholic thinkers were quick to point out apparent inconsistencies between the document and Catholic doctrine. Portions of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia imply those committing objectively sinful acts are not necessarily responsible for those acts, that it may be impossible for them to follow the demands of the Gospel, and that they should be “accompanied” rather than corrected. These claims may be easy to believe given the current state of marriage and the prevalence of divorce and civil remarriage.
But few, if any, defend those who unjustly exploit their workers. Yet the Church teaches that the exploitation of workers, just like adultery and other sexual sins, is gravely wrong. Defrauding workers is one of the four famous sins that “cries out to heaven for vengeance.”
Should the Church consider the “mitigating factors” in the lives of those who exploit their workers, as Amoris Laetitia does for those committing sexual sins?
Can it be impossible for an unjust employer to avoid wrongdoing? Should exploitative employers’ consciences be given just as much, or perhaps more, weight than their actual behavior? Is the Church’s teaching on treating workers justly an “ideal” that cannot always be achieved?
Bottom’s piece shows that once the Church’s teaching on a hard or uncomfortable topic is undermined by vague, imprecise, or even blatantly un-Catholic reasoning, it soon becomes possible to obscure the Church’s teaching on anything else — even something that is still widely accepted by most of society as immoral.