December 21, 2016

Dec. 21, 2016

Catholic University Conference to Dissect Capitalism, the Dignity of Work

Following a tumultuous election that brought to light the frustrations of the American working class, the need for policies that reflect and respect the dignity of and needs of workers is perhaps greater than ever. For these reasons, prominent Catholic scholars and clergy, including Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., will gather at The Catholic University of America on Jan. 10 for a special conference, "Erroneous Autonomy: The Dignity of Work."

The conference, which is hosted by the University's Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies (IPR) with support from the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), will explore capitalism, governance, and the dignity of work through the lens of Catholic Social Doctrine.

"Given the frustrations of workers that became so evident in the recent election, the importance of this conference is critical," said Stephen Schneck, director of IPR. "The dignity of work is under assault by the faceless market forces of consumerism and an insufficiently regulated global economy. If indeed workers are now no more than cogs in corporate profit machines, Catholic social teachings hold out real promise for change."

The event will include three major speeches. Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego will address "Three Kinds of Erroneous Autonomy," while author and social critic Thomas Frank will speak on "Capitalism and Governance in the New Congress and Administration." The speech by Cardinal O'Malley, who is chairman of Catholic University's Board of Trustees, will explore "Hope: The Dignity of Work."

Additional presenters include Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO; Sister Carol Keehan, D.C., president of the Catholic Health Association; Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of Catholic Relief Services; and David Cloutier, author of The Vice of Luxury: Economic Excess in a Consumer Age.

This event is the third in a series of "Erroneous Autonomy" conferences hosted by IPR. The series, which draws its name from writings by Pope Paul VI, previously explored "the Catholic case against libertarianism" and the relationship between solidarity and faith."Erroneous Autonomy: The Dignity of Work" will be held Jan. 10, 2017, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Catholic University in O'Connell Hall's Heritage Hall. The event is free, but advanced registration is required. For more information or to R.s.v.p., go to .

MEDIA: To schedule an interview or attend this event, contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at or 202-319-5600. GETTING TO CAMPUS: The Catholic University of America is located near the Brookland-CUA Red Line Metro stop. For directions to campus and a campus map, click here .

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