Great Jubilee News

Cardinal Sin Presides Over May Day Jubilee For Workers 

MANILA ( - Cardinal Jaime Sin presided over the Philippine's Jubilee Mass for Workers on Monday at the Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. The Mass was attended by the major trade unions in the country, "despite their political and ideological differences," said Father Erik Adoviso, director of the Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center, who personally invited all the union leaders for the occasion.

"The Archdiocese of Manila Labor Center, being the labor arm of the Archdiocese of Manila, wants to do her share in the celebration of the Great Jubilee, thus, we planned this Workers' Jubilee Celebration," said Father Adoviso.

"The Jubilee called for in the Book of Leviticus 25 basically benefits the poor in Hebrew society, identifying the slaves and those with debts as poor people who were dependent upon the good graces of their masters and their creditors. But who are these 'biblical poor' in our present context? They are the toiling workers who have no option but to sell their power to create commodities; they are poor, not only in the acquisition of commodities or material wealth but also in the context of being commodities themselves," he said.

A Pastoral Message for the Workers' Jubilee was read by Cardinal Sin on May Day, traditionally a day to recognize workers worldwide. "The Jubilee holds the promise of liberation for all. Both in the Old and New Testaments, the message of liberation is very emphatic. Now that we are at the threshold of the third millennium, we are called upon to set free ourselves and our neighbors, especially the poor, from that which enslaves, dehumanizes, and oppresses."

Father Adoviso pointed that the pastoral message wants to stress two main points: "First, to promote every worker's basic right to security of employment and secondly, to make sure that every worker's wage would enable him or her to a decent living; their income must allow them to provide the basic needs of the family."

Cardinal Sin's pastoral message also stresses the need "to protect the rights of women and children. Women have equal rights to work, whereas children ages 17 and below, should be at school and not be forced to work." The Church is in "unity with workers by tirelessly communicating the message of their human dignity as workers, as persons created in the image and likeness of God," the Cardinal said.