"The Right and Necessity of Organization"

Haas, Francis.jpg

Monsignor Francis J. Haas

Courtesy of ACUA


Between 1935, when the Wagner Act was passed and the Congress of Industrial Organizations formed, and 1938, there was a dramatic increase in working-class organizing. In response, SAD helped organize schools for priests to provide them with the information and analysis they needed to respond intelligently to this upsurge. Chicago was one of the places where the bishop, in this case George Cardinal Mundelein, approved and encouraged SAD's effort. More than 200 priests, from 13 dioceses and nine religious orders, attended the first week of classes, with more the following week. Monsignor Francis Haas  (1889-1953), who had studied with Monsignor John A. Ryan, had served on several New Deal labor boards, as well as the Wisconsin Labor Relations Board, before he addressed the assembled priests. In his talk, Haas provided a basic introduction to industrial-relations terminology as well as the Church's teachings on workers' rights.


The Right and Necessity of Organization


As you read this document, reflect on the following questions:

1. What level of knowledge of industrial relations did Haas assume from this audience?

2. What does Haas mean by "natural right"?

3. What distinction did Haas make between the "occupational group system" and the "fascist cooperative state"?