Talk:Catholic Worker Movement

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Criticisms of the Catholic Worker Movement[edit]

Might be worth adding something about the recent revelation that the FBI has been conducting surveillance on the group and has referred to them as having a "semi-communistic ideology" [1]. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

  • So do the Franciscans. What is your point? Pustelnik 20:14, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
  • Sure, and there should probably be a criticisms section now that you mention it. --Hyphen5 08:58, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
  • No, there shouldn't; criticism should be incorporated into the article, not segregated into a separate section. --Lquilter 22:20, 1 December 2007 (UTC)
Why not? Many articles have separate criticism sections. —johndburger 02:44, 2 December 2007 (UTC)
The FBI has a long history of monitoring benign activist organizations; its not exactly clear how having "semi-communistic ideology" is a criticism so much as a statement of suspicion of competition. While the monitoring is certainly relevant, a Criticism section is not the appropriate location for inclusion. Can you provide any other citations from secondary sources espousing criticism of the Catholic Worker project? Im fairly familiar with the subject, and not aware of a great deal of available critique. While the Catholic church of the time was opposed to many of Day's efforts, the opposition was not publicized. Biographies would be helpful; I need to dig my books on the topic out of storage to help contribute additional citations. Jaydubya93 (talk) 14:04, 23 February 2014 (UTC)


The introduction currently describes CW as a Christian socialist movemnt. Anarchism is much closer to the Catholic Worker ideal than socialism (in the sense of state socialism, libertarian socialism being a different animal (but not most people's first reaction on hearing the word "socialist")). Am going to change it. -- 18:12, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

That's fine. To be honest, in looking at their website, I had a hard time figuring out just what their ideological viewpoint is. They definitely have communist leanings, but I think they advocate independent communes within a democratic society, not a socialist or communist government at large. I'm not really sure. Any light you can shed on the subject would be appreciated. MamaGeek  TALK  CONTRIB  18:30, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
Their views are, as mentioned, essentially Christian Anarchist. In practice that means what you described - autonomous communities existing in unison, helping one another. They define Christian anarchism here.
Am going to remove the Christian Democracy template if nobody objects by tomorrow as I don't really see how CW can be placed in that tradition. --Black Butterfly 18:19, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Someone just removed the christian anarchist from the front description, which I think is okay since CW doesn't specifically define themselves as christian anarchist. But that is their history and underlying philosophy, and it should be represented in the text of the article. I'm not quite up for the challenge right now; anybody else? --LQ 18:01, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Catholic Workers' College[edit]

I appreciate that they are different, but should there be a reference to the Catholic Workers' Colleges organised by the SJs and trade unions? ClemMcGann 22:32, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Copyright issues?[edit]

Doesn't the credit at the bottom of the article suggest that this is copyrighted material? —johndburger 02:30, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

List of Houses[edit]

Removed the old South Bend Catholic Worker (Holy Family) and replaced it with the new house (St Peter Claver). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 006-09-19T13:49:51 (UTC)

I removed the Karen House link, as the web site adds nothing at all to the topic. Per Wikipedia policy, external links must expand on the information in the topic at hand in some specific way. Most of the links to House web sites should be removed, for similar reasons. Wikipedia is not a web directory—there is already a list of House web sites at DMOZ, which is a web directory. I have added a link to that list to the article. I suggest to regular editors of this page that you begin to move links from this article to the DMOZ list. Only legitimate external links should remain here. —johndburger 13:57, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Wholesale copyright violation[edit]

The Background and Mission section was lifted in its entirety from the Catholic Worker web site. Per WIkipedia policy, I deleted it. —johndburger 03:15, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

WP:COPY concerns copyrighted material; and since that text is is not copyrighted, we can quote it in its entirety. Although it is admitedly bad practice to rely on quotations, copied information is better than no information (provided it does not infringe on copyright laws). -- WGee 03:57, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
Please read that policy more carefully: All works are copyrighted unless they either fall into the public domain or their copyright is explicitly disclaimed. It is a common misapprehension that material lacking an explicit copyright notice is fair game, but this is simply not true. I spent some time on the Catholic Worker web site, and all I could find was this, which is pretty wishy-washy—plus, it says this material should not be distributed without seeking written permission from the copyright owner. —johndburger 02:30, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I support the removal of the material. -- WGee 00:16, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Cool—on the other hand, I notice here that some of Ade Bethune's artwork is free for non-commercial use. I am thinking of looking into this, it would be great to have one of her illustrations for the page, like some of the ones in the Flash loop here. I will not get to this for a while, though, so feel free to try to beat me to it. —johndburger 03:06, 19 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm not exactly computer wiz and so I don't know how to upload a flash loop to Wikipedia. :) -- WGee 01:44, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Servant of God/Process of canonization[edit]

This sounds too strong, since, in the article on Dorothy Day, it only says that they're allowing her to be campaigned for consideration. At the least, there seems to be a contradiction. (Eeesh 15:39, 28 January 2007 (UTC))

The designation "servant of God" is the first step in the canonization process. Pustelnik 20:13, 1 December 2007 (UTC)

I removed the reference "Servant of God" before Dorothy's name, as I think it's too strong to the lay, non-Catholic general reader. In its place, at the end of the intro, I inserted a reference to her consideration for sainthood in the Church, with an internal link to Wiki's "sainthood" page. If or when she becomes "Venerable" or "Blessed" or "Saint," then I think we'd be ok to add those titles, but again, I just think "Servant of God" is way too strong and vague and religiously propagandistic-sounding (and therefore, potentially and unintentionally off-putting) for a general reader to be hit with in the first sentence. What I think I may do is insert a ref to it on Dorothy's personal Wiki page Beansandveggies (talk) 06:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Ref already there on Dorothy's page. I reworded it there a bit, and added links :) Beansandveggies (talk) 07:12, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Socialism (again)[edit]

There appears to be a minor edit war brewing regarding the identification of Catholic Worker as a "Christian Socialist" organisation/movement. Rather than edit at one another, how about we actually discuss it...

While it's difficult to find a single defining statement on their relation to other ideologies, the Catholic Worker website does have the following:

Socialism is the state doing things for people instead of people doing things for each other. It is opposed to Communism, the ideal Communism of the Church which means people doing things for each other--the corporal works of mercy.

Socialism is diametrically opposed to Catholicism because it is essentially materialist in aims and leaves entirely out of accounting our first beginning and our last end, which is God.

and from here

Yes, I am pre-capitalistic and I don't like capitalism and I don't like Socialism, which is the child of capitalism. That is father and son. I don't like the father and I don't like the son.

By all impressions, the Catholic Worker doctrine is closest to anarchism (more specifically Christian Anarchism), due to its anti-state leanings. I have yet to see anything from a significant CW source indicating them as state socialists; those strands of socialism which are anti-state generally describe themselves as Communist or Anarchist.

I would therefore propose that we either identify them as Christian Anarchist, or leave it as Catholic and let their views explain themselves. --Black Butterfly 09:17, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Added a cite from the Catholic Worker on anarchism.Pustelnik (talk) 19:32, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

The Catholic Worker and Catholicism[edit]

The article only has a few mentions of Catholic spirituality. While it rightly points out that the Catholic Worker is not an official outlet of the RCC, it has a rich history of devotions, piety, etc. Those should probably be mentioned as well. (talk) 06:44, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes; I find it interesting that it was founded in the USA (rather like the modern American Catholic Church in the United States), during the Depression, because in 1933 in Europe and Africa the mainstream Church was not much interested in the plight of workers. And vice-versa in the Spanish Civil War]], where the Castilian church was entirely pro-Franco. Rerum Novarum had been signed in 1891, but the main argument was for a guild system that harked back to the European Middle Ages. It seems to me that the CWM can only work on the margins of a larger and protective society. (talk) 11:30, 30 October 2010 (UTC)