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The priest, who himself was on the assembly line, does not walk around

Sometimes the people that Joseph Gruber cares about aren’t green with each other. It happens that the workers in the snack room grumble about foreigners and asylum seekers, whom the state blames for their enjoyment. In these cases, Gruber plays the role of mediator: In addition to his work as a company chaplain in Dizese, for which St. Plattner was appointed to him by Bishop Franz Zach in 1990, Gruber organized a large “intercultural festival” every year in the capital of Lower Austria, the town did not hesitate this year In capturing it, because it has always been a huge hit.

Gruber notes that there is “a gap between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers, between top and bottom but also between foreigners and nationals”. Above all, the pit opens to tears the fear and suspicion that some might lose through the other, points out the intelligent observer, who, not only to use inactive words, put himself on the assembly line in a factory and did piecework on his own missing the body.

For his work, in which he also goes where it hurts, he is now awarded by the Dicesan Bishop Alois Schwarz the “Pope Leo Prize”, which is awarded every two years for special services to the Catholic social faith.

Schwartz presented the cup, representing the first pope to draft a social publication, in the presence of the speaker of the state parliament, Carl Welving. “Pope Francis wrote that our mission is to become brothers and sisters,” the bishop said at the ceremony. The award winners – in addition to Gruber, Sister of the Order Karina Bender and Catholic activist Josef Mautner – honored this year – will apply this concern in their daily lives. Gruber is from Ardager and studied theology at the private Catholic University of Linz. Not only did Gruber find a direct line with the workers in the factories, but he knows the unionists and the labor councils well, whose necessity, as the mouthpiece of the workers, has long emphasized Catholic social dogma. Within the Church, Gruber is a conscientious secular theologian who protects the priesthood but is skeptical of the clergy. What matters to the awardees is fairness in trade with poorer countries. For the two thousand euros that were awarded the prize, it is likely to be used in this direction.

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