Vatican Meeting Calls for Guidance on Environmental, Corporate Ethics
May 18th, 2011
Catholics are looking for guidance and a larger voice from the Vatican on ethical principles for the world of finance and the environment, according to a number of participants attending a Vatican meeting on social justice in a globalized world.
Some 200 people involved in social justice issues for the church gathered May 16-18 for an international conference sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. The meeting celebrated the 50th anniversary of Blessed Pope John XXIII’s social encyclical, “Mater et Magistra.” It was designed to find ways to use the church’s social teaching, including Pope Benedict XVI’s 2009 social encyclical “Caritas in Veritate,” to bring greater justice to a globalized world.
The Oblates were represented by Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI, US JPIC Director. Fr. Seamus, a leader in the faith-responsible investment movement said, “Individual Catholics are looking for guidance” in how to connect their concern for corporate responsibility and the environment to their faith and Christian spirituality.
Christians cannot be motivated solely by utilitarian arguments that natural resources should be protected so that they will not run out or poison future generations, he said, adding that “Environmental and corporate ethics needs to be based on the Christian sense of stewardship, of care, respect and appreciation for God’s gifts.”