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Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Participates in Third Day of Reflection on “Mining for the Common Good” May 8th, 2019
Fr Séamus participated in a Day of Reflection on “Mining for the Common Good” in Rome, Italy where Pope Francis addressed participants at the event on Friday, May 3rd. This marks the 3rd time a day of reflection on the role of mining has been convened at the Vatican by the Dicastery for Integral Human Development. Two events on a similar theme were convened by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace in 2014 and 2016.
All these events have wrestled with the role of mining throughout history while recognizing both its numerous contributions to human achievement and at the same time its destructive and very negative consequences for certain regions of the planet, and for the peoples and communities who have called some of these areas home for centuries.
Pope Francis highlighted a number of themes and issues that mining raises for faith traditions, governments, the planet, indigenous peoples and civil society. He also suggested some of the avenues and questions we need to consider in our search for answers. These are both on the macro scale of reforming the economic system in which extractive companies operate and curtailing the consumerist waste-generating lifestyles that too many of us follow.
In his address, Pope Francis also highlighted the need for multi-stakeholder dialogue that includes all parties, including those very critical of the industry. He encouraged all participants to enter into these engagements in a spirit of genuine dialogue that seeks to deliver solutions that demonstrate genuine care for “our common home” and ensures that those without access to basic human needs benefit from the resources that mining produces. He also sees a role for religions in fostering these types of dialogues, by articulating a vision that connects people, planet and the transcendent.
Transparency and Reputation: There Is No Place to Hide April 8th, 2014
Reputation, brand and image are very important priorities for corporations, organizations and institutions. These characteristics and the products and services that they provide are closely related. Because we are now able, in most instances, to put a quantitative value on reputation, brand and image, they are considered as important to overall worth as the products and services that a corporation offers.
Welcome to the age of globalization, the worldwide web, social media and the 24/7 news cycle.
The Inequality Debate Heats Up! February 14th, 2014
What started out as a slogan that surfaced at the height of the Occupy movement — the 1 percent vs the 99 percent — has morphed into the hotly debated issue of inequality, especially income inequality. Across a broad spectrum ranging from Pope Francis to billionaire Tom Perkins, a variety of reflections, analysis, explanation and apologies have been offered.
The executive director of the International Monetary Fund, Ms. Christine Lagarde, entered the conversation at the macroeconomic level when she stated recently at Davos, “The gap has been widening tremendously, particularly over the last ten years and it has widened in all corners. You look at the U.S. economy. You look at the Brazilian economy. You look at some of the developing countries although to a lesser degree, but it does… that inequality has expanded.”
Pope Francis and the Social Responsibility of Corporations December 20th, 2013
Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI argues that the “recent distraction about the purported “Marxist” beliefs of Pope Francis pronounced by people who have obviously not taken the time to read his recent exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium”, (The Joy of the Gospel) is just that, a distraction.”
The real news, intentionally buried by this distraction, is that a growing portion of the business community acknowledges that their “social license to operate”, their corporate charter and their commitment to “good citizenship” demands that they integrate the social values and policies that the Holy Father and others in the faith community espouse into their business models.”
Read more about how the corporate sector is responding to the demands for more ethical and sustainable practices. Read Fr. Finn’s latest blog on Huffington Post.
ICCR Shareholders Confront Banks Over Recent Scandals December 20th, 2013
The efforts of the Missionary Oblates and other ICCR faith-based shareholders to call the major banks to account in the wake of a flood of legal scandals and regulatory investigations, has won the attention of the media.
An article in the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, highlights the shareholder proposals filed by religious shareholder groups with J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM , Bank of America Corp. BAC and Wells Fargo & Co. WFC asking for a report on “business standards”. The proposal says, “We believe shareholders deserve a full report on what the bank has done to end these unethical activities, to rebuild credibility and provide new strong, effective checks and balances within the bank,” the shareholders write in the Wells Fargo proposal, with similar language for the other two banks. “While press releases describe specific settlements or new reforms, the overall picture has not been reported adequately to shareholders.”
Father Seamus Finn, a board member of ICCR, and a shareholder lead with several of the banks, called the requests “a win-win” for the banks and shareholders, giving them an opportunity to showcase how they’re addressing “the many issues of the day.”
A Strong Dose of Mo Needed August 23rd, 2013
Five years after the near meltdown of the global financial system, federal regulators are still struggling to institute reforms, and build in protections for the millions of ordinary consumers exposed to risk due to a lack of regulation. They are up against the banks and other financial firms, which have spent billions on lobbying against the proposed regulations.
In this recent blogpost, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI calls on everyone to remember how close the global system came to utter disaster, and how much the lives of ordinary people were turned upside down.
He argues, “We need to get the rules and regulations that respond to real needs and to the needs of communities across the country. The social purpose of the financial system and the institutions that operate in that space must be given priority over quarterly profit goals and expectations.”
“This would be a good time for all banks and their trade associations to work more constructively with regulators to keep the momentum going in the right direction, to restore confidence and rebuild trust.”
Follow Rev. Seamus P. Finn, OMI on Twitter: www.twitter.com/SeamusPFinn