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Faith-based Shareholder Activists Profiled in NY Times November 14th, 2011
Religious groups have worked through the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility for 40 years to encourage corporations to ‘do the right thing’ by people and the environment. Sr. Nora Nash, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia and active in faith-based shareholder activism since the 1980’s, was profiled in the Sunday edition of the New York Times. She explained their involvement thus: “We’re not here to put corporations down.We’re here to improve their sense of responsibility.”
Seamus Finn, OMI – also deeply involved in the ICCR dialogs with the banks as well as other corporate sectors, was cited in the article: “Companies have learned over time that the issues we’re bringing are not frivolous,” said the Rev. Seamus P. Finn, 61, a Washington-based priest with the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and a board member of the Interfaith Center. “At the end of every transaction, there are people that are either positively or negatively impacted, and we try to explain that to them.”
Vatican Suggestions for Financial Reform Debated November 8th, 2011
“Robert A. Sirico’s “The Vatican’s Monetary Wisdom” (op-ed, Oct. 27) correctly praises the analysis of the causes of the financial crisis that was included in the Vatican’s statement on reforming the financial system. His summary dismissal of the suggested responses in the document clearly states that no sovereign or international regulatory authority is up to the task of regulating the major actors in the financial sector. Are we then to believe that they will do it themselves?
Haven’t we just experienced the consequences of deregulation, regulatory arbitrage and the capture of elected officials and assemblies by banks and industry associations? Greater cooperation, coordination and collaboration among sovereign regulators and authorities, as the Vatican suggested, is a step in the right direction if the public is to have a safe, stable and fair financial system that is worthy of their trust and their transactions.”
The Rev. Seamus P. Finn OMI
Re-Occupying Main Street November 2nd, 2011
I believe there are analogies and lessons to be drawn from the responsible citizenship on display by demonstrators across the world, and the responsible ownership practiced by active shareholders in corporations.
Interfaith Center For Corporate Responsibility: Celebrating A Legacy And Renewing A Promise! October 12th, 2011
“In 1971 a small group of believers decided to establish the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility to facilitate and coordinate their efforts to engage and challenge US corporations who had a presence in South Africa. The apartheid system of government was already well entrenched and they were searching for tools and opportunities that could join the chorus of advocates that were working to dismantle the apartheid system. Their objective was very simple; ask and advocate that US companies withdraw from South Africa and therefore deprive the government of any of the products or tax revenues that enabled their system of government to continue.”
“Values in Finance: Are we ready to learn the lessons?” September 27th, 2011
In a talk given at Trinity College, Dublin on the 15th Anniversary of Clann Credo – The Social Investment Fund, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI talked about the need for the faith community to engage with business on questions of ethics and to work for more sustainable practices and institutions. He made three main points:
- Faith communities and traditions need to re-engage in the discussion of purpose and operations of the financial systems and their priorities.
- The damage that has been done to the people and the environment for the sake of fat profits and in the name of “progress’ has been tremendous and needs to ne examined.
- Religious communities, institutions and believers have always been willing to dream, innovate and risk new initiatives for the promotion of the common good.
Fr. Finn is active in faith responsible investing through the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility where he serves on the Board, and in 3iG, an international, interfaith coalition of institutional investors.