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Updates on Events and Resources from the JPIC Commission Office in Rome January 26th, 2012
A course on Catholic Social Teaching (in Spanish): A comprehensive written course on Catholic Social Teaching, prepared for University students, was written and published in Latin America. It can be downloaded at: http://www.kas.de/sopla/es/publications/29414/
JPIC Promoter’s Formation Course in the USA: An intensive week-long seminar for JPIC Congregation promoters takes place at Saint Mary’s Notre Dame, Indiana from June 3-10. The brochure is due out in February. For more information, go to http://www.holycrossjustice.org/JusticeCraft/JusticeCraft.asp
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Responsible Purchasing and Investing: A Catholic Priority January 12th, 2012
In the 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI wrote that the economy should be at the service of people, and not the other way around.
“Profit is useful if it serves as a means towards an end that provides a sense both of how to produce it and how to make good use of it,” the pope wrote. “Once profit becomes the exclusive goal, if it is produced by improper means and without the common good as its ultimate end, it risks destroying wealth and creating poverty.”
Going further, Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI has argued that faith-based investors should demand accountability from the companies they invested with or they should divest stock in companies engaged in morally objectionable practices. “With ownership comes responsibility and rights.”
Catholics and Faith-Consistent Investing January 8th, 2012
Learn about the possibilities available to help individuals develop a “faith-consistent” stock portfolio. In an article in Our Sunday Visitor, titled Investing with a clear conscience: Catholics don’t have to sacrifice big financial returns to invest in line with their ideals, Scott Alessi interviews Fr. Seamus Finn, OMI and others about the importance of active, faith-consistent investing.
“Church teaching clearly emphasizes the importance of placing one’s faith above financial gain. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that economic success should never come at the expense of human dignity and that “a theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable” (No. 2424).”
“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.
ConocoPhillips Improves Corporate Human Rights Position August 12th, 2011
ConocoPhillips has amended its corporate Human Rights policy to include recognition of the rights of indigenous peoples as articulated in UN declarations and conventions. This action, approved by ConocoPhillips Chair/CEO Jim Mulva as well as the Board of Directors, is one result of ICCR member shareholder dialogs with the company led by Steven Heim at Boston Common Asset Management. The Oblates have been engaged in this dialog for several years and remain deeply concerned about the impacts of corporate activity – particularly oil and gas exploration – on indigenous peoples.
The company’s position on the rights of indigenous peoples now reads:
“The Company’s approach to engagement with indigenous communities, in locations where they are an important stakeholder group for our operations, is consistent with the principles of the International Labour Organization Convention 169, concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
In May of this year, the company announced it was pulling out of a controversial project slated for northern Peru. The project threatened two uncontacted tribes in the area.