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Socially-Responsible Investing

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PRINCIPLES


Responsible strategies such as principled purchasing, proxy voting, corporate dialogues, filing shareholder resolutions, etc., are guided by the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The following principles of  financial management flow from the seven themes of Catholic Social teaching.

  • Human Dignity – Humans are created in God’s image, and whatever harms human dignity denies the goodness of creation and our Creator.  Human activity, especially economic activity, must be focused on honoring and preserving human dignity.
     

  • Responsible  Stewardship – Humans have been given the responsibility for being good stewards of creation.  Since much of the work of investment activity is focused on human material resources, we work to focus this activity on the responsible stewardship of these resources.
     

  • Shared Prosperity – Prosperity is a gift from our Creator to be shared. Prosperity is not a worthy goal unless the effects of prosperity are spread throughout all societies worldwide.
     

  • Corporate Responsibility – Businesses have public responsibilities to the communities where they operate.  Businesses must share the propriety they create in partnership, with the communities where they do business by paying just wages, making tax payments, and contributing to community enterprises.
     

  • Responsible ownership of Capital – Capital is to be used responsibly and for the benefit of all humanity. Catholic tradition suggests that it is important to ensure that capital ownership contributes positively to society.  Just as capital ownership demands responsible stewardship of creation, it also demands fair treatment of workers and communities.
     
  • Value of Work – Our humanity is partially fulfilled in organizational life. Human beings work not only for material gain, but also for spiritual growth and personal fulfillment. Our work should nourish our spiritual growth and brings us closer to our fellow human beings and to our Creator.
     

  • Responsible Products – The production process and product itself are of moral concern. Investors and consumers alike must assess whether products and services satisfy real human needs.
     

  • Live our Faith – We gain credibility from the witness of our actions in the world. The life of faith is about action as well as belief. Our aim is to promote Catholic values while actively engaging in the business community in discussion about ethical issues.




PRINCIPLED INVESTING


Investment decisions are to reflect principles of justice and peace, which are promoted in other activities of our Congregation. As a general guideline we desire that investments be in corporations whose activities:
 

  • Promote peace, rather than violence, carefully evaluating a company’s involvement in militarism, landmines, handguns, tobacco, and pornography.

  • Promote the protection of human dignity and human rights and exclude

    exploitation in the workplace – to invest in companies that promote the advancement of women and minority persons.

  • Promote the quality of life in such areas as health, housing, food, education, medical supplies, utilities, and transportation.
  • Promote sensitivity to ecological balance, care of environment, development of renewable energy sources, and the use of recycled materials.

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