Introduction to Catholic Socially Responsible Investing

The Call To Faithful Stewardship
As Catholic Christians we are called to be stewards of the gifts that God has given us.  In the Bible it states “As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10). We can wisely use the financial gifts and talents that God has given us by exercising prudent stewardship of our savings and investments. Now, we turn to the subject how stewardship leads us to the concept of Catholic Socially Responsible Investing.

Catholic Socially Responsible Investing
We should consider the common good of all people as part of making our investment decisions. This is the definition of socially responsible investing. Are our investments funding something that benefits the common good or something that goes against our Christian moral beliefs and principles? Investments in farming equipment would be considered a good investment according to the church since it benefits humankind. However, investments in companies that fund abortion or fetal stem cell research would be considered morally unacceptable according to the Catholic church.

Catholic Social Teaching
Catholic teaching on economic and social justice starting taking form in the modern world as we know it starting with Pope Leo XII’s 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum (On Capital and Labor).  As the Catechism of the Catholic Church points out “Any system in which social relationships are determined entirely by economic factors is contrary to the nature of the human person and his acts. A theory that makes profit the exclusive norm and ultimate end of economic activity is morally unacceptable” No. 2423-2424.

United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Guidelines
More recently, in the Pastoral Letter Economic Justice For All, dated November 12, 2003 The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued guidelines for Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) to help guide our investing decisions so that we can make the prudent decisions. These guidelines cover six major areas in order to help guide Catholic institutions and individuals to invest according to the social teaching of the Church, especially as it pertains to the protection of human life and its dignity in all of its stages, from conception to natural death.

  • Protecting human life
  • Promoting human dignity
  • Reducing arms production
  • Pursuing economic justice
  • Protecting the environment
  • Encouraging corporate responsibility

How InvestingCatholic Can Help
Mutual funds are a common way for people to invest in today’s financial market. For Catholics who choose to invest in mutual funds InvestingCatholic can help investors to meet their goal of Catholic Socially Responsible Investing. We offer investment models composed of mutual funds that are screened for Catholic values according to the USCCB Guidelines. InvestingCatholic LLC is a SEC Registered Investment Adviser focused on making Catholic Socially Responsible Investing accessible and affordable to all Catholics, and anyone who shares similar moral beliefs. We offer globally diversified model portfolios with no investment minimums. Please visit www.investingcatholic.com to learn more!

We plan to explore each one of these areas of social responsibility much more deeply in future blog posts, so please stay tuned!