Pope Vs Gordon BrownFriday, 17 Jul 2009 by lee | 0 Comments
Pope urges Gordon Brown to back 'ethical' financial system.
According to a recent article from Times Online (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article6011316.ece), the Pope has urged Gordon Brown to back an ethical approach to rebuilding the financial system.
We believe that this is a very positive statement, but it does raise a number of very important issues. Probably the first question is….. 'what is ethical?' It appears form the Pope’s comments that he is calling for an ethical approach to the way in which the whole financial system operates; to ensure that an ethical dimension is included in all transactions. This would generally be considered a good policy, and would probably have avoided the recent collapse in many banks and the near destruction of the global financial system.
However, we feel that having an overarching ethical code is only the beginning, and this is where the Pop’s comments may well open a whole can of worms for the broader Faith community. If the system operates more ethically, then when it comes to Faith groups investing their money, how ethical is their approach? Yes, they can just as easily follow an overall ethical policy in terms of the way they deal with others, but ethics must go deeper for Faith groups, right down to operating an ethical policy in the selection of the companies in which they invest.
Whilst many Faith groups take ethical values into account when investing their money, the sad reality is that far too many take little or no account of any ethical values at all. For example, with no ethical values attached, a Catholic group may well invest in armaments, abortion, foetal stem cell research, pornography, human rights above etc etc.
It would be interesting to see what ethical policy the Vatican, on behalf of the Pope, applies to its own global investments. Closer to home, it would be wonderful if every Catholic Order invested ethically, but experience has shown that this is, unfortunately, far from the case.
Is the Pope right to call for an ethical financial system?
Does the Vatican invest ethically?
Should Faith groups invest ethically, in line with their principles?
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