Think before you buy: Vatican

Archbishop Luis Ladaria and Cardinal Peter Turkson (CNS/Paul Haring)

Financial and economic decisions are also ethical decisions that can be virtuous or sinful, says a new Vatican document. Source: Catholic Herald.

“There can be no area of human action that legitimately claims to be either outside of or impermeable to ethical principles based on liberty, truth, justice and solidarity,” said the document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The text, “Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System,” was approved by Pope Francis and released yesterday at a Vatican news conference with Archbishop Luis Ladaria, congregation prefect, and Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

Based on Catholic social teaching and referring frequently to the teaching of St John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, the document insisted that every economic activity has a moral and ethical dimension.

“At stake is the authentic wellbeing of a majority of the men and women of our planet who are at risk of being ‘excluded and marginalised’ from development and true well-being while a minority, indifferent to the condition of the majority, exploits and reserves for itself substantial resources and wealth,” the document said.

The size and complexity of the global economy, it said, may lead most people to think there is nothing they can do to promote an economy of solidarity and contribute to the wellbeing of everyone in the world, but every financial choice a person makes – especially if they act with others – can make a difference, it said.

Even something as simple as shopping can be important, the document said. Consumers should avoid products manufactured in conditions “in which the violation of the most elementary human rights is normal.” They can avoid doing business with companies “whose ethics in fact do not know any interest other than that of the profit of their shareholders at any cost.”

The document takes aim at greed, not capitalism. In fact, it praises economic systems and markets that respect human dignity and promote human freedom, creativity, production, responsibility, work and solidarity.


Tax havens hurt the poor, Vatican says (Catholic Herald)

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