As followers of Christ, Catholics are compelled to help others. There are many ways that we can donate our time, treasure, and talent. How we invest our money also matters.
If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?" (1 John 3:17)
Catholics are called to spread God's love and live by Jesus' example in their daily lives. This is especially important now as war rages in Ukraine, food insecurity increases amid rising prices, the environment continues to be threatened, and slowing economies are leading to further economic stress.
As followers of Christ, Catholics are compelled to help others. There are many ways that we can donate our time, treasure, and talent. How we invest our money also matters. Who among us wants to profit by supporting companies that are engaged in activities in direct conflict with our faith? The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has published guidelines for how Catholics can invest in line with their values. Faith-based investing allows Catholics to grow wealth while supporting companies that do good work. Investing in a Catholic faith-based fund or portfolio following the USCCB guidelines enables Catholics to positively impact the world by:
-- Avoiding companies doing "evil" work. Portfolios or funds that follow USCCB guidelines screen out companies whose business practices conflict with Catholic values. For instance, these may include companies that produce pornography, contraceptive devices, or nuclear weapons. Catholics should not want their money supporting companies whose work is contrary to their innate beliefs, so it makes sense for them to invest in ways that avoid such companies.
-- Furthering Catholic ideals through investor activism. Because shares in a company give investors partial ownership of it, each investor has some influence over how the business behaves. A Catholic faith-based fund should certainly screen out any companies that directly violate USCCB guidelines, but there are also companies that might indirectly support movements contrary to Catholic values through donations or other involvement. In these instances, investors can use their monetary influence to try to sway a company to fall more in line with Catholic ideals. For instance, there are pooled investment vehicles available to individuals that actively engage companies in an effort to change behaviors contradictory to biblical values.
Catholics are called to help others and spread Christ's message, but they also need to protect and grow their own finances in order to support their families, Church, and charitable causes. Investing in a faith-based manner or in a specific Catholic faith-based fund can help Catholics achieve this goal, while resting assured they are living their values and helping enact much-needed positive change in the world.
If you would like to learn more about faith-based investing, tune into our webinar on "Is a Recession Looming," July 12 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time, held in conjunction with The Pilot, Faith Investor Services and Capital Insight Partners. Information on how to join the webinar can be found on page 20 of this week's printed edition, on TheBostonPilot.com or at the link: bit.ly/faithinvesting2.
MICHAEL SKILLMAN IS CEO OF FAITH INVESTOR SERVICES.
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