Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/23/2013 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Can fiduciary responsibility be balanced?

In western capitalism, the fiduciary responsibility of a corporate director is to maximize shareholder value. Generally, this means the maximization of profits with the aim of increasing share price and paying dividends. Often left out of this formula is the primacy of the human person over capital. Pope Francis tackled this during his Mass on the island of Sardinia on Sunday.

Jesus wasn't against profits or taxes, but he was against desecration of holy things, and excluding God. That includes created in His Image, human persons, who must not be treated as objects to be used.

Jesus wasn't against profits or taxes, but he was against desecration of holy things, and excluding God. That includes created in His Image, human persons, who must not be treated as objects to be used.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/23/2013 (10 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Pope Francis, Sardinia, Mass, homily, capitalism, market economy, communism, socialism, liberation, work, unemployment, money, profits, ethics, Christian


CAGLIARI, SARDINIA (Catholic Online) - Speaking before two crowds, one a smaller group of 20,000 and later celebrating Mass for 300,000, Pope Francis decried the evils of capitalism run amok as chronically unemployed workers complained that they could not get work or that the work they had was dangerous and paid poorly.

One unemployed man told Pope Francis with a quiver in his voice that unemployment "oppresses you and wears you out to the depths of your soul."

Unemployment, low pay, and a lack of opportunity are common in the western world now as capitalist systems recover from the Great Recession. Although the Great Recession has ended for Wall Street with the return of record profits, Main Street continues to struggle. Various reports in the U.S. suggest middle class incomes are improving slightly, other data suggests they are flat.

The poor are facing the greatest challenge as large employers shelter before Obamacare cutting hours and laying off workers. Calls to increase the minimum wage in various states are gaining volume. California will already raise its wages in 2014.

The problem has two roots. The first is the insatiable focus on profits over people. The second is the use of government to punish businesses and redistribute wealth. Both solutions create an adversarial situation where the two sides, owners and workers, will be in constant conflict.

The solution presented by the Holy Father is to make the person the center of responsibility. Imagine if boards of directors focused on their employees rather than profit margins.

Before we decry disaster and complain about the inevitable loss of investment capital that would occur if fiduciary focus were to change, we should add the caveat that profits are not evil, nor should they be obliterated by policy or taxes. Profits are essential and are the right of the business that earns them.

Yet, there is such a thing as enough.

Obamacare is providing a dramatic example in the U.S. Although Obamacare threatens disaster for small and medium-sized businesses that operate with low margins, some large corporations are plotting to throw their employees to the market. Already, hundreds of thousands of retirees (see IBM) and thousands of other workers are being told that their companies would rather pay the annual penalty than provide health insurance for their workers.

Meanwhile, they continue to generate profits and pay bonuses.

The problem is that people are being viewed as a resource to be used -a number on a spreadsheet, instead of being valued as human persons.

Pope Francis said at Mass, "We don't want this globalized economic system which does us so much harm. Men and women have to be at the center as God wants, not money. The world has become an idolator of this god called money."

As Christians, we are permitted to take the profits we need and deserve, but we should not violate our conscience by reducing our employees to virtual serfdom by means of low wages, unpaid benefits, and inhuman toil. Workers too have the right to the fruits of their labor.

It is time for the market economy to embrace the message of the dignity of every human person offered by Christianity and to espouse Christian ethics in business. The idolatry of the spreadsheet over the worker is the camel which cannot pass through the eye of the needle.

Likewise, communism and socialism, with their virtual atheism and worship of the state and use of the worker as a means, are rocky grounds along the path to the Gate.

Rather, a different path exists. We truly do live in a world of blessing and plenty. Treasures that are shared are doubled by sharing, just as money circulating through an economy stimulates it. Let us learn to think of our workers first and take profits yes, but not at the expense of humanity.

We must find this better way together, or we will all be doomed.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Living Faith

What Pope Francis said to make millions think again about abortion Watch

Image of On Saturday, August 16, 2014, during the apostolic visit to Korea, Pope Francis made a loud statement. However, he did not use words. He did not have to. His prophetic action brought to mind a saying attributed to his namesake, Francis of Asisi - I preach the Gospel at all times, but sometimes I use words.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

When Francis began his service from the chair of Peter, much hoopla filled the media about some alleged softening in the opposition of the Catholic Church to what are dismissively referred to as complicated "moral issues" such as abortion. Sadly, even some in the ... continue reading


DEAR CATHOLIC ONLINE: Keep it free, keep it going

Image of Keep it free, keep it live.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is heavily invested in bringing you world class news delivered from the Catholic perspective. This service is provided for free and we intend for it to remain free for the foreseeable future. However, it comes at a cost and right now, we need each ... continue reading


You Go Into the Vineyard Too! Every Baptized Christian Has a Vocation and Mission Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

The Church is a seed, sign and beginning of the kingdom, making the kingdom present in a world which is wounded by the effects of sin but waiting to be born anew. The Lord continues His work through us. We are the workers in His vineyard. It matters little what ... continue reading


Friendly overtures to Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) met with mixed response Watch

Image of LCWR presidents welcome the approximately 750 members to the assembly.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Leadership Conference of Women Religious, or LCWR is comprised of Catholic women religious who are leaders of their orders in the United States. The group represents about 80 percent of the 51,600 women religious in the U.S. However, relations between the ... continue reading


POPE: 'It is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor' Watch

Image of Pope Francis said that

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Answering a wide array of questions, which included the proper response to the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities by fundamentalists of the Islamic State in Iraq, Pope Francis said that "it is legitimate to halt the unjust aggressor." ... continue reading


POPE IN SOUTH KOREA: 'Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice' Watch

Image of Pope Francis told 200 South Korean government officials that the two Koreas, halved between North and South since the end of the Korean War in 1953,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, in his first trip to Asia, addressed South Korean political and civic leaders and encouraged them to stay on a steady course towards social justice and democracy. "Peace is not simply the absence of war, but the work of justice," the Pope said in ... continue reading


Will Suffering, Struggle, Failure and Pain Make us Bitter or Better? Watch

Image of Because of his close communion with Jesus Christ, the Risen One who had called him in the desert, Paul cultivated an interior strength which made it possible for him to walk through the pain, to even embrace the pain, and to experience failure itself as a path to the Cross where he found comfort in the wounded side of Jesus the Savior.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

St. Paul was an extraordinary man and an extraordinary Christian. An Apostle, raised up out of the ordinary course, he accomplished great things for the Lord as he eagerly responded to His calling to build the Church and, through her, to help change the world. A ... continue reading


The Assumption: The Virgin Mary goes before us in the Order of Grace Watch

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

What God has promised on the last day for those he loves, he has already accomplished in the Virgin Mary. Let us turn to Mary and love her as our spiritual Mother in the order of grace; let us open our hearts to her Immaculate Heart, that she may illuminate her ... continue reading


The Assumption or Dormition of the Mother of the Lord: What Does It Mean? Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

This event is a part of the naturally supernatural  progression in the life of the Blessed Virgin of Nazareth. Her Yes, her Fiat of surrendered love, brought heaven to earth. This exercise of her human freedom, responding to the invitation of God, as sent through ... continue reading


Making bad situations worse in the Middle East

Image of Only by following the non-violent Christ can our world that seems so steeped in violence be converted.

By Tony Magliano

The heart wrenching tragedies throughout the Middle East are not the United States' fault, that is, at least not entirely. The fact that many Sunni Muslims and Shiite Muslims distrust each other, that the Allies established artificial national boundaries to suite their ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 43:1-7
1 He took me to the gate, the one facing ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
9 His saving help is near for those who fear him, his ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 23:1-12
1 Then addressing the crowds and his disciples Jesus ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 23rd, 2014 Image

St. Philip Benizi
August 23: Servite cardinal and preacher. Born in Florence, Italy, to a ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter