Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/23/2013 (6 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.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/23/2013 (6 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 calls for your 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women:
That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.



Comments


More Living Faith

Who's ready for the most historic canonization in modern history?

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Are you ready for the canonization of Pope John Paul II? Vatican officials are busy preparing for the historic canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. As they prepare, it's time for use to get ready as well. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - on April 27, a ... continue reading


Pope Francis encourages people to kiss crucifix and recite simple prayer Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis is encouraging people this holy week to pick up a crucifix, kiss it and recite the simple prayer: "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord." He wishes to remind others that Christ's passion "isn't the happy ending of a beautiful fairytale, it isn't the ... continue reading


Pope Francis distributes Bibles, asks Catholics to perform acts of charity

Image of Bibles were handed out to all visitors regardless of their religious affiliation.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has given out tens of thousands of Bibles to people that he hopes they will keep and use daily. The gifts were distributed in St. Peter's Square following Mass. The gifts came with one string attached however, Pope Francis asked all people to perform an ... continue reading


Pope Francis' Wild Ride - Pope takes happy kids for a spin through St. Peter's Square Watch

Image of Pope Francis kisses Livio Bastianelli and Davide Maria goodbye after their lucky ride.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis gave to kids the ride of a lifetime by inviting them for a spin in the Popemobile around St. Peter's Square. The gesture continues to cement Pope Francis as a man of the people who is most comfortable with the throngs of faithful who seek his wisdom and ... continue reading


Seminary is not for those who do not wish to 'get on with life,' Pope admonishes Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In addressing the Pontifical Leonine College of Anagni, the Pope did not mince words. Pope Francis was forthright in saying that the seminary is not a refuge for those who have "psychological problems" or lack the courage "to get on in life." LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Pope Francis apologizes for abuse scandal, says Church deserves to pay Watch

Image of Pope Francis embraces a child in St. Peter's Square.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has made his strongest statement yet about the scandal of child abuse in the Catholic Church. Pope Francis made clear that victims of abuse deserved an apology as well as compensation for what they have suffered.  He reaffirmed that the Church will be ... continue reading


Pope Francis makes special plea, but is asking us - Are you listening? Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis continues to call for aid to the poor as the holiday season ends. The Holy Father has set a goal to eradicate global hunger by distributing food more equitably around the world and he has called on all faithful Catholics to help. It's a call that can't be ... continue reading


'The Devil is here, even in the 21st century,' Pope Francis warns Watch

Image of Life is a constant battle against evil due to the presence of the devil, Pope Francis said, admitting that even he

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The devil is very much alive in the 21st Century, Pope Francis warns, and he often takes the form of gossip. The pope confessed that he himself was tempted to gossip, and the faithful need to stay on their toes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Speaking in the ... continue reading


The Protest Against Evil and the Rise of Atheism: Is Evil Really the Problem?

Image of Adam and Eve deny their creatureliness in the Edenic Paradise, desiring to be as gods without God, and thus commit original sin.

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

It sounds very nice, a world devoid of suffering and every type of evil. However, there are some problems with such an idea, at least for now, given the present situation. What would it mean for us if there were no potential for evil? Atheists often reject God in ... continue reading


How I Read Myself Into the Church Watch

Image of

By Deal W. Hudson

It's said that people don't read much anymore, that we live in a multimedia age, and that the act of reading is on the wane. These prognostications have already been proven false. Nothing can replace reading a book as the most intimate medium of enjoyment and ... 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, Isaiah 61:1-3, 6, 8-9
1 The spirit of Lord Yahweh is on me for Yahweh has ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 89:21-22, 25, 27
21 My hand will always be with him, my arm will make ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:16-21
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, ... Read More

Reading 2, Revelation 1:5-8
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 17th, 2014 Image

St. Anicetus
April 17: Anicetus was a Syrian from Emesa. He became pope about 155 and ... 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