Laudato si’: Encyclical ties environmental stewardship to life ethics in that “everything is interrelated”

Catholic investors acknowledge that human life is at the center of the environment and so properly recognize the right relationship between the human and natural aspects of God’s creation:  caring about the environment deeply, but also caring about the human person deeply. Catholic teaching views environmental stewardship and life ethics as utterly consistent and “interrelated.”  The “throwaway culture” the Pope criticizes undermines both the natural environment and the dignity of the human person, both of which CBIS and its Participant investors have fought for during the past three decades using Catholic investment screening and active ownership.

“Since everything is interrelated, concern for the protection of nature is also incompatible with the justification of abortion. How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is un­comfortable and creates difficulties?”  (120)

From a screening standpoint, CBIS’ life ethics screens are derived from the principle of human dignity and focus on respect for human life, both born and unborn. Any involvement in the following activities triggers an exclusion:

  • Producers of abortifacients;
  • Producers of contraceptive drugs and devices;
  • Health care facilities that perform abortions;
  • Companies involved in human embryonic stem cell research, fetal tissue research, or human cloning.

Through active ownership, CBIS has utilized corporate engagements, shareholder resolutions, and proxy voting to address critical human dignity and environmental stewardship issues such as human trafficking, pornography, water sustainability, and climate change.

Check back frequently for more insights on Laudato si’ – we will release our review and analysis of the Pope’s encyclical soon.