International Finance and Catholic Social Teaching


Catholic Studies



Document Type

Book Chapter


Catholic Church, Catholic Church-Doctrines, Christian sociology, Christian sociology-Catholic Church, Doctrines




Modern Catholic social teaching, especially as articulated by the popes, the curia, and the bishops, has said little directly and formally about systems of finance. Where these voices have spoken, they have encouraged sound practices in broad outline and criticized obviously unsound and immoral behaviors. Unfortunately, their own financial management practices have not offered good models for what might be done. Nevertheless, key concepts like the logic of gift, the idea of solidarity and the common good, and the vision of integral human development, coupled with the competence and integrity of Catholics working in systems of finance, can imagine possibilities and generate inspiring models of professional conduct. The key to making this work well is to understand and embrace the possibility of pursuing work in the system of finance as a genuine Christian vocation that in its own way genuinely addresses human needs and helps to build the Kingdom of God. In service of this, the pastors of the Church at every level can and should affirm this profession as a vocation, encourage Catholics to bring their faith to their work, avoid unnecessary criticism of business practices, and assist business professionals to see more clearly the challenges and possibilities they face.

Published in

Catholic Social Teaching: A Volume of Scholarly Essays

Citation/Other Information

Kennedy, R. G. (2019). International Finance and Catholic Social Teaching. In Catholic Social Teaching (pp. 387–413). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108630238.017

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