Catholic investing in changing times

Poor coal.

It seems like everyone is running for the door these days when it comes to investing in this dirty fossil fuel.

The country of Norway and the city of Seattle are moving to divest their funds from coal.

Religious organizations like the United Church of Christ, the Church of England, and universities like Oxford, Stanford and Georgetown have announced plans to either divest from coal or reduce their holdings.

But coal is not the only subject to give Catholic responsible investors pause.

What about investing in companies that materially contribute to war?

What about investing in oil and gas companies?

What about investing in the companies that successfully lobbied the state of Indiana to amend its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which appeared to discriminate against the LGBT community?

Are such investments materially cooperating with the advance of same-sex marriage?

What about investing in companies that offer benefits to same-sex couples?

NCR had a lengthy conversation with Daniel Nielsen, director of Catholic responsible investing at the Christian Brothers Investment Services (CBIS) in order to better understand how Catholic responsible investing functions in a changing cultural environment.

Founded in 1981, Christian Brothers Investment Services is a for-profit investment adviser with more than $6 billion in assets under management.

It is a global investment management firm with offices in New York, Chicago and Rome, and a leader in responsible investing for Catholic institutions. Continue reading

Tom Gallagher is lead writer for NCR’s Mission Management column.

Image: NCR

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