(Vatican Radio) A conference on Social Finance takes place in Rome, Monday, focusing on Impact Investing for the poor.
Cardinal Peter Turkson, President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace - who is in Poland to participate in another meeting - has sent a message to participants of the event organized by the Human Foundation.
The Conference sees the presentation of the report by the International Social Impact Investment Taskforce entitled "The Invisible Heart of Markets. How Impact Investing is harnessing innovation and capital for public good".
The report, drawn up by the International Social Impact Investment Taskforce which was established by the G8 in 2013 in order to provide policymakers with a set of reccomendations that aim to enhance and improve social impact investments.
In June, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace co-hosted a conference with Catholic Relief Services and the University of Notre Dame. The agenda, presentations, papal statement, and briefing note can be found at Investingforthepoor.org.
In his declaration Cardinal Turkson recalled Pope Francis' encouragement for business to seek more effective ways of serving the poor and including the marginalized. He pointed out that the Catholic Church "can draw on a long history of innovative and effective investing for the benefit of society" and he said that out faith in Christ calls us to recognize the dignity of the poor and promote market solutions that build up their access and capacity.
Please find below the full text of Cardinal Peter Turkson's Declaration on Impact Investment:
On the occasion of the publication of Impact Investing: The Invisible Heart of Markets, a report of the Social Impact Investment Taskforce established by the G8, we recall the encouragement of Pope Francis for business to seek more effective ways of serving the poor and including the marginalized. On 16 June 2014, the Holy Father declared:
“It is urgent that governments throughout the world commit themselves to developing an international framework capable of promoting a market of high impact investments, and thus to combating an economy which excludes and discards.”
The Catholic Church can draw on a long history of innovative and effective investing for the benefit of society. As early as the 15th century, the Church was sponsoring hostels, hospitals, orphanages and schools. More recently, Church bodies have been investing in a wide range of organizations providing healthcare, education, agricultural development, microfinance, insurance, environmental restoration and many other social benefits.
Fundamentally, our faith in Jesus Christ calls us to recognize the poor as dignified human beings and to see reality through their eyes. We need to recognize the interdependence of humanity and, as stewards of creation, learn to act in an environmentally more responsible way. As the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, we offer our support in promoting market solutions that, consistent with the rich tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, listen to the poor and, in solidarity with them, build up their access and capacity.
Through its social services and development agencies, operating at the local level in parishes and dioceses as well as nationally, regionally and internationally, the Church works hard to serve the poor, vulnerable and excluded everywhere, regardless of race or religion.
These efforts could be even more effective if appropriate practices of impact investing were adopted to scale-up investments, attract additional capital, and identify new opportunities for socially impactful investments. tangible social benefits. Knowledge and know-how need to be accumulated so that interested Catholic investors, both individual and institutional, can better serve the poor via impact investing.
The Social Impact Investment Taskforce chaired by Sir Ronald Cohen is to be commended for the constructive, transparent, and dedicated collaboration it has promoted, between government officials and senior representatives from the worlds of finance, business and philanthropy. Many members of Catholic dioceses and agencies have contributed to these discussions. For we believe that, when businesses and market economies function properly and focus on serving the common good, they contribute greatly to the material and even the spiritual well-being of society.
In the name of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, I welcome the publication of Impact Investing: The Invisible Heart of Markets. May the new report succeed in explaining impact investing, in sharing good practices, and in shedding much light on new opportunities for addressing the many neglected human, social and environmental needs of billions of our brothers and sisters around the world.
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