School of Theology and Seminary Faculty Publications

Charity and Truth in Business: Profit, Gift and Social Capital

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Arts and Humanities | Catholic Studies | Economics | Ethics in Religion | Religion | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This is a June 17 address by Professor Daniel K. Finn to business leaders at the Vatican. In the address, Finn states that there are four elements that need to be fulfilled for making a more moral economy: the moral behavior of individuals and organizations; the legal structure of markets, which cannot be allowed to be absolutely free and unregulated and must have legal limits to "prevent the worst abuses"; "the needs of all must be met," through employment and direct social assistance to those in need; and "a vibrant civil society" is needed, where citizens come together in informal or formal groups like art associations or unions to help improve different aspects of society. Finn drew heavily in his talk on "Caritas in Veritate" ("Charity in Truth"), the 2009 encyclical letter of Pope Benedict XVI that dealt with the obligation of a moral society establishing and maintaining a just economic system for the good of all persons.