Pope Francis

Pope Francis Ditches Charity in Favor of Impact Investing

After decades of giving to charity, a growing number of Catholics are starting to put their philanthropic billions into profitable investments instead. The new aid model is also backed by Pope Francis. Catholic investment funds are increasingly investing in projects in emerging economies and earning a return while also doing good. Impact investing is growing in popularity among investors who want to support development goals such as clean energy, education and healthcare. According to the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), $228 billion was managed in impact investments worldwide in 2017, double that of 2016. An organisation spearheading the new mission is Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CRS has lent $1 million to banks in El Salvador that lend on to city authorities to spend improving and expanding their erratic water services. CRS aims to give 300,000 people reliable water access in the next three years while also earning single digit returns from the loans.

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Church and Business Leaders Respond to Pope Francis' Call to Make Wealth Work for the Poor
At the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Catholic Relief Services, impact investing experts and Catholic leaders from around the world will convene in Rome to explore how the Catholic Church and other faith-based institutions can harness the power of impact capital to attain and sustain their social mission.
These institutions, at an early stage in their social enterprise journey, will interact with and learn from successful social entrepreneurs, along with thought leaders from the sector. They will develop strategies, form partnerships and lay the foundation for catalyzing private investment to serve the poor and vulnerable. Celebrating the Extraordinary Year of Mercy established by Pope Francis, the conference is titled Making the Year of Mercy a Year of Impact for the Poor.
The conference begins on June 26, 2016 and is sponsored by Omidyar Network and the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. It ends on June 28.

Pope Francis calls out the $400 billion global arms business as “the industry of death”

Pope Francis was sharply critical of the global arms industry in a speech at the Vatican this week, telling thousands of children in Rome that weapons manufacturers are money-hungry opponents of peace. Some people don’t want peace because they make more money from war, he said. The devil, he added, enters through the people's wallets. The arms industry, which had sales of at least $400 billion in 2013, is dominated by US and European firms, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, not to forget China’s mostly state-owned arms manufacturers. Pope Francis has spoken before against weapons and their impact on war, tweeting in 2013 that he condemned the use of chemical weapons.

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