Christian Progress (#26)
26. There is no doubt that globalization, enhanced communication and financialization can have positive consequences for the human community. A healthy respect for short-term financial performance can also be positive if it is but one contributor to decision-making rather than being its sole driver. All these trends, however, need to be guided by ethical social principles, illuminated for Christians by the Gospel and embedded in sound cultural institutions. Without such a constant influence, they risk being detrimental to “integral human development”. This is where the social teachings of the Church and our belief in God’s love can offer an authentic perspective, enabling business leaders to fulfil their Christian calling.
Commentary: The Church is always forward-looking, is always promoting progress. We are all co-creators with God, so developments like globalization, better communication and financialization are to be welcomed and harnessed for good. Stark's book, The Victory of Reason shows the role the Church played in promoting freedom when human beings were treated as property and capitalism when rulers lived on the rent they forced from their subjects. How many commentators credit the Church for the role it played establishing capitalism?
Of course, these developments can be used wrongly. It's our job to define how they can be used to further God's plan. This job becomes easier as we become more familiar with the Gospel and with the Church's social doctrine.
We fulfill our calling as business leaders when we challenge ourselves and our companies to apply the principles of Catholic social doctrine in our organizations, in a deeply fundamental way. Doing this will probably cause some pain as we make the transition from our own plan to his. And if we're not feeling pain, we're probably not digging deeply enough as Pope Francis would remind us.