Monday, January 25, 2016
I've been asked to announce the upcoming conference on Human Ecology, co-sponsored by the Napa Institute and CUA School of Business and Economics, March 15-18. Below is the conference summary and you can find more (including speaker bios and conference schedule) here:
Catholic teachings on the common good are comprehensive and universal. They communicate truths and principles which are relevant to every aspect of human flourishing. For the anniversaries of the great documents of Catholic social teaching Rerum Novarum, Centesimus Annus, and our newest addition to Catholic social teaching Laudato Si, CUA and The Napa Institute have convened a conference on Human Ecology that attempts to integrate and convey the wisdom of 125 years of the Catholic Church’ s social encyclicals and eternal teaching.
There is no question that our Catholic faith gives us strong moral motivations to help our neighbor, to help the poor, and to help the many charitable institutions that are run or inspired by the Church. One of the purposes of this conference is to extend our understanding of how our Catholic faith helps to build up a just and flourishing society, and how it may alleviate the material and spiritual poverty facing so many of our neighbors.
Pope Leo XIII in Rerum Novarum wrote that the church’ s desire is that the poor should rise above poverty and they should better their condition in life. He believes that this promotion is most likely to occur through the virtues. Similarly, Pope St. John Paul II in Centesimus Annus notes that the poor are right to ask for a share in the material goods of the society and to make good use for their capacity to work. He notes that in order for this to be the case, certain economic conditions as well as political stability are required for human beings to make good use of their own labor.
Pope Francis in Evangelii Gaudium tells us that business is a vocation and a noble one, it is a vocation provided by God so that each person would be challenged by a greater meaning in life to serve the common good, by striving to increase the goods of this world and making them more accessible to all. InLaudato Si, our Holy Father also examines corporate social responsibility for the common good of an "integral ecology" and the “care for our common home."
What is required for a truly sustainable, widespread, and inclusive prosperity? What is the vocation of business leaders who are committed to their Catholic faith, to the common good, and to the life of virtue?
These are the fundamental questions that our Human Ecology conference will ask in order to spur us all, Church leaders, scholars, and business leaders, to the heights of our own capacities and gifts.