This past Friday the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace released  the educational aid Vocation of the Business Leader (Business%20Leader%20Vocation.pdf).  While targeted at the world of business, we might seek to explore how the principles adhere in a pastoral or Church setting, much like the Catholic Standards for Excellence.

In the executive summary the document states that properly functioning businesses serve the common good.  And obstacles to the common good include:

  • Lack of rule of law
  • Corruption
  • Tendencies towards greed, and
  • Poor stewardship of resources

Yet the most significant obstacle the document sites is the "divided" life of the business leader.

The Leadership Roundtable has always sought to encourage the good practices that lead to the common good in business for use within the Church.  And yet those who work and minister in the Church can also fall victim to the same obstacles mentioned in this educational aid.

The document promotes 6 practical principles for businesses that I would like to attempt to modify for our consideration in our "business practices' we use in the Church.  The adapted practices are below.    ( Brackets [ ]are used to show where language has been modified.)

6 Practical Principles for [Parishes, Dioceses, Catholic Nonprofits]

The principles of respect for human dignity and pursuit of the common good are the foundations of the Church's social teaching.  Joined with the six practical principles, they can offer more specific guidance on the three broad [pastoral] objectives.

Meeting the Needs of the World through the Creation and Development of Goods and Services

  1. [Parish ministries] which are truly good and services that truly serve contribute to the common good.
  2. [Parishes] maintain solidarity with the poor by being alert for opportunities to serve otherwise deprived and underserved populations and people in need.

Organizing Good and Productive Work

  1. [Parishes] make a contribution to the community by fostering the special dignity of human work.
  2. [Parishes] provide, through subsidiarity, opportunities for [staff and parishioners] to exercise appropriate authority as they contribute to the mission of the [Church].

Creating Sustainable Wealth and Distributing it Justly

  1. [Parishes] model stewardship of the resources- whether capital, human, or environmental - they have received.
  2. [Parishes] are just in the allocation of resources.

What are some of the practices in your own situation that model these principles in your parish, diocese, or organization?  Which ones would you say are a struggle and why?  Where would you choose to focus your energy if you had the choice?

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