Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego called for divestment from oil companies during this week’s assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
McElroy criticized a document draft on social spending by the Church, saying that it was “weak” on fossil fuels and should have included language about divesting from oil in order to slow climate change.
The document was meant to limit Church funding and investments in institutions and corporations that offend against “human dignity.”
“During the first day of public meetings the bishops also considered new socially responsible investment guidelines,” reported Carol Zimmerman of Catholic News Service. “A draft document of guidelines governing the USCCB’s financial investments includes wider limits on where money would be invested and advances a policy of engagement on corporate practices that impact human dignity.”
McElroy “questioned why there was little mention of fossil fuels in the document, describing the section as being ‘weak,’ given that the Vatican and Pope Francis have encouraged divestment from such energy sources as needed to slow climate change,” Zimmerman reported:
He said that fossil fuel investments were extensively discussed by the working group that prepared the guidelines. The group decided, he said, “it’s not possible now to achieve a complete end” to fossil fuel investment and determined it was best to give financial advisers working with the USCCB “room” to determine which investments were appropriate….
The above comes from a Nov. 17 report from Catholic Vote.