Several Catholic Institutions to Sell Off Fossil Fuel Investments

By Mei Manuel, October 05, 2017 20:10 PM

St. Francis(Pixabay)

As part of the death anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi, 40 Catholic institutions around the world have announced on Tuesday that they will be divesting themselves from fossil fuels.

The announcement is considered the largest divestment done by faith-based organizations and follows the earlier move of nine Cathoilc institutions - Wheaton Franciscan Sisters and the Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus (US); MGR Foundation (US); the Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit; St. Joseph's Province of the Passionist order (UK/Italy), the Archdiocese of Pescara-Penne, Il Dialogo magazine, the Society of Jesus, Interdiocesan Network New Lifestyles and the Siloe Monastic Community - who had earlier divested investments from fossil fuel corporations in light of the G7 summit in May. However, not all those 40 institutions have many investment to sell. Instead, they will be stopping possible future investments in the area and will be working to inspire other institutions to divest as well.

Some of the 40 who will be taking part of the divestment movement include Assisi's Sacro Convento, the Catholic archdiocese of Cape Town, Germany's Bank fur Kirche und Caritas eG, Oikocredit Belgium, the Australian Jesuit Province, Newman University in England and the US Center for Action and Contemplation.

Aside from the 40 Catholic institutions who have announced their plans for divestment from fossil fuels, the municipality of Assisi, Italy have also announced their intent to divest from all its coal, gas and oil holdings a day before Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni was scheduled to visit as part of St. Francis's feast day.

According to Assisi's mayor Stefania Proietti in her statement with The Guardian, "When we pay attention to the environment, we pay attention to poor people, who are the first victims of climate change."

She also adds, 'When we invest in fossil fuels, we stray very far from social justice. But when we disinvest and invest in renewable and energy efficiency instead, we can mitigate climate change, create a sustainable new economic deal and, most importantly, help the poor.'

The municipality will also be investing in cleaner energy sources in the next few months as part of its campaign and she said that their decision was inspired from Pope Francis' climate encyclical which was released last year. In the said encyclical, the Pope credited St. Francis as his inspiration for creating the book.

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