More than 90% of Catholics said they believe that Catholic organisations should invest church funds in ways that are consistent with Church teaching and values, according to results of a new survey.
In addition, about 31% of respondents to the survey conducted by Boston-based Catholic Investment Services said that news of clergy sexual abuse and the Church’s handling of such allegations has caused them to give less to their parish. Still, 7% of respondents said they have given more to their parish.
However, 41% of respondents said they either plan to donate less to their parish or are considering giving less in the future.
Peter Jeton, the firm’s CEO, said the findings would help Catholic institutions understand the thinking of individual donors in planning future investments to fund church-based operations. The survey results were released today (April 24).
“My sense is that this (awareness of socially responsible investing) increasingly is a personal issue that people in the pews feel,” Jeton said.
“There is increasing talk of the notion of donating financial resources and to what kind of causes and there is an implied stewardship that needs to be played there,” he explained. “If you are a parish or a diocese receiving this kind of funding, what kind of obligation is there to invest in a way that could be considered consistent with the church in a whole group of things.”
Nearly nine in 10 respondents – 87% – also said they believed socially responsible investing can be done without sacrificing financial gains. Meanwhile, 13% of respondents disagreed with that standard.
Broken down by how much people donate, 58% percent of those who gave more than $100 to their parish in 2018 said it was important that investments be based on Catholic values. Among those who gave less than $100 to their parish last year, 40% expressed the same sentiment.
The survey involved 500 Catholic adults who answered a series of online questions March 19. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5%.
Catholic News Service