Abortion, Environmental Justice Top Catholic Investor Concerns

December 14, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Abortion, environment justice, and pornography have topped the list of concerns for Catholic investors, according to a recent poll.

According to a survey conducted by the Christian Brothers Investment Services, Inc. (CBIS), which manages $3.5 billion for Catholic institutions, there was some movement in the priorities of their clients since a similar poll was taken in 2001, according to a press release. The top ten concerns in 2004 were:

  • Abortion
  • Environmental Justice
  • Pornography and universal access to Health Care (tied at #3)
  • Military weapons contractors
  • Fetal tissue/embryonic stem cell research
  • Violence in the media
  • Responsible operations in the developing world
  • Sweatshops/contract supplier issues
  • Sexually explicit material in the mainstream media
  • Affordable AIDS drugs in developing countries

This list is slightly different from a 2001 survey, with abortion, stem cell issues, sweatshops, health care access and military weapons remaining high on the list. Pornography made the biggest leap, going from number 10 in 2001 to number three this year. Violence in the media made its first appearance on the list.

The survey also detected support for “active ownership” through shareholder activism in the form of proxy voting among Catholic investors, according to the news release. It also found support for the restriction of certain investments if the underlying companies are involved in such products as tobacco or pornography.

The survey looked at 151 Catholic institutional investors, and was conducted by CBIS.