Corporate Leadership, LinkedIn Series

Pope Francis and Conscience-Driven Capitalism

Reposted from Dan Hesse's LinkedIn series on Executive Leadership and Corporate Responsibility. The following was published September 24, 2015. 


Pope Francis, in his papal exhortation almost two years ago, denounces capitalism as a “new tyranny” and blames many of the world’s ills, from the plight of the poor to the deteriorating state of the Earth’s environment, on the system and its culture of power and greed.

I’m Roman Catholic and an enthusiastic supporter of Pope Francis. But in a recent interview with Forbes titled A Catholic CEO Urges The Pope To Embrace Capitalism As A Force For Good, I give reasons why Pope Francis should encourage Catholics, and others sharing the Pope’s values, to become capitalists, rather than discourage them from pursuing careers in business. 

In my view, capitalism, or financial freedom, creates a virtuous cycle with freedom of information, political freedom and religious freedom. It’s therefore important that business be taught in Catholic universities to infuse companies with more values-driven leaders.

In all of history, this Pope might have an unprecedented power of the pulpit to encourage consumers to vote with their wallets and to spend their money with ethical, responsible companies. As I point out in the interview, Pope Francis could be instrumental in ushering in a new age of “conscience-driven capitalism.”