One thought on “The Vocation of the Business Leader

  1. As Anthony Arnett notes at dotCommonweal, the Vatican’s Vocation of the Business Leader requires that all business activity be oriented toward the common good. Pope Francis has called business a “noble vocation” if it produces good goods, good work, and good wealth.

    Let us tread carefully in weaponizing the social guidance of the Catholic Church. Certainly if Trump deals unjustly, there’s a case against him.

    However, it’s not ex cathedra Church teaching that Adam Smith is bunk, that running a business as efficiently as possible is somehow anti-human, anti-Christian or anti-God. It is not immoral to fire an incompetent employee.

    If Adam Smith is correct, the “invisible hand” is part of the natural law

    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.”

    and we are not commanded to ignore our God-given reason in creating prosperity.

    Indeed, here’s an interesting piece on Pope Pius VI instructing the thinkers in the Church to study Smith carefully.

    Our predecessors of happy memory never hesitated to hold fast to what is true and good, and it is in that spirit that we write concerning the publication of an erudite volume entitled “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations.”

    Within its pages, we find a charted design for the liberation of the masses of peoples from the causalities of tyranny, oligarchy and Gallicanism. The preservation of liberty and the free exchange of goods highlight the many useful elements of this volume. That the human race is marked indelibly by image of our Creator, which reckons freedom and reason as its components, has been advocated therein.


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