Ethical consistency in investments: Reflection on the Mensuram Bonam document and the impacts of mining

Ethical consistency in investments: Reflection on the Mensuram Bonam document and the impacts of mining


Article published by Church and Mining Network


MENSURAM BONAM – FAITH-BASED MEASURES FOR CATHOLIC INVESTORS: A STARTING POINT AND A CALL TO ACTION, is a Vatican document that seeks to provide religious and ethical principles for Catholic investors. The premise with which it is guided is decisive for believers and people of good will: it says that faith-based investments are a way of practicing the following of Jesus today (MB 10).


The article we present here is based on an analysis of the document Mensuram Bonam (MB) and is part of the proposals that the Latin American Network of Churches and Mining has been making, within the framework of the Divestment Campaign, to promote ethical alternatives in the investments of faith-based organizations. This process is the result of years of accompaniment to territories affected by the extractivist economic model, with emphasis on the violations of human rights and nature perpetrated by mining companies, which, in turn, occupy important places as beneficiaries of investments in the global economy.


The document Mensuram Bonam takes up the proposals of the Social Doctrine of the Church, which is inspired by the following principles: the dignity of the person, human rights, the common good, solidarity, subsidiarity and participation, and the universal destination of the goods of the earth (MB 22-23). In this analysis, other current principles are added: social justice, care for the common home, inclusion of the most vulnerable and integral ecology.  A very important contribution to these reflections: for the first time in an official document, the Vatican includes mining among the sectors that are not recommended for ethical investments, due to the growing impact of these ventures.


Mensuram Bonam suggests that the Social Doctrine of the Church has three particular resonances for investors (MB 24):

  • Escape from «fiduciary absolutism», the closed logic of financial engineering focused on short-term profits, which rejects all ethical responsibility. What this means in a positive way is: to embrace the call to change one’s vision and assume ethical responsibilities in investments.
  • Using faith-based measures to encourage groups in society and the economy that are committed to change on the basis of ethics (social and environmental). Hence the call to develop and deepen best practices in social and environmental responsibility.
  • Imagining what is needed and what is possible for integral and future-oriented human development.


To effectively offer individuals and Christian institutions investment criteria, the document presents a framework in which each principle of the Social Doctrine of the Church is articulated with implications for investment and questions for discernment (MB 25).


The prophetic imperatives of faith are increasingly aligned with the needs of social justice and sustainability. MB aspires to a new investment culture, combining technical knowledge with the ethical orientation of faith.


Maria Crisanta Cordero Barrera

Muy importante la propuesta inversionista, se esperaba una propuesta así y el apoyo para sostener y cuidar el planeta. Ojalá haya una buena respuesta y sobre todo unidad de la Iglesia. Y de la Vida Consagrada. Que sea un buen comienzo. Deseo muchos éxitos. Gracias


Kad Sabue Gisèle

Merci j'aimerais suivre cette session qui me parais déjà intéressante

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