“Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection” is designed to guide, encourage and inspire men and women as they meet the challenges of business life. Published in 2012, the 32-page document is introduced by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, which worked in collaboration with the John A. Ryan Institute at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minn.
The publication does not dictate policy, but conveys a pastoral approach, outlining faith-informed principles that address the realities of conducting business in the contemporary marketplace – globalization, technology and the “financialization” of the economy. The authors view business and markets in a positive light when they are properly ordered and managed, seeing them as a “community of persons” that can foster dignified work and create structures which promote responsibility and trust. However, business leaders can diminish their contribution to the common good if they fail to be “witness of actions” by living out of the Gospel in the world.
Vocation of the Business Leader also recognizes the “social mortgage” on the world’s resources and discusses the legitimate role of profit, “a good servant,” but “a poor master.” It stresses the need for stewardship of the environment, and the just distribution of wealth through just wages to employees, just prices to customers and suppliers, just returns to owners, and just tax rates for a reasonable contribution to the entire community. It notes that when business people avoid living the “divided life,” one that separates Gospel principles from work life, business has the potential to become “vehicle of cultural engagement” and a force for “peace and prosperity,” that has “a special role to play in the unfolding of creation,” and that through creative work, people don’t just “make more” but “become more.”
The Vocation of the Business Leader: A Reflection is a resource for business people, educators and students. It offers insight into the realm of business through the unique perspective of Catholic social teaching. For more information see the entire document at www.stthomas.edu/cathstudies/cst/VocationBusinessLead/VocationTurksonRemar/VocationBk3rdEdition.pdf.