Investments in the Roman Catholic Church are mostly held at diocesan level, although the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales also holds investments at a national level. Dioceses are free to adopt their own ethical investment policies, although they generally avoid arms and pornography as well as companies involved in abortion or euthanasia.
Some Roman Catholic investment policies focus mainly on negative screening. For example, the Archdiocese of Liverpool rules out any company that makes more than 10% of its turnover from military activity, pornography or “the production of anything which threatens the sanctity of life”.
Others focus on positive screening. The Diocese of Lancaster lists activities in which it wants to invest and seeks out companies that gain at least 25% of their turnover from these activities. They include healthcare, saving human life, education, energy-efficient transport systems and the supply of basic fundamentals such as food and housing. The policy also commits the diocese to constructive engagement with companies in which it invests.