Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, has asked the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome to offer a program that provides "a thorough education for priests and lay people in both economics and ethics."
In order to better discern these complex issues, MCE takes an interdisciplinary approach for a systematic and scientific study of economic and social life in the light of reason and Catholic faith. Every class teaches ethics, virtues, role-models, best-practices, and sometimes even guides people in setting up their own business. The locus is on developing the moral and cultural basis necessary to respect the dignity of the human person within a free market system.
Sound financial practices within the Church face the same difficulties as in the business world. Cardinal George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, asked Santa Croce to consider offering a course for Church administrators. He said, "What we want is a thorough education of priests and lay people in both economics and ethics. The administration of money in the Church must be exemplary and according to the Gospel."
Beginning in January 2016, Santa Croce will launch a two-year pilot project that one day will develop into an academy to give high-potential young clergy and seminarians the formation needed to competently administer the Church’s assets. It will be something along the lines of an executive MBA program for ecclesiastics with classes in management, finance, markets, and business ethics. To fill this need, Fr. Schlag is currently gathering knowledgeable people to help develop the program. One existing model already run by MCE is the successful workshop, "Economics for Ecclesiastics." A recent class included seventy priests and nuns, with one of them remarking, "This is the course I always wanted to take, but couldn’t afford it."
MCE Summer School
The Markets, Culture and Ethics Research Centre is launching this year a new initiative: the MCE Summer School, a week-long immersion in moral theology and ethics for students of the social sciences from around the world. The summer school will take place September 21-27 at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome.
This initiative tries to take up the social message of Pope Francis. In his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, he writes that “neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems” (EG 184).
At the same time, though, the Pope also says that religion cannot be limited to private life, but that the pastors of Church, and Christians in general, “have the right to offer opinions on all that affects people’s lives, since the task of evangelization implies and demands the integral promotion of each human being” (EG 182). Christian conversion also implies rethinking one’s social involvement and concerns. Business is “a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged by a greater meaning in life; this will enable them truly to serve the common good by striving to increase the goods of this world and to make them more accessible to all” (EG 203).
The MCE Summer School will be taught by Prof. Robert Gahl, professor of Ethics at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross, and Prof. Martin Schlag, professor of Moral Theology and Academic Director of the MCE Research Centre. All courses will be taught in English.
Information and the complete program are available on the website: mcesummerschool.com.