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Rome Reports

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Vatican document aims to bring morality back into the business sphere

SR. HELEN ALFORD Editor, "Vocation of the Business Leader� "People were lying, they were cheating, they were selling products which had a huge amount of risk in them which other people didn't recognize so these are basic ethical problems that were polluting the economical environment and at the end of the day they had their final result, a major crash.�

Helen Alford is a Dominican nun at Rome's Angelicum University. She is also one of the editors that helped to create this document from the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

They made sure to note that business is often working toward the common good, but it also can lose sight of right and wrong. That's why they believe they may have something to offer the business community.

SR. HELEN ALFORD Editor, "Vocation of the Business Leader� "The role of religion in the business sphere, which is going to become more and more important in our intercultural, inter-religious, globally connected world.�

The document offers six points of advice that range from helping the poor, being aware of your actions, and moral check-ups for corporations. Sister Helen also noted there could be a Vatican document coming with prescriptions aimed at making governmental change toward financial regulation.

SR. HELEN ALFORD Editor, "Vocation of the Business Leader� "People in government also need to change. We need to have a more realistic, regulatory environment, where regulations are seriously thought about and then properly applied.�

At the end of the document there is a checklist for the businessperson with questions such as 'Am I creating safe working conditions?' 'Are employees being fairly compensated?' And 'I creating wealth or engaging in rent-seeking behavior?'

The business school at the Angelicum University will be including this document as part of their curriculum next year. While Sister Helen hopes that many more Universities, Catholic and non-Catholic, will be interested in including the document in their own teachings of business.

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