The S&P 500 Catholic Values Index has been launched on the S&P Dow Jones Indices, excluding companies that don’t adhere to Catholic principles. This index is the first of its kind to use the S&P as its benchmark, and the index is licensed to exchange traded fund (ETF) provider Global X for development.
Those adhering to religious principles for their investing decisions have a variety of choices, usually set out by responsible or ethical investment practices, or those set out by other religious organisations, for example Shariah-compliant funds. Catholics, or those wishing to invest using these principles, now have another passive investing tool in their toolbox to remove abortion, contraception and weapons.
Activities believed to be out of the realms of Catholicism, as set out by the Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines created by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (US CCB), include those making biological and chemical weapons, cluster bombs, landmines, nuclear weapons, military sales (but only if it is less than half the exposure), and child labour, but it doesn’t end there. Specifically Catholic, the index excludes any abortion-related companies, including those making abortifacients, adult entertainment or the reselling of (but only if it is less than one per cent of the exposure), contraception, and stem cell activity or research.