Definition - Christian Finance


Since the launching by Standard and Poor’s of the product “SP 500 index Catholic Values”, global media, notably French, seem to have proclaimed the birth of Christian Finance / Catholic Finance. To assist the media to present information accurately and clearly, the Observatory considered appropriate to recall some basic definitions:
Catholic Finance : refers to the part of the Christian Ethical Finance in the meaning of the Charta consistent with the Social Doctrine of the Catholic roman Church.

Charta : refers to the Fundamental Charter of Christian Ethical Finance (Ethicae Pecuniae Christiana Charta).

Christian Finance : refers to “Christian Ethical Finance” in the meaning of the Charta, in particular, without distinction, to the set of the ProtestantCatholic and Orthodox financial activities, principles and players to the extent that they comply with the Christian values and  precepts.

Strictly speaking, the Christian Finance includes: (i) the Christian Financial Players, (ii) the Christian Financial Principles, and (iii) Christian Financial Practices.

In a broad sense, the Christian finance includes: (iv) the Christian Financial Players(designated “Christian-compatible players”), (v) the principles similar to the ChristianFinancial Principles (designated “Christian-compatible principles”), and (vi)the practices similar to the Christian Financial Practices (referred to as “Christian-compatible practices”).

Christian Financial Actors : refers to “Christian Ethical Financial Actors” in the meaning of the Charta, and means the natural or legal persons, in the financial, insurance and banking sector, for-profit or not, which refer explicitly to the Christian values or precepts, on a transactional or organizational level.

Christian Financial Practices : refers to “Christian Ethical Financial Activities” in the meaning of the Charta, and means the practices (transactional, organizational, infrastructural, or individual) from Christian Financial Players which are compatible with the Christian Financial Principles.

Christian Financial Principles refers to “Christian Ethical Financial Principles” in the meaning of the Charta, and means the principles applicable to the banking and financial activities which refer explicitly to the Christian values and precepts. It may be distinguished between the principles of clerical origin (“Clerical Financial Principles”) and the principles of secular origin (“Lay Financial Principles”) ; principles of teaching origin  (“Teaching Financial Principles”) and those of biblical origin (“Biblical Financial Principles”); those related to the financial infrastructures (“General Financial Principles”) and those applicable to the transactions (“Operating Financial Principles”).

CST : refers to the Catholic social teaching (synonym of SDC).

Ethical Finance : refers to profane finance (SRI, social finance) and religious finance(Christian finance, Islamic finance), which are all characterized by the fact that theyapply extra-financial criteria (sustainable development, ethical, religious).

Orthodox Finance : refers to the part of the Christian Ethical Finance in the meaning of the Charta consistent with the Orthodox financial principles.

Protestant Finance : refers to the part of the Christian Ethical Finance in the meaning of the Charta consistent with the Protestant financial principles.

SDC : refers to the Social Doctrine of the Catholic roman Church (synonym of CST)

Financial Sin’s Structures : refers to the non virtuous objectives and conducts in the meaning of the Charta, and means the facts, mechanisms, systems in the financial and banking sector, which may be considered as socially abusive and harmful and as constituting sins with regard to the Christian values and precepts.

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