St. Homobonus Leads the CEOs

Paula M. Kane

in The Business Turn in American Religious History

Published in print September 2017 | ISBN: 9780190280192
Published online August 2017 | e-ISBN: 9780190280222 | DOI:
St. Homobonus Leads the CEOs

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Wealthy American Catholics have created foundations, institutes, and research centers to endorse and defend neoliberal capitalism. Since the 1980s, a network of rich Catholics have supported their class privilege by defending strong private property rights, free markets, and free trade on the economic front, and by favoring antiabortion and anti-gay-marriage positions in social debates. The chapter contextualizes Catholic establishment of elective affinities with capitalism through several organizations, including Legatus and the Napa Institute; through connections between elites and Catholic higher education, such as Ave Maria University; and by Catholic CEOs whose business practices flout Catholic social teaching. Since the 2013 election of Pope Francis, who has explicitly attacked greed and neoliberal economics for leaving the poor and vulnerable undefended, these top Catholic entrepreneurs, together with allied clergy and apologists, have mobilized in ways that seemingly disregard the immigrant roots of most Catholics as well as the papal call to care for the nation’s neediest.

Keywords: Ave Maria University; Tim Busch; Catholic social teaching; Archbishop Charles Chaput; Pope Francis; Grace Corporation; Joseph Peter Grace; Kenneth Langone; Thomas Monaghan; Napa Institute

Chapter.  10041 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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