Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $39,095 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

how much risk is too much?

By Peter Mirus (bio - articles - email) | Nov 12, 2009

One of the most difficult issues to address for the Catholic In Business (CIB) is assessing the moral permissibility of assuming more than a certain amount of business risk. All businesses carry a certain amount of risk, but when deciding to pursue a particular business venture, how much is too much?

For example: A business owner decides to pursue a new line of business, which requires a certain amount of investment without guarantee of return. His calculations indicate that even if the new line of business should fail, his core business will still be able to remain intact--but existing jobs will be lost. What is the owner's moral obligation to his employees? If the existing business is operating at a sustainable level, is it right to place jobs at risk for the purpose of pursuing another interest (and possibly creating more jobs in the future)?

The above example is an oversimplification, and I won't attempt to provide an answer to the questions raised. However, the point is that moral responsibility should at least be an influencing consideration for the CIB in assuming risk in business.

Many CIB owners/influencers register frustration that the social teachings of the Church typically provide guidance but not definitive solutions in addressing business questions. In the context of the current question...there is no "business risk morality calculator" built into the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

The CIB who is the most spiritually mature and steadfast in applying attention to cultivating virtue is most likely to bring the right tuning antenna to the "will of God business broadcast". However, Catholics are called to do all things well--therefore, diligence in properly and objectively building the business case to justify the assumption of risk is in itself a moral obligation.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($126,588 to go):
$150,000.00 $23,411.70
84% 16%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

The Synod: It's a Wrap! 2 hours ago
A chaotic synod? Not in its results 3 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's unsubtle threat 9 hours ago
When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics October 20
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6