At its 2017 Conference in St. Louis, MO, the Catholic Library Association’s Executive Committee voted to revise its investment policy to divest itself of stocks and investments from companies primarily providing services to, or in the business of, the manufacture, production, or distribution of fossil fuels, and/or products that damage the environment or contribute to global warming.

Incoming Association President, N. Curtis Le May (St. Paul, MN) explained that the Association’s Finance Committee and Investment Subcommittee re-examined the current investment policy to assure it was in agreement with Pope Francis’ encyclical entitled Laudato Si’ issued in June 2015.  Laudato Si’ made history when Pope Francis issued a powerful message on our moral responsibility to care for creation.

The CLA Finance Committee studied Laudato Si’ and found that paragraph 23, relating to global warming, and paragraph 28 concerning fresh water, were the most meaningful passages in helping them reach a socially responsible decision on divesting from investments associated with the fossil fuel industry. 

Le May also indicated, “This will bring us in line with similar investment polices of Catholic agencies that refuse to invest in pharmaceutical companies that produce abortifacients and is similar to socially responsible Catholic agencies that divested themselves from stocks that supported apartheid in South Africa in the mid to late 1980s.

The Catholic Library Association seeks to implement this strategy in a sincere desire to work for a more just society and more peaceful world through the careful stewardship of the limited resources of the Association. 

For Additional Information:

Pope Francis, "Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home." Vatican, May 24, 2015, accessed April 26, 2017,

"Socially Responsible Investment Guidelines," United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, November 12, 2003, accessed April 26, 2017,

Release date: April 27, 2017.