40 More Catholic Institutions Divest from Fossil Fuels


Catholic institutions are divesting from fossil fuel companies and investing in renewable energy as part of their response to the urgent call Pope Francis sounded in the Laudato Si’ encyclical and in response to the COP21 statement of Catholic Bishops from all continents.  One year ago today, the Missionary Society of St. Columban announced that it would be divesting from fossil fuels over the next five years, and reinvesting in renewable energy: Seven Catholic Organizations Divest from Fossil Fuels on Occasion of Feast of St. Francis 

On October 4, 2017 a new group of 40 Catholic institutions committed to caring for our common home by announcing their divestment from fossil fuels.  This is the largest joint Catholic announcement to date.  

 This group included the first-ever divestment of a Catholic bishops’ conference and one of the first divestments of a Catholic bank.  In addition, the group counted several highly significant institutions in Assisi, the home of St. Francis.  It also included archdioceses and dioceses, religious orders, and lay organizations, and was complemented by important municipal partners.

Read more about this ground-breaking commitment in the press release.

Divestment is the opposite of investment–it is the removal of investment capital from stocks, bonds, or funds. The global divest-invest movement is asking institutions to move their money out of oil, coal, and gas companies for both moral and financial reasons, and encouraging reinvestment of those resources in clean energy companies that will help solve the climate crisis while tackling energy poverty.

To date, institutions totaling a value of approximately $5.2 trillion have divested from fossil funds. The institutions that have divested include the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation, the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and many academic institutions such as Stanford University and Oxford University.

Catholic institutions that have committed to divest fully or partially:

  • Abdij OLV van Nazareth (Belgium)
  • Archdiocese of Cape Town (South Africa)
  • Bank für Kirche und Caritas eG (Germany)
  • Broederlijk Delen (Belgium)
  • Catherine Donnelly Foundation (Sisters of Service) (Canada)
  • Catholic Action for Animals (UK)
  • Catholic Welfare and Development (South Africa)
  • CCFD-Terre Solidaire (France)
  • Center for Action and Contemplation (USA)
  • Diocese of the Holy Spirit of Umuarama in Paraná (Brazil)
  • Diocesi Assisi (Italy)
  • Episcopal Conference of Belgium (Belgium)
  • Federation of Christian Organisations for the International Voluntary Service (FOCSIV) (Italy)
  • Franciscan Sisters of Mary (USA)
  • Gasthuiszusters Augustinessen van Leuven (Belgium)
  • Georgetown University (USA)
  • Australian Jesuits (Australia)
  • Il Dialogo (Italy)
  • Lega consumatori (Italy)
  • Marist Sisters (Australia)
  • MASCI Umbria (Italy)
  • Mercedarias Misioneras de Berriz (International)
  • MGR Foundation (USA)
  • Missionarissen van Scheut (Belgium)
  • Missionary Society of St. Columban (International)
  • Netwerk Rechtvaardigheid en Vrede (Belgium)
  • Newton University (UK)
  • Oikocredit Belgium (Belgium)
  • Pax Christi Vlaanderen (Belgium)
  • Presentation Congregation Queensland (Australia)
  • Presentation Sisters, North East Province (Ireland)
  • Presentation Sisters, South West Unit (Ireland)
  • Presentation Sisters Wagga Wagga (Australia)
  • Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Australia and Papua New Guinea)
  • RAAD Red Argentina de Ambiente y Desarrollo (Argentina)
  • RELAI (Argentina)
  • Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (International)
  • Rete Interdiocesana Nuovi Stili di Vita (Italy)
  • Sacro Convento (Italy)
  • Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco–Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Milan and Naples (Italy)
  • Salvatorianen (Belgium)
  • Scarboro Missions (Canada)
  • Serafico Institute (Italy)
  • Siloe Monastic Community (Italy)
  • Sisters of Loretto (USA)
  • SSM Health (USA)
  • St Joseph’s Province of the Congregation of the Passion–English Province of the Passionists (UK)
  • The Diocese of Pescara (Italy)
  • The Italian Jesuits (Italy)
  • The Jesuits in English (Canada)
  • The Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit (Global, General Curia)
  • The Passionists–Holy Spirit Province (Australia, NZ, PNG and Vietnam)
  • Trocaire (Ireland)
  • University of Dayton (USA)
  • Vicariaat Vlaams-Brabant – Mechelen (Belgium)
  • Wheaton Franciscan Sisters, Daughters of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (USA)
  • Welzijnszorg (Belgium)
  • Zusters van de Bermhertigheid (Belgium)
  • Zusters van Maria (Belgium)


  • New report “The Sky’s Limit”: Coal mines and oil and gas wells currently in operation have 2.67 times more carbon than what is “safe” to burn to keep global temperature increase below 1.5C threshold
  • At the Vatican press conference on September 1, Cardinal Turkson mentioned that the fossil fuel divestment movement is based on the same logic encouraged in Laudato Si by Pope Francis of applying social pressure to businesses for the common good.