Early last July 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received flak on some of his words in his “Charity in Truth” that can be argued as “anti-outsourcing”.

Despite my curiousity, it took me awhile to get to reading the Pope’s encyclical letter to determine whether or not the Holy Father of the Roman Catholic church approves on outsourcing.

According to one columnist of India’s Economic Times, the Pope’s encyclical letter “criticizes Western companies that outsource business to developing countries” and “echoes the wish of a white labour aristocracy in the West to snatch jobs and income away from much poorer but more competitive workers in Third World countries”. [Source Here]

I, born and raised a Catholic in the Philippines,–a third-world country with a major Catholic denomination, gave the Pope the benefit of the doubt and took it upon myself to find time and read this encyclical letter, “Charity in Truth.”

I find that sadly the good leader’s words were misconstrued. I also find that the Pope’s words support globalization and was in no way for or against outsourcing but called for enterprises to greatly value their corporate social responsibility in their immediate sphere of influence and then the global stage. The Pope was concerned that outsourcing could be abused in a sense, that it could lead to exploitation.

Here are the Pope’s words from section 40:

“What should be avoided is a speculative use of financial resources that yields to the temptation of seeking only short-term profit, without regard for the long-term sustainability of the enterprise, its benefit to the real economy and attention to the advancement, in suitable and appropriate ways, of further economic initiatives in countries in need of development.

It is true that the export of investments and skills can benefit the populations of the receiving country. Labour and technical knowledge are a universal good.

Yet it is not right to export these things merely for the sake of obtaining advantageous conditions, or worse, for purposes of exploitation, without making a real contribution to local society by helping to bring about a robust productive and social system, an essential factor for stable development.”

– Section 40, Charity in Truth by Pope Benedict XVI.

It can be argued that the Pope may be against outsourcing, off-shoring but it is a false, useless argument without basis. What the Pope shared in his words is actually the loud echo of sound business sense and ethics.

Outsourcing as a strategy in business, like everything else in business, bears its own rewards and risks. Information and counsel has been offered in this website’s past posts on how to mitigate these risks to reap the rewards. Outsourcing is a good strategy but it may require more management, more care to ensure it brings on the promised benefits. It must not only be used like a tool to get quick profits but as a solid means to provide quality in services or products.

That is what the Pope is indirectly referring to as he points out to enterprises to practice greater corporate social responsibility directed to development of the quality of life in both their immediate business vicinities near-shore AND to their business interests off-shore.

For, as the Pope’s words state near the end of his letter to the World, “God’s love calls us to move beyond the limited and the ephemeral, it gives us the courage to continue seeking and working for the benefit of All…”

That’s a fine benediction on global business I’ve seen so far.

Outsourcing Solutions, Inc. – your outsourcing partner!


Benedict XVI. “Caritas in veritate (Charity in Truth)”. 26 June 2009. The Vatican Website. Accessed 31 July 2009. Link Here


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