“It is almost impossible to find any companies that are completely ‘clean’,” the chief economist Stefan Skoog at the Lund diocese told The Local.
Despite very clear guidelines from the Church of Sweden when it comes to pornography, the diocese of Lund has chosen to place money in companies that distribute pornographic material, for example by investing in commercial media house MTG, which broadcasts porn at night on film channel TV 1000.
Skoog is aware of the connection to TV 1000 but points out that they are working hard to influence their fund managers to only invest in ethical funds.
“Our strategy is to actively influence our fund managers not to invest in funds that make money this way and also get them to bring this up with the companies to try to influence these to stop,” said Skoog.
But if the Church of Sweden would rule out all companies with connections to ‘unethical’ industries there would be very few left to invest in and still be making money, according to Skoog.
“It is also really hard to know where one should draw the line. All ethical funds have this problem, because it is always possible to ague that something could be used in an unethical way,” Skoog said.
When Sveriges Radio (SR) asked the general public in the local area what they thought of the Church having connections to these industries the response was negative.
“This is questionable. I would rather that the Church of Sweden place their money in funds that didn’t deal in such things,” one passer-by told SR.
“It is completely improper. I think the church should follow its own Christian values and be a paragon of morality in society,“ another remarked.
But Stefan Skoog would like the members of the Church of Sweden to rest assured that the Church places its money as ethically as possible.
“And if a fund proves to be less ethical than we would prefer, we work actively in trying to influence them to change,” Skoog told The Local.