Head of School Dan Kerns Leads Student Discussion on Pope Francis and Capitalism


Head of School Dan Kerns joined History Teacher William Farquhar's Macroeconomics class this week to discuss Pope Francis’ views on capitalism. Speaking to a class of mostly seniors, Dan asked the girls to think of their own future plans, how they will one day enter the workforce, and what it means to be a Catholic in a capitalist society.

Dan led the girls in a discussion about Pope Francis’ life, and why he may feel the way he does about the problems inherent in capitalism: unlike his predecessors, the pope has chosen to live simply and be, as St. Jane de Chantal said, “free from attachments.” He comes from a third-world country, and as a Jesuit, has spent much of his time working in service of the poor.

The students discussed issues around companies’ priorities and the idea of focusing on profit rather than the dignity of people working for the company. A balance between profit and respect of others, doing something for the good of its employees and the larger world, they said, is necessary.

As someone interested in business, Katherine Allen ‘18 initially felt “uneasy” when she learned Pope Francis’ views on capitalism. The discussion helped her understand that, “as young Catholics, [our] purpose is not just to provide for ourselves, but to consider others … to fix the holes in capitalistic society.”

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